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Riki , 15 Jul 2009

"Obsessed" Made Me Realize.

I don't know how many of you saw the A&E show "Obsessed" episode with the face picker, but I just watched it this evening. I had seen previews, but I wasn't going to watch it because even the preview made me uncomfortable, as I recognized it as something I do myself. But I sat down and made myself watch it online...and I realized that I have this thing. I can't remember times when I didn't pick...I'm still a teenager now but I've done it since I was very young. I thought I was just a bad kid. I've left scars all up and down my legs and on my parents threatened me with punishments if I didn't stop so I just started wearing long pants all the time and buying concealer for my face. If I couldn't manage one or the other, my face scars were "acne" and my leg scars were "really bad mosquito bites". I didn't realize there were other people out there who did the same thing until tonight. But lately I've been tired. Tired of the tons and tons of makeup. Tired of the jeans in summer. I've started wearing shorts out even though I still have very visible marks, and going makeupless on certain days of the week. It's hard, I hate the way my face looks when I catch myself in a mirror, and I can't bring myself to look down sometimes when I'm wearing shorts or skirts. I've only fessed up to one person about this whole thing, and I don't know if I can tell my mother that I don't have "an acne problem" but that I need to take care of the scars instead. The fact that this thing has a name and that you all are out there is a lot to process, but reading through the posts, it was so familiar, I saw all the things I constantly think about. Good things have been happening in my life lately which has helped me curb the problem a bit, and I'm just focusing on dealing with it all and hoping that when the "high" of good things slows down, I won't go back to my usual picking sessions. Well, that's my two cents. Whew.
12 Answers
July 15, 2009
Wow... Well, although I was really uncomforatble watching "Obsessed", it did show me that I am a compulsive skin picker. Wow. I guess I always thought I was just "weird" or "abnormal", but I now realize that it is in fact a compulsion. I do it to deal with stress... and I do not think I can stop by myself. The compulsion is too strong. I am glad that I saw the episode, as it sent me to find others that are like me, and to know that I am not alone with this compulsion...
July 15, 2009
I hate that show. My husband watches it and then watches me really really really closely. I count when I run, sometimes just do it...i pick (made a topic about it), I don't like germs (but do NOT take that to extremes, my mother does and I have no interest in being that way about germs), I ask all of the time where the cats are then have to find them and repeat if they disappear...we are in a one bedroom apartment, they aren't going anywhere. I hate watching it. It makes me angry and uncomfortable. I suppose it's good for one reason though, I finally posted something here and in another OCD forum stating I think I needed help or at least a point in a good direction. Ugh. *note - sorry if my anger spills over onto your keyboards, this just gets old and it's stupid and annoying and I hate it because having a name for it means something is wrong. :P I'm sure there have to be others feeling like me...somewhere.
July 18, 2009
What you typed is almost EXACTLY what my situation is like. i'm a teenager that picks at her face and back and aggressively tweezes her leg hairs, all to the point of really bad scarring and some infections too. It seems that you have progressed more than me because I haven't worn shorts in years, except to weed the garden (when nobody can see anyways). I just wanted you to know that I know all too well how you feel, and I wish you only success in beating this.
July 19, 2009
Yes! That show, the way they described their feelings...I totally got it. That skin picker girl scared me because I am on the way to that. It led me to this site. On this site I was so shocked to hear people do it and feel the same way and they put the emotions I feel into words so perfectly...ts amazing. Im so glad for the insight that show gave me but I have a hard time with some of the pieces...those poor people. I worry they will be ridiculed in public, at work, loose friends...and that because they are so deep into their disease they couldnt make a healthy decision about going on a TV show that shows such humiliating stuff (I mean did you see the girl that cleaned her butt? I felt SO SORRY FOR HER) OMG. And maybe that TV show helps but are they also taking advantage of the weak? Its so hard to say...
July 29, 2009
