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vancouver , 16 Apr 2008

Possible help

Hi, I'm new here and I have been picking my scalp for 15 years (I'm 32). It gets worse and then better but since I do it so subconsciously I'm not sure what the triggers are. Right now I'm doing it a lot, so much so that I tried going to a hypnotherapist to stop. It didn't work, so I've been doing some internet research. He said the problem was common, but I've never seen anyone else doing it! The scabs are getting worse on my head and I'm always embarrassed to go to the hair salon. I used to tell my stylist that I hit my head on something, but now I don't bother saying anything. Anyway, I'm relieved to find so many others here, some younger and some older than me I've learned that it's possibly OCD related, something the hypno guy didn't say. I'm an addict & alcoholic in recovery so I'm definitely prone to addictive destructive behaviours. Anyhow, lately I've been trying some suggestions to try and stop this annoying, embarrassing habit. 1. I have tried the ointment on the head thing - polysporin on my main obvious spots so I at least can part my hair w/o anyone seeing them. 2. I have found that simply *holding* something helps keep my hands doing something else. Something like a pen or key, or whatever. Of course I find myself putting down the pen and scratching my head, but when I notice, I just try and pick up the pen again...MAN is it hard!! Isn't this a weird obsessive thing?! I do it a LOT when on the phone and am working on that one. 3. Wearing hats of course helps immensely, so I do that a lot. I came across this interesting website from wikipedia: which has some information about the problem and some treatment methods. Good luck everyone and I'll check back to see if anyone else has managed to quit! I'd settle for substitution for something else...except smoking ;-) or over eating...(I guess it could be worse)
1 Answer
April 16, 2008
More help comes from wikipedia on the OCD site: Behavioral therapy The specific technique used in BT/CBT is called exposure and ritual prevention (also known as "exposure and response prevention") or ERP; this involves gradually learning to tolerate the anxiety associated with not performing the ritual behavior. This has been demonstrated to be the most effective treatment for OCD. Studies have also been done that show nutrition deficiencies may also contribute to OCD and other mental disorders. Certain vitamin and mineral supplements may aid in such disorders and provide the nutrients necessary for proper mental functioning. When I find more I'll post it, but it looks like I'd better make an appointment with a cognitive behavioural therapist! sheesh Here's another person's trick, found on another forum "I tried everything, but what finally worked for me is a slow retreat, meaning I began restricted myself more and more. First it was a time limitation... only 5 min in the bathroom. Then it was a look limitation.. only certain blemishes were allowed to be touched. Then it was a tool limitation... I could only use this blackhead popper I had (I used to go crazy with my nails, digging into my skin). I found that as my skin got cleaner and cleaner, it was easier not to pick. I think that when you have scabs on your face, you think "one more isn't going to make it look any worse." But when you have no blemishes, and you know touching your skin will cause more.. you restrain."

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