I Think I'm On To Something~!

June 26th, 2010, today and yesterday, I HAVE GONE PICK FREE. almost. I have been experimenting with different off-the-wall treatments, and something is working! I'm so excited and proud.. I wanted to share this with you, and maybe this will work too, or it will give you other ideas for other ways of quitting.

first of all, filful's advice is a giant contribution to the cure. I highly suggest reading her story post "tips on stopping the picking". mirrors ARE YOUR ENEMY! they are evil! EVIL I TELL YA!

off of her advice, I started to take notes of places I felt the most anxious and the most need to pick. for me, its infront of my computer, my room, and when I'm in certain classes with certain teachers (even though some of them are the nicest people I know). also during movies in theaters, and in cars with my rents. if your anxious places are unavoidable, just being more aware of those areas helps build the will power to stop.

also a note- natual cures (as in, without psychiatric/medical/medicinal help) are never going to be perminant, but professional help isnt going to do squat alone either. its a combination of the will to stop and the intervention of a third profesional party that I believe can lead to a perminant end. in the line of natural things, I'v come up with a few other methods, as in, the "off-the-wall" ones I mentioned earlier. here's what I started doing.

bandaids. lots and lots of baindaids. my issue with them is that I have sweaty hands, so they slip off if I try to do anything productive (even things like putting on clothes and opening doors). solution- tape. scotch tape alone, when left on a finger for a long period of time, may not slip off, but they fray, and soon your picking at the tape like it was skin. so, why not use both?

I started to equip myself for battle every day before leaving the house with
-scotch tape
-fingertip bandaids
-knuckle bandaids
-normal bandaids
-emery board (nail file)

as soon as I feel the urge to use a specific finger to pick at something, first I file down the nail until I cant feel it when I touch my fingertip to my palm. next, I cover it with tape (cover the tip too! its important!) then make sure all the awkward corners and flaps from the angles of the tape are smoothed down by bandaids. I suggest using a fingertip bandage, then using a normal bandage to flatten any flaps. this way, not only is it physicly impossible to pick, but your more aware of what your doing with your hands when your use is limited. it trains the mind to STAY concious of the hands.

if you feel the urge to pick at a specific place, if its a finger, you go through the same procedure as the last one, but keep the tip uncovered and try to keep it to the joint you wish to pick at (so your finger is still mostly functional). if its anywhere else, bandaids work wonders for coverage, and if you feel the urge to pick the bandaid off with a finger, refer to procedure one.

IF ITS TOO LATE and you'v just broken what ever trans you were in, thats where purel comes in. before covering it using procedure 2, rub purel in it, ALOT of it, or if purel doesnt work, choose some other sanitary product that is going to sting or burn. if a dog can be trained with a shock coller, why not pickers with purel? I know, it normally hurts anyway, but after so long we get used to the normal pain of just having an open bleeding possibly infected wound. making yourself go through something else will train yourself not to.

this for me has worked on scabs and finger picking, but not for anything else yet. I still pick at my lips, or bite at them. I try to keep them as unchapped as I can, and I smear it on when ever I catch myself picking, but for certain things you can't cover every finger sometimes, unless you plan on doing something where you dont need your hands alot. singing for me helps a little, but I cant always sing, and I can't always chew gum wich sometimes does good too (since its not aloud in school or most theaters, which is the profession I wish to go into). 

I can't talk about my face, lips, or scalp, but in fingers and scabs, for 2 days I am proud to say I am pick free... and I hardly have an urge. I havent had tape on my hands for 3 hours and I have hardly any urges at all, and I can control the ones I do have, and I'v used the tape purel method for 1 week.

but the temptation is always there... and I said that its a mix of will power and professional help. one alone can't stop it forever. I showed my shrink this site, and other information sites about it, adn she is finally looking at it as a serious condition instead of just a fluke. she said I had a choice of treatment medicly. hypnosis is a word I'v heard thrown around alot on here, but the other option I havnt heard anyone mention on here yet. O.O

according to her, its an over the table pill thats like a vitamin supplement of B (I think?), only in way high dossages. she said to slowly start working my way up to 12 tablets a day and that has had proven successes before.. I can't remember the name atm, but when the perscriptopn comes in I"ll update this with the name. I just wanted to mention there's other professional methods that don't include anti-depresents and hypnotherapy. meanwhile, improvement is possible on willpower alone. a complete ridance of the urge is not possible alone, but we can control it if we work together.

