Online Test

Find out the severity of your symptoms with this free online test

allegory , 17 Nov 2009

What's underneath it all?

Where did the desire to self-harm began? I am curious how many of us have had trauma in childhood or inattentive parents. I have done some figurative digging and have realized that I am laden with guilt. I feel guilty about things that I've done, not done, should do. I never felt entirely loved by my mother, she was always depressed and not "present". But I did manage to inherit her guilt. Is the root of this issue for all of us the desire to punish ourselves, to hold ourselves back from absolute success, progress and happiness in life? Because that's exactly what picking accomplishes for me. It's an endless cycle. I remember feeling guilty as a child if I was given too much food on my plate. I felt guilty opening presents if I felt there were a lot of them at Christmas. I felt guilty for asking for new clothes. It's the same now. I am holding myself back, because subconsciously I don't believe I deserve to be completely relaxed, happy and successful. Biting keeps me in check. It draws me inside, it distracts me from the things in life that I've let go. All the goals I let slide out of anxiety and self-consciousness. (excuse the huge paragraph, this forum deletes any spaces in the posts!) So my question is, do you know the root of your problem?
8 Answers
November 19, 2009
Hi Allegory, Are you my long lost sister? OH the guilt!! I feel illogical guilt all the time, perhaps for all the times I was guilty? Who knows, and it doesn't matter how it's explained or how illogical or unworthy we are of the guilt, it is still there. How does one make it go away? Saying you should'nt feel guilty or you don't have anything to feel guilty about isfine in theory but it also like telling me I have to be in love with Santa Claus. How do we unload that illogical guilt? I too felt unloved by my mother. She was a functional alcoholic, meaning she could maintain her appearance and go to work everyday but she was depressed a good deal of the time. She was always off on some trip with her boyfriend leaving me with a sister or relative and even though she claimed to love me her actions said different. She loved herself first, then her possesions, then what people thought, then her boyfriend, then, maybe me.
November 24, 2009

In reply to by Kali

God I wish we could all just get together sometime! I too have so much guilt, some earned some not. I also have the overwhelming feeling that I am not good enough or dont deserve things.
November 25, 2009

In reply to by Kali

I agree. Maybe someone could start a chatroom off-site. I know I'd love to chat realtime with other pickers (nice term huh? lol). It would help distract us from picking as well - having to type regularly instead of sitting here reading.
December 02, 2009

In reply to by allegory

Hi - I am new here and have realised I have a problem and have it for a long time. Funny really. I used to pick at scabs on my body when I was little and then picked at my lips and now it is in my hair where no one sees. I really am not too sure why or when it really started. I always felt like I had to be good and do well at school so felt pressure from M&D that way plus my Granddad and Aunty died within months of each other and then a family rift thing started. I have had lots happen to me in the last 3 years with 3 miscarriages and 2 children and moving lots. I got PND after daughter #2 and am on AD's for that. Not surprising I have depression really when I do this as well. For me it helps relieve stress and I zone out doing it. I thought of it as a bad habit not a "condition". I haven't told anyone....Mum used to tell me off but I ignored her well actually it made more secretive. I am sure my maternal Nana picked as well and she had a breakdown and sexual abuse when little. In a way it is nice to know others have it but it's not great to have another label! I feel I am blabbing now so will see you another time.
December 03, 2009

In reply to by MrsK

I zone out when I pick too....a lot of times I find being on the phone to be stressful, and after I hang up, I "discover" that I've hacked up my back into bleeding sores that never get to heal...and I don't even realize I'm doing it, so it is very hard to stop (It also happens when I read and zone out into the book). I think it must be a type of anxiety/disociative disorder. Only yesterday did I realize why I had aenemia last year.....because I was picking at the sores in my nose so much and they would bleed like crazy...but the I finally only put two and two together yesterday. I looked it up and strangely the info said the picking doesn't lead to anemia....the anemia leads to picking (what ?)..... Also, I think perhaps I am unconciously trying to "get back" at my back, because I had suffered back pain for so many years (in fact, as long as I've been scratching it (22 yrs.)...I'm now almost 42 years old. Last year I had to have my back fused because the pain had become unbearable.. So I'm out of pain now, but I still scratch up my back. All this time I've done things to hide it...always have shirts that are high up on the back of the neck, long hair worn down......but when I know I have to wear a bathing suit or a danse costume, then I do seem to be able to control the scratching for a week or two, just to get me through the performance (I do have to usually put cover-up on a few spots around my neck and jawline). I've seen a psychiatrist for this and there didn't seem to be much he could do. He had me on ativan for a while but I don't think it really helped (I'm also on Prozac). I don't think I fit all the other OCD traits.......but I think I am riven with anxiety....have trouble sleeping. The dr. said I was "hyper-manic" (bi-polar 2 I think). He wanted to put me on Lithium but I'mafraid I will gain weight, which would be ultra-traumatizing to me. Also, I wonder if my hyper-ness is what leads to me scratching, picking to cause anemia so that I would finally feel tired enough to go to sleep....maybe there's a reason I do it ? I'd been worse in the past....used to pick my face and buttocks, now it's only my back, and the spots on the buttocks and face have largely gone away, so I know it was mostly my fault (not just acne)....I feel very frustrated about it, and embarassed since I've finally told two people (the psychiatrist and my husband). Now he will chide me if he sees me touch my back and I feel such a horrible sense of I usually do it when he's not around......
November 28, 2009
Yes the guilt! Everyday when I step into the bus to my courses at the university, I feel guilty for the bus driver, because I am so privilaged as to study. Then I feel guilty because it's so stupid and wrong of me to automatically think that everyone else would dislike their job and want my life. Really, everyone doesn't want to study. Then I feel guilt everytime I walk past an old person, because they walk so slow and I am able to walk so much faster! That is really hilarious. :D Before, I used to slow down my steps, but nowadays I don't accept that anymore. My mother was also deeply depressed, and tried suicide, so she could as well be dead today. I accuse my father for that and I will never forgive him. He was a total lier and never true to my mum, not even when she was pregnant or when the child was newly born. To me, my dad is a killer. My mom wasn't always able to love me and used to get fits and hurt me physically. But I've never lacked loving my mom so deeply. I will post later when I come to think of more silly everyday guilt issues! :)
November 30, 2009
Guilt, shame, embarrassment, and depression. My problem stems from anxiety. I did have parents who were very inattentive. I always felt invisible as a kid, and appearance-wise have always had low self esteem. I've tried to overcompensate in other ways (grades, jobs, overachiever, perfectionist). The irony is that when I am objective, I know that I am not bad looking - except for the sores on my face that are self-inflicted!! It's crazy and stupid...and knowing that just makes me feel more ashamed and more depressed. What a vicious cycle. :-(

Start your journey with SkinPick

Take control of your life and find freedom from skin picking through professional therapy and evidence-based behavioral techniques.

Start Now