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emily , 27 Oct 2009


I am sixteen and im a girl, i have been skin picking since i was in sixth or fifth grade. im a junior now and still do it. i cant stop my parents get mad at me for it and they try to stop me. they say "why cant you just stop? youre mutilating your face and body! why cant you stop?!" and i say i dont know...and i dont know why i do it. then i stumbled upon an article on dermatillomania and thought hm maybe? then read it and gasped. that must be what it is! theres nothing else that makes more sense! i havent been diagnosed with it because i hide it by wearing hats long sleeved shirts hoodies and long pants. and they just say its stress. so now i beleive for sure this must be what i have! so anyone got ideas on treatment or help?
6 Answers
November 02, 2009
Hi, I am a recovering skin picker with 18 years of picking history. Today is my 4th day of not picking at all. I understand your situation as it looks familiar to me. I am so far doing it on my own. First if you can just be nice to yourself and stop criticizing yourself and punishing yourself for picking. Picking is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a deeper problem beneath it. Picking is just the way of coping. I know that for me picking is the way of ignoring the reality, the way of just going somewhere where there is just me, nobody else and I do not have to deal with the real problems, real issues. I recommend first try to relax every day for at least 5 mins. I do it 2 times per day. If I skip it I go back to picking. But just laying down on the floor and closing my eyes I allow myself to relax. Start doing it little by little. Do not force yourself. Then also try to talk to yourself or if you can find a good psychologist to understand the deeper problem, something really makes you unhappy, something in your life is not the way you want it. You need to understand what is it. What is the problem. Why you pick? What picking is giving you? There are very deep traumas behind this issue, fears, anxiety. I think you are already on the recovery road as you visited this site and you are seeking help. What helps me to stop the urge to pick is when I want to pick I do something really stupid like impersonating a horse or a rooster. I just start shouting as a rooster etc. Sound funny but it breaks the urge. Although when I already pick this does not help me. Nothing can help me to stop if I start picking. Really nothing! I totally demolish myself if I start doing it. So I know for me to stay clean I have to break the urge and not pick on anything, not a small pimple or ingrown hair or dry cuticle. I also stay away from the mirrors. I look in the mirror from far distance, at least one meter. I know if I start looking in the mirror I can pick, so I do not. Also be positive. You can do it! People say that it is hard to give up but I think it is doable. Just take it day by day. Ask God for help to stay away from picking every day. Than thank God for helping you to stay yet another day away from picking. Start imagining that you have a healthy looking skin, that you do not pick. Just do it in the morning and in the evening for 2 mins. Just imagine that you skin is healthy and nice and you feel happy. I get stressed and anxious. The key is start telling yourself that picking does not solve the issue, it makes it worse. Try to solve the current issues one by one. Just try to live in the current moment. Take it really day by day. But if you do pick, tell yourself that you are learning and one day you will find the strength to stay completely away from it. So far you just learn to live your life and to deal with the situations. You need to learn to proactively manage your situations and to release the stress. I can recommend some books if you want. The key thing is believe in yourself, do not give up, be nice to yourself, even if you fail. Those who fail they get stronger because they find the strength to get up and learn from the mistakes. Keep coming to this website for support. You are beautiful just the way you are, picking or not picking! You can heal yourself! Cheers
November 02, 2009

In reply to by ang123

Forgot to add. I am girl as well :) What helps me also is dancing. When I feel the urge I just put on my favorite music and dance. Just crazy the way I want. This can be done if you have a privacy of your own room. So you can really just let it go. And nobody can give you a strange look. Just do whatever you want, any movement. It makes me feel good and motivated. Try to pick songs which are positive, so they motivate you. Cheers
November 17, 2009

In reply to by emily

i hate this. it's so exhaustingly frustrating. i managed what a whole...48 hours maybe. and then just end up almost worse than before. every time i try but fail it seems to set me back. at this moment i don't see how i'm gonna to stop.
November 20, 2009

In reply to by Flux123

(From uk) Yes i too have a good day and feel really pleased with myself then find that when i start again i go full pelt at my arms and they look even worse than before. Feel a failure constantly. How bad is this that my 8 year old daughter has done ME a reward chart and I have a cross every day cos I have been naughty picking - that is so upsetting that can't even stop for my daughter. Dont think I will ever get a sticker!!!!!!
November 04, 2009
Hey. Guess what? I'm a Jr. in high school as well and i have the same problem as you do. I started in the 4th grade so I understand the kind of stuff you have do go through. Its almost weird because I'm a dancer as well. My parents jabber away all the time about how i need to stop, and i know i do, its just super hard for some reason. One thing that may help you is try to find something to replace picking at yourself. Whenever you get the urge to start, replace it with something distracting and fun. For example I love to sing and dance. So if i start, i just drop everything and bust out singing my favorite song and dance to it!!! Of course that would be a little embarrassing to do in public so another thing i do is draw a beautiful picture. :) I hope this helps you. email me if you have any success.. or if you don't. <3 alicia

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