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mm21 , 14 Feb 2008

Parents just don't get it.

Hi. I'm a 17 year old female and I just realized that i have this skin picking compulsion. I came to this website, to sort of vent to you all, because my parents just don't understand why I pick at my face. Especially my dad. How can you explain to someone why you are ruining a part of your body, unintentionally? Today I was picking while he was standing right in front of me, and I didn't even notice I was doing it, and he pointed it out. He said, "Hey, I'm not the one that is damaging my face." I wish he'd be just a little sympathetic, but mostly just be able to understand what I'm going through. I want to stop, but it is really hard. I struggle not to touch my forehead everyday, but it calms me down, and I go into a zone where I just space out and pick. Is there anyone else with family or friends that just don't get it? If so, maybe someone could tell me how to explain this condition to my dad. =/
15 Answers
February 15, 2008
uvinerse it's not something they'd understand, unless you make em read this website maybe, but that's not even a guarantee. it's something they don't understand and therefore something they can't accept. When i was your age, most of the time i did my picking in private or in secret, coz i think like most of us this compulsion is realy something to be ashamed of, not to mention the aftermath of the picking. Actualy i'm surprised you'd even want to confront your dad about it, i think what most of us wud do is change the topic or escape the topic rather than explain this topic to anyone else. But if you are able to make your parents understand the dillema you're in, that wud be super, coz you'd get your loved ones to support you in what you're going thru. Most of us just try to hide this thing from the people around us. But if you really do want to open up, i really think you cud make them understand if you really want to. Why don't you try printing out these articles you've downloaded on face picking from the internet and start showing it to them, i think that wud be a start.
February 20, 2008
I totally understand what you're going through. When I was in 8th grade, I assume around the age of 12, I had a HUGE hole in my leg, about 1.5x the size of a quarter. Well, I went to school and they saw it and called my mom. I actually got grounded for picking at it. My parents don't understand. My dad is a little better about it, but my mom does not get it. She always yells at me and asks why I do this to myself and tells me that I'm going to have permanent scars all over. I'm 18 now and she still has to tell me not to pick.. but she doesn't understand that I can't help it.
March 19, 2008
OK so I am 24 now but was 16 when I started picking my face and my dad was the worst he would yell at me and thought I did it on purpose, but why would I do that on I understand what you are going through show your dad the ocd foundation website get the book the broken mirror and see then what his opinion is on it. Tell him that there are treatment centers for it and it isn't something you can control!!! Let him know that by him making you upset it only makes you worse. The best way to fight your dad on this is to educate yourself, and then him:) Goodluck to you! Also look on show archives on oprah or Dr. Phil and make him watch those it will show him this is a REAL problem that needs help.
March 23, 2008
ive gotten to the point where im not going to try and explan something to someone who has no desire to understand. im just making sure i understand what i have and what triggers it and how to avoid trigger people items or actions . ive wasted too much of my time trying to explain it when i know they dont care the just ask to make it seem like they care.
March 31, 2008
"Writing is the only thing, that when do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else." Hi there! I went through the same thing and am in my 30's now (turned last week.) I explain my scenario in my latest topic. The ocd/sice i was 4 where to go now post. Perhaps letting him read that may help him understand. I also suggest, if you realy do have csp/ocd you pull up some good sites on ocd and print them out and leave them for your dad to read. It could really help a lot and is one of the ony ways I have been able to get through to people that really don't get it (which unforunatley is mostly everyone.)
April 07, 2008
Hey, do you have an update for us on your situation? I'm a 21 yr old Psych student, and I went through what you are with both my parents too, and you totally have all my support. What's the latest with your dad? Try any explaining yet? Rosie
May 21, 2008
As a parent what can we do for our daughter to help with this? I don't know if going for a facial or new hair syle would give her a boost and help her feel a little beter. I know there must be something wrong but she doesn't want to talk about it. I also have tried to remind her not to pick only having her being cross at me. As a parent I want to help but just don't know how. Any suggestions for a parent would be greatly appreciated.
June 22, 2008

