Dermatillomania Free

I realize this is a small group and whenever I've googled how to beat dermatillomania in the past I never came across success stories which is disheartening; so I figured share what worked for me and maybe it'll help someone else.
So, I've picked for at least 10 years with varying degrees of severity. Picked everywhere, location on my body didn't matter. I eventually got so frustrated that I decided to see a therapist except there was no specialist in my area and my insurance wouldn't cover it. So as an alternate I researched absolutely everything about it! How a therapist would approach the issue and the different types of treatments applied, then applied them to myself.
Unfortunately I had little success, but I did learn all my triggers and did all the soul searching to uncover the root of the compulsion. Understanding of it helped but didn't help me gain control.
So what did help? Please don't laugh at me but I used an app that was free from google play store that was a success tracker. I tried to link the page but couldn't, it's called "Success Log: Goal Tracker". What I did was used the app to list all the triggers I had, which I discovered while trying to do self therapy. So for example I have "no picking in the bathroom", and "incident free while putting on makeup" and every time I did not pick at one of my trigger spots or trigger feelings, I clicked the success log. It was a small positive pat on the back, like "hey you took a shower and didn't pick your skin, good job". And the more I had positive interactions using the app the more I felt proud and that seemed to snowball and made it easier. Plus it made me super accountable for my actions.
I still have moments where I feel the strong desire to pick or search my skin but I handle it better now or if I feel like I may be weak I quickly turn away from the mirror or hurry to do something else and it always fades. I now feel stronger and more in control and keep reminding myself how good it feels to not be ashamed of my skin and to not worry about pop marks or scabs and such. Reminding myself also helps me to no let into the "just this one time" mentality.
This is what worked for me and hopefully anyone else who's suffering and give it a try as well. Cheers!
Annonymous28 Annonymous28
26-30, F
4 Responses Dec 3, 2012

Thank you for sharing! The app sounds like a great idea. My story is very similar and I've been suffering from this for about 10 years as well. But I refuse to let this stupid disease control me for the rest of my life. My goal is to share my success story here as well and hopefully help another person.

This is ace, thank you! I've been picking since childhood and in the past 2 years made slow progress so that I can now feel that I have more control than ever over this disease. I have fairly long periods of not picking but I always relapse, and feel like crap afterwards. It's the awful cocktail of exhaustion and shame that makes it easier so start picking again after a relapse, a vicious cycle if there ever was any! I've figured out most of my triggers but the thing that always gets to me is the thought "Just this once". So thank you, I will try this app and hopefully break the cycle once and for all.

Thank you so much for sharing this, I don't think you're silly for using an app at all- I'm a sufferer and I the main identifiable thought going through my mind when I pick is 'oh it's just this one time' and I've often wondered about a way to give myself a little mental jolt to break out of that thought pattern...kind of like how people who self harm use rubber bands and snap their wrists so that they don't cut?

My top tip is also to take down the bathroom mirror and place all mirrors so that they're about 3 feet away from your face (put a desk or table in the way, or something). The key thing to get your head around is that your face is fine and *you don't need to see your skin up really close* anyway

Anyway I'm going to try the app and thank you again for sharing, I'm going to beat this thing! xx

Wow. I'm trying out the app for myself. Thank you for the inspiration!!! I'll let you how it goes :)