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I Should Know Better

I work in healthcare, so I am embarrassed that I'm just now learning that there is a name for this compulsion. I'm in my late 30's and I've been picking at my skin since I was about 12. I really want to stop, the people I love want me to stop, and I can't. I know people at work notice since I tend to pick at my face and arms. It's dangerous as I work with several patients who have multiple superbugs. (You know, those bacteria that are resistant to multiple antibiotics and mostly live in healthcare settings.) I've given cognitive-behavioral therapy a try, with no success. I'm already on several meds used for OCD. I'm hoping maybe hypnotherapy might work, though I've never tried that. I thought maybe writing it down would help me realize how serious it is and motivate me to change. Any advice might help. I'm sure other people have it worse than me, but sometimes it feels like I'm a circus freak. I used to hide behind heavy make-up, but it really does not hide all that well, and then it forms crusts on my skin as the lesions try to heal and the sensation on my skin is impossible to ignore. I know itching is part of healing, but my compulsive thoughts don't ease up until my skin is smooth, even is that means its raw and bleeding. When I control myself physically for awhile, like in front of my boyfriend, I'm constantly mentally aware of every scabbed area on my body. It's like I feel the imperfection constantly.I guess I'm not alone, from what I'm seeing online. I just hope someone has had good results with some treatment. I was just hoping for somebody to talk to about this, someone who won't use guilt to try to stop me picking.
Beth42 Beth42 36-40 Jun 21, 2011

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