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ForestDragon , 08 Jul 2009

Finally posting. Something I think I need to do.

Hi everyone. I know from reading your posts that you understand what I am going through. I just need to talk to someone who understands. I have been picking my skin pretty much since I was a child. I went through phases where I would only pick at the tops of my thighs (often people would think I had bug bites). In middle school I pulled my hair on the sides of my head until there were bald spots. Thankfully I was able to stop that. However, the skin picking continues. I have tried to reduce my picking with will power which has always ended up with me being good for a couple days followed by a day with intense picking. For a while I was taking Paxil for depression. It is possible that my skin picking was somewhat reduced but I weaned myself off of it (with guidance from my phycologist at the time). It bothers me that I can't stop picking. I pick my arms, my legs, my scalp, pretty much anywhere I have a skin blemish or perceived one. It frustrates my husband that I am destroying my skin and can't do anything about it. I know some of my triggers: stress, anxiety, being alone near a light or in the sun, even wearing t-shirts or tank tops because I look at my arms. I go through phases where it is better and worse. It seems particularly bad right now. I am considering getting professional help but I don't want to have to take medications with side effect issues. The Paxil helped but it did have side effects I didn't care for like weight gain, tiredness and twitching. I tried to bring the picking up with my regular doctor and I felt like she brushed it off as no big deal. She said that many people are compulsive skin pickers and didn't offer anything further. My dermatologist (only been seeing him once a month for a couple of months) was equally dissapointing with his answer. I mentioned that I was a compulsive skin picker and he just nodded. I think I am ready to try and stop this. I can't go on like this. Any time I am alone and even sometimes when I am not I find myself drawn to picking. I have had it. I just need to talk to someone who can help me with this. Thanks for listening.
3 Answers
July 08, 2009
Dragon you are definitely not alone. Your story mirrors mine. I have picked all my life - as long as I can remember - and while I go through good patches they are brief and the sessions are long and uncontrollable. My triggers seem much the same as yours. I would love to offer advice but am still loking for solutions myself. Taking Luvox for depression but has not helped picking and can't seem to get any answers to how to stop. Just started seroquel as well. Trying mindfullness techniques but too soon to say how helpful it is. I still pick whenever I can - everywhere when I am alone and in my scalp when others are around. Sunlight is the worst as I can see every microscopic blemish.
July 09, 2009
ForestDragon, I know exactly what you are feeling. I have picked for about 5 or 6 years now. I go through cycles as well and right now seems to be one of the worse periods of picking I have had in a long time. I am just so ashamed when I look at what I have done to my face in the mirror but I just can't stop. I saw my GP today and was mentioning that I had CSP - his response was "Well why don't you just quit picking?" It was the most frustrating thing ever. I am just so upset with what I have done to myself but I just can't control myself. I guess I am just at a loss as to what I need to do to break my picking compulsion.
July 09, 2009

In reply to by mblaloc

I hate when people tell me to "just quit." They don't understand how frustrating that is.... Gee... why didn't I think of that before? That will solve all my problems, I'll just quit.

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