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SinceIwas4 , 31 Mar 2008

My personal OCD/Skin Picking/Mood Disorder History... Where to go now?

Working all day, owning a business and having two small children around at all other times leads me to pick at night, almost romantically for myself. It creates such smooth perfection when i lift out an imperfection. I habitually know I will be alone. I sit as close to the mirror as possible on my bathroom counter and look at my entire body from all angles. Once it begins I honestly disappear into it. I can't tell you or recall how much time has passed. It is as if I am gone and new conversations, full converstations of other people talking begin to pop into my head. They are gold if I grab paper and write them down. I can hear myself wanting to stop, but it is from very far away. My hands litterally take control of my concious mind and there IS no stopping. I have been doing this since I was about 4. I would habitually masturbate around this same age, until I would rub actual sores into myself that would stay raw and bloody for days. It became so bad through elementary school that I was always suffering staff infections, had my legs/arms/buttocks/face slathered with medical grade prescribed neosporin-like ointment, bactriban. I was always on antibiotics for some infection. My legs were the worst at that time, with sores open to at least the size of quarters covering my legs. It hurt to walk, sit, stand. My treatment was related trips to the pediatrician to treat skin lesions and my mother telling me how bad my legs would look when i finally wanted to wear pretty short skirts in highschool. By the time I reached 4th grade, I was diagnosed with cat scratch fever (which took most of my right legs lymph nodes during a surgery where they internally exploded from the staph.) I have always believed this was less the offshoot of a scratch and more from a self inflicted wound on my knee that I was scared to tell I had made. Since then, my immune system has never been good and I constantly am coming down in times of stress with staph, everywhere on my body. Now I realise that I have a condition that is giving me (for the rest of my life) constant (triggers) situations to pick. Because I deal with OCD with depression and anxiety as an overall mood disorder, The only other successful thing I have found to control impulses to skin/face/scalp pick/nail bite are wearing arificial nails that are too thick to perform the tasks to any sort of relief, or to cut myself using sharp straight razors. This works only so well, as it calms faster and more intensly, but I cannot seem to keep them hidden which has lead to most of the counseling throughout my life just focusing around "cutting." This has never helped me with the life stunting other issues that come along with my illness, such as suicidal and guilty/bad thoughts that I feel are not my own and cause me to hate myself (starting at about age 3, often sexual or cruel), my need to constantly move and organise items and rooms to the point that it constantly hinders others around me (which started at about 7) my need to and use a certain person at any given time as a confessional (starting at about 3) the need to work and rework (or count and recount) something to perfection (as far back as I can remember.) When I was in 7th grade my parents were called in as I would spend hours and hours typing out my math homework (although the work itself was wrong) I would type it out to prevent any other flaws in a situation I could not control. I was called ecentric and told I should seek help, which my parents did not agree with. I began zoloft in college on my own after many painful/suicidal teenage years, as my parents did not believe I should be put on anything as they had told me it would stay on my record that I was mentally ill for the rest of my life and would effect others interactions with me. I also suffered with bullimia, and small bouts of self starving completley, throughtout high school and college. After 2 years of zoloft I was switched to 20 mg prozac, which over the years that lead has me taking 2 40mg prozac tabs at a time and a lunesta sleeping aide each night. Neither seem to be doing it for me, as I now am a mom of 2, a business owner, my mother is dying from cancer that we have been fighting since my graduating year of high school without any remission (malpractice on top of that) and I am still having panic attacks and all types of others obsessions and compulsions. I do not want to give this to my children. I need for things to stabalise for me. I have 2 children and a lot of people depending on me, which often just feels like too much. I spend most of every day doing what others need or want me to do. I work in hair extensions and replacement and honsetly believe it pulls in some of the most unrealistic and hard clientel in the cosmetology industry to deal with. Our extended family is difficult. We have very few people to help us with any childcare other than that we pay for during work. In my past life I was a Journalism and communication Major and worked as a writer/tv producer (I had known I wanted to be a writer from the age of 9, when I had read my first Beverly Cleary book and had known she was published at that age.) Once I was finally working in news I experienced about the most intense version of "old boys club" ever had, traveled back to my home city and started completely over in cosmetology. Sometimes my brain feels fuzzy. With all the added stressors in my life (I could go on and on) I feel as though I will end up completley losing it, that eventually I will go down and someone will lock me away somewhere. I have a very real fear of this. I see similar ocd behaviors in my 4 yr old and it is worrying. I don't want to be this person, as I know it bothers people, which leads me again to skin picking and hating myself and that endless cycle. I talked to our employee assistance program for my insurance and had a phone therapy diagnosis in which they feel I need to see a therapist on a regular basis and visit a psychiatrist once a month for drug and related help. I have so far been to the therapist once, but have not been able to find one of the approved listed psychiatrists that will take me as a new patient. When I went in, I think I talked well about some of my issues, but do not know how to express the extent to him that I feel that my whole body and mental actions are almost 100% ticks of this disorder. I am afraid, because everything started so young with me, that I won't be able to beat it, or that to erase them will somehow erase me, and there will be nothing left. I don't even know what actions are ticks of the mind now, and which are normal, as they all started so early. As far as I am aware I never suffered any sexual or physical abuse whatsoever as a child. My early childhood was wonderful. Does anyone out there have any sort of similar situation to this, and if so, have you been able to find any effective help for it?
1 Answer
June 06, 2009
I can relate to a LOT of your feelings/behavior. My OCD behavior started when I was young. Maybe 11 or 12, but before that at maybe 3 or so I was compulsively sexual too. I masturbated a lot and was sexual with my friends. Some people have told me it was normal childhood curiosity, and I think some of it was, but at the same time I know it had to do with other deeper psychological issues. For one it was to escape my dysfunctional parents. I have read about sexual abuse and how it causes self harming behavior and hypersexuality ( i struggled with anorexia/eating issues from 13 till 18 and still have some issues with it) Like you I had no memory of there ever being abuse. I started researching tho and found that what best describes the type of abuse I went through. It's called covert incest. Im still learning about it and how its defined but the best way i can describe it is this:Your parents rely on you for emotional support and it somehow sexuality gets thrown into the mix (My father is an alcoholic and used to use me as his therapist so to speak.)He dumped all his baggage on me and I became adultified.Like a spouse,a main support system. You develope this over closeness. You are forced to grow up too quickly and with this "adulthood"comes's hard to explain that's why it's "covert" I suppose. But if you have experienced it you know the feeling. My therapist described it as this sickly sweet, mushy type feeling. My mother used to cuddle with me every night. We would spoon. I got the same feeling then. Anyway apparently it's not uncommon for a child to develope some sort of sexual addiction( or other compulsion like skin picking I would imagine) in order to create a sense of being separate. Sexually or otherwise.although in my case I think the picking came more from shame over my sexuality. I don't know if this applies to you or anyone else on the forum, but I thought I'd put it out there .(sorry if it's of topic). The fuzziness you talk about and feeling like you are made up of ticks and like you will be erased without them? have felt the same way. Or like there is too much to be undone... Or that you are going to come undone. Yup I've defintely felt that. You have to keep the faith. Sounds cheesy , but its true. We are so much more than our dysfunction. It does not define us, although it can be a big part of who we are I think. I was once told that there is a place in our deepest fear and pain that is unshatterable. As horrible as the picking gets, or life in general,you can always come back to that place. It's always been with you and it always will be. Even if you don't have anything without the compulsion you have that. Thanks for sharing your story. Especially the part about your childhood sexuality( ive been too afraid to write about it myself). I wish you luck wherever you're at with it now:)

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