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ssw-0760 , 02 Jan 2010

Suggestions to help stop picking

I got a book the other day - it is written for trichotillomania, but I think it can be adapted quite well for dermatillomania. Here is a quick synopsis of the information that I got out of it, along with some other suggestions that I have: (1) Learn about your own individual habit - Where are you at when you pick? What are you doing when you pick? How are you feeling when you pick? (2) Analyze when you pick the most, and use strategies to help lessen the picking. Strategies can be summarized by memorizing a phrase "Fiddling SHEEP". "Fiddling" reminds you that you are a fiddler, and like to keep your hands and/or mouth busy. The book lists alternatives to keep your hands and/or mouth busy (one thing I did yesterday was buy some play dough and squeeze it while I was driving yesterday, instead of scratching my sores, which I frequently do in the car). Each letter in SHEEP stands for something you can do to help: S: Sensory Needs - your skin may actually need some pampering. Do something nice for it. One thing I've tried there is to use an oatmeal bath product. My sores are very itchy, and I've been using the oatmeal bath on occasion, and also using a loofa to massage/exfoliate my skin. I pray before doing this, that God will help me not pick while I'm in the bath! Then when dry, I rub hydrocortizone cream into the problem areas, and get dressed ASAP. Try to keep going and not linger! H: Hard to pick - make it hard for yourself to pick by using some sort of barrier - gloves, band-aids, rubber fingers, etc. E: Environment - if you pick in the bathroom in front of the mirror, be aware of when you're going in there, and only do what you have to do and GET OUT! If you pick sitting in a certain chair, change where you sit, etc. E(m): Emotions - Deal with the emotions that you are feeling when you pick. I pick when I'm bored, and the reason why I'm bored is because there is something I need to do that I don't want to do, and I am picking to procrastinate. I am usually "zoning out" when I do this, so try to be aware (especially when you are somewhere that you usually pick) and not "zone". P: Perfectionistic - don't be! This is not an "all or nothing thing" If you catch yourself picking, do not think, "I've failed!" and then engage in an all-out picking session. Instead, be aware that you've just learned something about your own individual picking. Ask God to help you figure out a strategy to help this in the future. I hope this helps some. PS - Just noticed the date on this post. This is Jan 2, 2010, not Jan 1, 1970 (although I wish it was and knew what I know now!)

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