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jacquie , 07 Mar 2010

Self Awareness and Self Talk

I have been a picker since i was a kid and now im 19 and i want to stop. so i have started going to an ocd specialist and trying to work through the problem. i have not been able to stop yet, but one thing i have been working on is being aware of what im doing. my therapist has me recognize and record my picking episodes. we are yet to review my log but it makes me more aware of what im doing. the problem with that is that i can be in front of the mirror picking, conciously thinking "i shouldnt be doing this, i need to stop." and i wont. the only thing that works for me is being firm with myself. i put my hands down and tell myself to STOP. and walk away or try to refocus on something else. one night i came up with a mantra "Leave it alone.Let it heal." i know its simplistic but it works, especially when im really getting too deep and i know its going to scar. does anybody else have self talk methods that work? or any other ways to stop once you realize youve started?
4 Answers
March 08, 2010
it's hard, for sure, to stop once started. i have done like you have. i like your mantra, though, and will use it too, even now, whenever i even "think" of picking. maybe i have been thinking something similar more unconsciously to get me this far with not picking but i definitely will use your words consciously now, with each temptation as it happens.other ways can be the elastic band on the wrist, snapping it when you start picking and then changing the environment for even just a minute or two to "regroup", along with self talk.
March 09, 2010
I do the same thing... I'm telling myself to stop, giving myself all kinds of reasons why I should, why I have to, and yet I don't. Being aware of it seems to help it before I start, but once I have it's so much harder.
March 09, 2010
changing the environment is a great one. if i feel an episode creeping up, i think to myself that i must be bored with whatever i'm doing because i have stopped doing it to pick. or i think of stressful situations that will cause me to pick. in that case i'll get up and leave the room or put music on that might put me in a better place mentally. music really can 'change' your mental environment so i suggest making use of that - whatever sounds make you feel good, o.d. on it! when an episode has started, and i'm telling myself to stop while i actually continue picking, i literally have to end it by throwing down my fingernail clippers or clenching my fists and really forcing myself to just STOP. it's easier to just not start, since once i notice a spot or to fix, before i know it i've scarred myself up - and every bit counts. so yeah, placing yourself in a different physical and/mental situation is a great idea and has worked for me.

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