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June 24, 2021

Hi Kristen, I'm Monica and I'm 20 years old. I've been picking since I can remember. In all honesty, I cried reading your post because I've never related to someone else's words so much. I'm struggling a lot and I can't wear what I want to wear because I'm afraid and embarrassed. My own sisters and mom give me looks because they just don't understand why I do this to myself. And I don't either. My boyfriend is the only one that supports me through this. We have an apartment together and he does the same thing as your daughters; he will barge in the bathroom when he realizes I've been in there for way too long and say "Are you picking..." Or sometimes he will yell at me to stop. They are just trying to help us in the only way that they know how (even though it makes me mad in the moment too). I can't imagine what it's like to go through all that you have. I have also gone through a lot, but different issues. I have severe depression and anxiety as well. I'm on pills too. I also have severe migraines that I have to give myself injections for. I go to the dermatologist as well, because I thought that if there were no pimples to pick at, then I wouldn't. WRONG. I have scars and scabs all over my face, arms, back, legs, and chest. Yet I continue to do this to myself with no explanation of why. I get so insanely stressed with all the doctor calls and appointments that I feel like I can't keep up. I need help too. My dermatologist suggested I take NAC (N-Acetylcysteine) and I thought it was working, but then I ran out and all stores are sold out constantly. I can't find it anywhere for a decent price. Basically, I'm having a hard time too. But I know we both can do this. We have to be willing to change and put aside the fact that we've been through a lot of shit and focus on what we're going through right now. The goal is to finally get control of ourselves, right? And if it requires therapy and pills then we will have to try because we deserve to be happy. You deserve to be happy. I really appreciate you opening up because I really needed to know that I'm not alone. So thank you, and you got this!
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June 27, 2021

Hello Kristen. My name is April. I am 46 and I just came across this site for the first time. I thought I was alone in my struggle. I thought I was weird because I never knew picking was a problem. I have been picking since I was 17. I can understand and emphasize with you. I am in need of a friend also. So hopefully we can become friends? I didn't know I was a picker until recently. My daughter has OCD and told me I probably have OCD too. I have other co-occurring disorders so I thought nothing of picking. Even when people would ask me "What's wrong with your skin?" I picked my legs so bad to the point of countless infections. My legs had dents in them. Most healed but not all. I was told " Oh, you have MRSA." and was given antibiotics and anxiety meds. I am on Zoloft and Wellbutrin and Trazadone and Strattera. I have so many other disorders. It gets exhausting! I recently left an abusive relationship [ he was a narcissist] and moved into an apartment by myself. I have never lived alone before. I get lonely a lot. It would be nice to talk to someone close to my age to talk to. Thank you for being brave and strong enough to post your story. God Bless you.
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June 28, 2021

Hi Kristen, Monica and April. My name is Patricia and I'm 24 years old. Firstly, I want to thank you all for sharing your stories. I just came across this site today and I feel that it's an answered prayer - that I might actually be able to get freedom from this struggle that's been controlling me for a long time. I've been picking at my skin since at least high school - might have been longer than that - I've honestly lost track. I scratch pretty much every inch of my body now - arms, legs, back, torso, scalp, face. Over the years my face has been the worst. I pick and squeeze at my acne, scratch scabs, make myself bleed in the process. I don't want to do it and I always end up hating myself after. I've tried cutting my nails down to the nub, putting on mitts, hats, longer sweaters or pants - you name it, I've probably tried it. Nothing has worked yet to fix this. And I too have felt very alone in this. Same story as you guys with respect to family - they tell me to stop picking, sometimes offer to hold my hands so I can't pick or actually reach out and pull my hand away. I know they're just trying to help, but it gets exhausting hearing the phrase, "stop picking!" over and over or being told that I'm hurting myself or am going to permanently damage my skin. If it were that simple - just telling me to stop or informing me of the potential consequences - I would've stopped a long time ago. So it ends up being this negative reinforcement of someone telling me to stop, me not being able to, and then feeling worse about it. I struggle with depression and anxiety as well but am not on medication for it. I know that for me, this behaviour is partially my subconscious way of trying to control situations that feel too overwhelming or out of my control. I don't want to have control over this struggle. This struggle controls me and I don't think that responding by trying to control the behaviour will make this any better. I want to have freedom from what's controlling me and I hope that the therapy that this program provides will give me tools to gain that freedom. My picking has been my response to subconsciously gain control over situations that feel out of control - and now it's become a habit. This is why I think this therapy will help - because this behaviour has become a habit that's had years of reinforcement. I need help to break it. The seeking control is the second part that needs help - and that I truly believe can only come from me surrendering control to God. I'm treating it a bit like an addiction, because I think that in some ways, that's what's it's become for me. I've looked into the 12 step program for alcoholics anonymous - it talks about surrendering control over to God and a few other steps that I think are going to be really helpful for me in this journey to healing. I don't think all the steps are applicable to this particular struggle, but I definitely think some of them are useful. I am so sorry that each of you are dealing with this too. We're not alone. We're going to get through this. I truly believe this site and each of you are an answered prayer for me. I'm not good at keeping up with messages, especially when I enter into intense self-care work, so I might not respond to these threads often; but please know that I am so grateful for each one of you (on this thread and in this group of people) and the courage each of you had to reach out and share your stories. You are courageous, beautiful and each a true treasure. Please know of my prayers for you guys. Serenity Prayer: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."
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July 04, 2021

I need a friend too…for the same reasons. Im 39. How can we chat, if you’re still looking? I only registered here because I saw this. It really hit home…anyhow- I’m on fb, Lydia Grogg. Send a friend request or a message on messenger? Hope you’re doing better than when ya posted this…