I know this is an older thread, but I was shocked at how it's almost exactly what happened to me. I'm 35. Been picking at my scalp since the 4th or 5th grade! I just thought it was a stupid habit I had until I was watching an episode of Obsessed. The episode I watched was the woman who pulled her hair out. I was literally sitting there picking at my scalp watching it. It was the first time in almost 26 years the thought even occurred to me that 'my' stupid habit could be anything else. So, I go online, look it up and find out that little did I know, but I've had a form of OCD since I was 10 or 11?!?! Shocked really doesn't quite describe it. Although, at the same time, there was relief. No one knows I do this. Not my parents, my siblings or my husband. I don't do it unless I'm alone or unnoticed. Anyway, I can't believe the timing ... things have been really stressful for me lately and the picking has been bad for the last couple of weeks. I mean, not getting to sleep until sometimes 4 or 5 in the morning, if at all. Laying there in bed, or watching television telling myself to stop and go to sleep, and the next thing I know, it's 4 am, and then 5, and 6 and then I'm waking up to my husbands alarm clock having only been asleep for half an hour or less. My arms and hands are sore the next day! Almost 26 years! How could I have never known anything about it? I'm not a recluse! It just seems unreal to me! lol Anyway ... thanks for listening to my ramble!
July 31, 2009
the same exact thing happend to me... im actually in my mid 20's and ive been doin it for prob more then 15 years now and never really knew why... ive managed to not scar my face and other parts of my body too bad but i pick at my arms constantly and its gotn to the point that i dont wear tanks and when i buy shirts i always have to try them on bc i have to check to make sure the sleeves are long enough to cover it up... and its such a pain but ive never been able to stop myself from doing it.... and ive always noticed that when im stressed id pick and sometimes not even notice i was doin it and i can sit and do it for hours and not even realize it.... and ive been watching the obsessed show and like u i saw it and was like... WOW.... im not the only person that does this and was actually kinda shocked!! so i instantly got online to look into it... and it actually makes me fill a lil better to know that theres actually a reason for it... and that it can be helped... and that im not alone.
August 05, 2009
I had the same experience. I am just watching Obsessed that I dvr'd. OMG I did not know that there is a name for this disorder. I am a foot and toenail picker. I can't stop. I love the feeling of peeling the dead skin off of my heels. I also pick at my toenails and dig at them with tools until they bleed. There have been times when I have even had a strong compulsion to rip off my socks and shoes and do it. I live in FL and wear flip flops and sandals pretty much all year long. I am always embarrassed about the way my toes look. Wow, this is eye opening. I totally do it more when I am stressed and want to relieve anxiety. My daughter is trained to yell at me to stop. All it does is make me want to pick more and hide it. I get pedicures and the ladies talk about me in Vietnamese. After a pedicure I leave them alone for a couple days but once it chips all bets are off. I have no little toenails or the second one in..its competely split but i still pick the cuticles until they are puffy and red and infected. I have such ugly toes. sometimes I go at my heels with blades and cut them so bad I limp around or bleed all over the floor and rugs. It is gross. I have googled this before and never found info. I'm just so glad to know that I'm not alone.
August 08, 2009
I'm a skin picker (and hair puller) who picks at every part of my body. Literally, if I can reach it, I pick it. My picking over time has only gotten progressively worse and caused me all the pain in the world. Like many people who have shared here, it's a living nightmare. It's insanity. And it's a double life, because on the "outside" I look like I've got it all together. Recently, I found a 12 step group for skin pickers that has SAVED MY LIFE. I now have HOPE. There is a weekly phone meeting. I'm not facing this devistating illness alone anymore and I no longer have to "figure it out." THERE IS A SOLUTION. Please call in if you need support. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. SKIN PICKERS ANONYMOUS PHONE MEETING - Sundays at 7PM EST. Call in #: 1-270-696-2525 / Access Code: 12128
October 21, 2009

In reply to by mshbuck

Wow, thank you so much for posting this resource. I've looked all over for CPS groups to no avail, so this is great to see. Would you mind saying a bit about what the phone meetings are like, how they work, etc? I've been to lots of AA & NA meetings with friends in recovery, but I'm having a hard time envisioning how a 12-step meeting works over the phone. Thanks again for the info and insights!
September 30, 2009
Does anybody know where I can find a copy of this episode, or when it will air again. I missed that episode and would really like to watch it.

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