In reply to by mom

mom, I realised from reading the posts that you haven't been given an answer yet. You have made a wonderful first step in helping your daughter by asking important questions and I know that your support will be immeasurably helpful to her. Having battled this compulsion for ten years (since I was 16), I can tell you with certainty that it is something your daughter desperately wants to stop, but cannot. That's the most important thing I can tell you at this point. She cannot simply choose to stop because she has a compulsion to do it...kind of like an addiction. I wish giving her help was as easy as getting a facial or a new haircut, but the problem has deep roots. For me, the compulsion to pick comes from an underlying problem with anxiety. It's also a symptom of OCD, which many people with anxiety suffer from. Picking is an outlet for the stress that builds up in my brain. I have had great victories in conquering the compulsion, myself, but they have come with work and learning how to constructively deal with anxiety, stress and the obsession to be perfect. Contrary to some popular belief, people who had wonderful childhoods and supportive families can have terrible struggles with anxiety, depression and compulsive disorders just the same as anyone else. It took my mother ages to realise that and to believe me when I said I had a problem that needed I professional help to deal with. When it comes down to it, it's really your daughter who is going to need to decide she wants to get better. (It took me four years to get up enough courage to admit to anyone that I had a problem.) But that doesn't mean there aren't things you can do to support your daughter now. Firstly, it's important to remember that she's her own worst critic at the moment and that, if she could stop, she would. That means that any suggestions from you that could be taken as criticism will be. I know it's hard to be patient with this, but it's important that you are. She needs to know that you are proud of her just as she is, that you have respect for her and that you are there to talk when she's ready. She will be at some point...the time for talking about it will come of her own accord. When it does, she will need sensitivity, understanding (even if you don't completely understand) and the assurance that you will do what she needs in support of her. I know you will. I'm here to talk more if you'd like. You can ask me anything about myself if it's helpful because I have a great interest in educating parents of teens who suffer from OCD. Just post a new thread in the next few days and I'll find it. The best to you and your daughter.
May 28, 2008
My mom used to not understand at all. She used to make really hurtful and insensitive remarks like my face looks like polka-dots, that I'm making myself ugly, and she's just yell at me and wonder why I just wouldn't stop. Then she became a psychiatric nurse and learned that this is actually an illness/addiction that I have and that I need professional help to overcome this. Since then, she has become a lot more supportive and helpful. She still gets frustrated with me when I pick, but she has gotten a lot better. I would suggest sharing as much information about your condition to your parents from credible sources so they can understand that this is a real and serious addiction.
May 31, 2008
My mum does this too, but blames my dad (strangely enough!!) I think she cannot admit that she could be responsible for doig this thing to herself.... she says that my dad causes her stress which makes her pick (I am the only one she has ever discussed this with) There are photos of her though, years before she ever met my dad with pick scars all-over her legs and face... so I honestly don't think it is his fault, except that he enables her. He supports her unquestioningly, and only covers for her, refusing to believe that she does anything so absurd! I supose this works for them! But I will not settle for this cover-up anymore as I feel like I am being ripped-off from a better life.Good luck to all & go for more!!
May 31, 2008
hey I was just re-thinking about this.... and you are right,parents don't get it, but I don't think anyone does really, I don't even get it at times - lol!! I mean, it really is a love-hate thing, where I rationally hate what I'm doing, but I love the relief I feel once it is done! I mean explain that to yourself!! Hope that all makes sense!
July 20, 2008
I'm 14 and I just recently started picking at my face (for about 1 year). No one else in my family knows because I usually do it in private, not just because it's extremely embaressing for me, but because my parents don't understand. They just think that I have extremely bad acne which somehow gets worse and worse, and i'm scared that if I tell them, they'll shrug it off and just say, "well, why don't you just stop?". But now it's getting harder and harder to hide, because my face/acne picking is beginning to get out of control, and i'm getting scars and tissue damage on my face. I can't hide it much longer, but I'm still scared that my parents just won't understand why i do it.
July 21, 2008
I pick at my skin too, but when I had issues with self-mutilation, I found that finding a trustworthy school guidance counselor really helped me to tell my mom. I know it sounds really stupid to go to a guidance counselor, but I was fortunate enough to have one of the coolest, most understanding counselors who proved to be my best choice. If a counselor isn't an option, try confiding in an authority figure of some sort who has some knowledge on the subject of psychology. Oftentimes parents think their children are being dramatic or irrational. If you have another adult mediate the situation, your parents WILL take you more seriously. Not to mention they can't get mad at you in front of the mediator :)
April 24, 2009
I haven't even been able to tell my father. I am trying to tell more and more of my friends about it (I hear this helps make it less shameful), and my fiance knows all about it and is really terrific about listening and helping and soothing me. My dad, however, is another story. I am a grown woman, and I'm afraid to tell him, because I was raised to be pretty. My parents care more about physical appearance than just about anything. Looking my best has always been required. I told my mom and she's been good, because she has some similar habits (although nowhere near as bad). The thought of my dad finding out makes me want to throw up, because I can just see the disappointment in his eyes, and the total lack of understanding. I can't see it ever being something he gets. It's a very lonely feeling.
April 25, 2009

In reply to by Tweezer

My mom does understand about my picking but my dad doesn't get it and doesn't seem surprised at all. When I was small, my mom ws flipped out and took me to her bathroom to puts on the cream on my legs and I try not to cry or anyhing and she blame on me for everything I've done in the past years. She think I have a infections well, yeah, I have a bunch of infections that comes from picking on my own skins. Until, last March, She changed a bit and she wasn't mad at me anymore so I gave her this site so she could understnd why I picks alots and there is no reason why I should do pick at? She also told me I was using in my head that I wasn't thinking at all when it's come from picking. She knew that I can do it for each day or one day at a time. I've been struggle for so long for not picking at all but it's hard to get it uut so it's okay to start over again and I know I can count on me. It's just a habit and you only hurt yourself but it should be okay when you starts picking so don't pick too much! I only pcks too much in the bathroom or sleeping while I picks at. All you can do it without picking, Make sure you will puts the cream on before going to bed or you will do it in the morning. I think that part of understanding from the parents but sometimes, they just don't get it why they picked at? I'm sure you guys have a talk to your parents or write a letter that always helps you how to feel or having a problem with. You can show them in this site and see what they are trying to understand of your problems or issues.

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