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georg1 , 08 Jan 2008

where to turn?

Hi everyone, I've been picking for a few years now, and I came to a point where I understand that I have a problem, and that I cannot stop on my own. I am picking on my scalp, mainly when I'm in stress or when I'm concentrating. Who should I turn to? Can I go to a regular physician? What do I say and how do I explain myself? If anyone went out for help and has some info to share, I'd be thankful. Will be checking back hoping to find some answers. Thank you.
3 Answers
January 13, 2008
I wish i knew. I've been going thru this thing for 14 years and if we had therapists where i come from, and money to spend on one, I'd definitely have tried it. But i believe it's also good to battle this thing on your own and not relying on such things like anti-depressants, shrinks and the like. I've improved a lot over the years but haven't completely gotten rid of the compulsion or completely mastered the thing yet, it still comes and goes when it feels like it, usually in times of stress and depression like you said. What we've got is worse than alcoholics or drug addicts, these people have to spend money on their addiction, but we've got ours right in our hands, we don't have to stop by a convenience store to buy us some booze, all we have to do is sit down anywhere and pick away. Harsh. By the way, a regular physician is not the person to turn to, this is more on behavioral and psychiatric therapy.
February 06, 2008

In reply to by uvinerse

I've been doing it for year too! I had never considered it a problem until I realized I could not stop. I really don't have serious acne (some breakouts once in a while), but I've visited like a dozen of dermatologists, taken medication (oral and local), tried with micro peels, whatever you can imagine, until I finally realized the real problem was me. I can never allow my skin to heal, I always have something new to pick or scratch. During the last 2 years I've been also picking my face with needles, then trying to heal it with medication and the day after spending an hour with concealers trying to cover up the mess before going to work. I'm from South America, and health care is quite approachable so I have also tried with psychiatric therapy (though the focus was not on skin picking because at the moment I went to therapy I did not consider it an issue). The thing is that totally agree with Universe and I consider it a battle of your own. It's difficult because it ends up being a vicious circle. The thing I've been trying lately is going to the bathroom, washing my face, and doing my cleaning routine with the bathroom's light off and only the outside hall light on, in order to avoid temptation (at least the face picking one). The scratching problem is something I still have to deal with, because I keep on scratching my unhealed wounds. Anyway, I'm so relieved I have found this forum and I find that I'm not alone with this problem. It's something nobody really talks about, and people probably thing you have untreated serious acne, when the problem is you have unsolved self-esteem issues.
January 17, 2008
i would go to a psychologist or mental health counselor for therapy and talk to them about your picking behaviors first. they can help you get to the underlying issues and stressors that you need to deal with in order to help yourself cope and improve. they can also help you decide if you need to go to a psychiatrist who can prescribe medication if warranted in your situation . i found a combination of therapy and medication to be the best route for me. i am now only on an anti-depressant and it is not enough. my life has become more stressful and overwhelming in the last couple of years, and i've been picking like crazy. right now, i am avoiding leaving the house because i look so ridiculous. i am thinking about getting back into therapy to help me deal. good luck to you

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