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reneemc , 14 Nov 2009

cuticle picking

i have never, ever talked about this before to anyone and i am looking forward to hearing back from some people who can relate. i have been picking my cuticles since i was about 7 years old, i'm 40 now and the incredible amount of shame and self disgust that i have felt towards myself over my whole life has been huge! to finally find some information about my condition amazing. i have even been seeing a psychiatrist for a different matter and i have mentioned my skin picking to him many times and how much it drives me crazy...i can't keep both hands on the wheel while i'm driving, for example or the fact that my fingers are always in my mouth, and he just blew me off saying i had anxiety. i see that i will now need to go to him armed with information that i have found about dermatillomania/impulse control disorder, etc. as for my fingers, yeah, they are pretty calloused around the nail bed. i love it and i hate it, the picking that is. it really drives me nuts! i have new hope though for help.
3 Answers
November 16, 2009
My main problem is cuticle picking as well and I've been doing it over 20 years now. Your doctor is lazy to blow off your revelation as anxiety. Yes, it's based in anxiety, but the problem needs to be dealt with in a different way than GAD. My doctor recommended CBT, along with fast-acting anxiety meds for the really bad days. I was offered and declined anti depressents as there's a family history of dependence on those and other drugs. I've self medicated with marijuana for years and now that I've stopped that the need to face this problem has become more urgent. I'm trying to focus on things outside of myself rather than thinking things through to the point of immobilization. Reminding myself about germs, viruses and things like MRSA that could lead to infection and death helps, though sometimes it just keeps me house bound while my cuts on my fingers heal. I wish you luck and look forward to an update on your progress. I'm new here and looking forward to relating to similar people as well.
February 18, 2010
I have picking at my cuticles now for the last 15 years it gets worse when i have been drinking I probably describe myself as someone that lacks confidence and have never been able to talk to anyone about this proplem
March 03, 2010
I have an answer for the driving - I don't pick my cuticles w/my mouth, unless it's my only option, but as someone with a horrendous commute, I started wearing those thin gloves (for putting lotion on hands and sleeping in gloves overnight?). I wear them primarily to block all the extra sun exposure, since I don't use sunscreen like I should. I have a thing on my visor to hold stuff and I just keep them up there. I tend to pick with my other fingers on my free hand. So this keeps my fingers from rubbing each other, and also out of my mouth. I remember in college my hands would get so sore, but I'd know I had a big test coming up, often including long essay writing. I could mentally tell myself "no picking for 2 days" and somehow do it. I've been picking so long now that it's deeply ingrained. This could also work for keeping hands off face while reading, watching tv, at the movies, etc. Haven't really worked out the page turning w/gloves - although they probably are thin enough. Also bandaids don't draw my attention. You'd think I'd pick at them endlessly. But if I make myself put bandaids on, I leave that finger alone. Sounds like you've have an oral fixation - I do, but haven't really analyzed it much yet. Working more on the cuticles right now. Good luck!

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