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awillistheway , 05 Jan 2010

Tell me about yourself...

I'm going to call myself Sam on here... I've done this for years. I'm 21/ F/ East Coast, USA. I've only recently been able to discuss it with my parents without breaking down. It started with picking at blackheads/ whiteheads when I was twelve. Now, I target anything that even remotely resembles a bump - it's usually just my pores, and scar tissue. I've come to the conclusion I'm trying to dig something out, get whatever's toxic out, that lies just beneath the skin... The only assurance that I haven't always been like this are photographs of me prior to it. It has since mutated into this compulsion.. I've tried to identify the reason for it. There is no history of sexual abuse I'm aware of. I cut my nails to the quick to try and stop... I only find other ways. It can go from minutes to hours. Nearly every day. I think the longest I've gone without it was a week or so. I don't remember. When I finally thought to research it, and found this site, it almost made me cry. I thought I was alone, a freak. I've worn long sleeves in hundred degree humid weather simply for the benefit of "saving face" and "protecting others from being embarassed by me". I've targeted my arms mostly, from wrist to shoulder. Sometimes, my legs, chest, back, face, throat... Always my arms. It's shameful, and guilt plays a huge part in me continuing to hide. I want help. I want to stop. I just don't know how. So there's my story, in a nutshell. What about you?
3 Answers
January 07, 2010
I have been picking and biting the skin on my fingers for about 20 yrs now and I am only 24. This started when I was around 5, I now have a bf who notices this and he absolutely hates it. My parents mainly my mom, knows I have this condition. Its not like I try to hide it. Altho I mainly pick when I am alone, I will do it even when around others. Most of the time I dont realize I am doing it. Then again sometimes I do. I do it constantly, everyday, for hours not minutes. Every finger but mainly my thumbs, they look the worst. I have tried many ways to break this OCD but I have not succeeded. Its come to the point where I need to stop because its affecting the people around me. Sure it affects me too, but I dont care about myself as much as I care about those around me. I know I should care because I should put me first if I want to stop this, and trust me I do. How can you tho, when you have never felt any better about yourself? I use my nails to pick, my teeth to bite, I use tweezers, clippers, tacs, pins, etc you name it I use it to completely mutilate the skin on my fingers. They are sore, they bleed, and they don't get the chance to heal. I'm tired of doing it, and I know I would have some relief, if only I could stop.
January 07, 2010

In reply to by hmf_74

Have you found out anything for reasons why you do it? Do you think it is purely OCD, or something more? I want help, as well, mostly for those surrounding me, rather than myself. I know I really do want to stop, for myself as well, but it seems I usually just want to be able to be myself and be comfortable around other people without raising questions... or hurting the people I care about. I know it hurts them to see it; I think that's why I hide it. I'm desperate to get to the bottom of it, but I have found nothing so far to truly spark this in me. Do you have any ideas of how to become more aware of actions before they happen? I use tweezers & clippers as well. My arms are the same, they have no chance to heal before I'm at it again. I just wish it would end, but I can't find the control to stop... Any suggestions? I can't really afford therapy, either.
January 08, 2010
Wow, I can't believe there is a definition for my problem, and that there are others that do it. I am 33 years old, a wife, and a mother, and I have a major problem with picking at my skin. It used to be on my arms only, now it has grown to my legs, and now my face. I have so many scars, and I too wear long sleeve shirts in the summer time, or 3/4 sleeve shirts. I am so embarrassed. If anyone does see my skin they always have questions. They asked what happened, and what do I tell them? I tell them, I don't know, that I have always scarred way to easily. I would give anything to stop, but I don't know how. I am just so glad that I found out that I am not the only one.

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