I would like to also say thank you to everyone who is apart of this support group. whether you realize it or not, with every post, someone brings some new knowlage to the table, and every story is another step to a cure.

June 29th

the perscription finally came in (aka, the vitamin supplament my brother ordered off of amazon.com lol). the name is inositol. its just a supplament pill. I'v heard it's shown promising results, but after a day I can't say much about it first hand. just saying that it's out there as a treatment meathod.

vampgrl93 vampgrl93
18-21, F
5 Responses Jun 26, 2010

Thanks for sharing this.. It take a lot of courage I don't think I've even written anything in my profile page yet... It's hard to make myself feel so vulnerable. Thanks for being so courageous!

I wish I knew how this worked for you in the long run, I'm intensely curious about the supplements you took. Says the chick who's picking at her arm right now. Augh.

Tony Robbins Helped Me to Cure my Devastating Habit of Skin Picking<br />
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I suffered severely from the same problem for years (early high school through graduate school), and as a result I lost out on so many opportunities and was miserable; in danger of damaging my health, carrier, and relationships. Two things helped me to heal and recover: (1) I listened to Tony Robbins' Personal Power II 30-day program (about 30 min - 1 hr each day, including written exercises). Within the first few week I learned how to create such an aversion in my mind to skin-picking that the idea of doing this to myself would make me physically ill. <br />
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Especially the "Dickens Process" - an exercise Tony takes you through early on in the program - which was mind-blowing and deeply emotional. (I don't want to spoil the exercise for you by describing it in detail - but he leads you to feel like Scrooge on Christmas morning when you realize that the terrible future that could have been, has not yet happened. That you have your whole life ahead of you to be a completely new person, right now, because you have decided with all of your heart and soul to be that new person and there is no other alternative. And what a joyful feeling that is!)<br />
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The Dickens Process (Tony leads you through this on the CDs/tapes) made me completely internalize and be truthful with myself about the devastating effects of skin-picking in the past (up to that moment), the effects in the present (all the things I would miss out on because I had to hide my skin, or the time lost to skin-picking, and sleep lost to skin-picking, etc.) and it made me be honest with myself about future my prospects if I were to continue indulging in this self-devastation into the future. Imagining exactly how I would look ten years from now if I still were picking my skin. Thinking about all of the possibilities and opportunities had already missed out on, and all that I would lose in the next 10 years as a result of skin-picking if I continued down the skin-picking path I had been on. I instilled in myself utterly compelling reasons why I had to change, and consciously focused on associating to my skin-picking the most awful feelings/pictures. <br />
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At the same time I was listening to the Tony Robbins program, I purchased some skin products (Murad Anti-Acne – but it could be whatever is best/most soothing for your skin) to create a POSITIVE, healing routine every night. I would wash my face, apply the Murad lovingly, gently, then I would turn out that bathroom light very quickly and lickety-split GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM ASAP. I don't have acne and didn't really need anti-acne products (although in my dark skin-picking days I could easily find "blemishes" to pick at that otherwise were not visible to the naked eye .. .until I picked at them ... then I couldn't hide them if I tried). But you can't use a product like Murad if your skin is being/ has been picked/scabbed (it would BURN!), so in keeping my promise to myself to take good care of my skin in a loving, thoughtful way every day (but a QUICK ritual, then OUT of the bathroom!) I was also committing that by promising to use the Murad every day, I logistically COULDN'T harm my skin (because I couldn't do both - so I chose skin care rather than skin mutilation). It seems like a product like Proactiv might also be helpful, because it gives you psychological relief that any underlying offender/bump in your skin will be tended to by the product... so you keep your hands off. <br />
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I saw a Youtube clip tonight where a pretty girl describing her problem with skin picking described it like a splinter you just have to get rid of... even though no one else can see anything there. That's exactly how I felt when I hurt my skin for years. But just listening to Tony Robbin's Personal Power II program (often while driving to work) for those 30 days (and just as importantly, doing the daily written exercises) helped me to create a BREAK from what had become a terrible, disabling, disfiguring habit. I no longer WANTED to do it; I learned to associate much greater PAIN to continuing to hurt myself that way, than whatever pleasure/(twisted de-stressing) I had derived from it for so many years. <br />
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I remember exactly where I was, the room, the time of day, everything, when I played the "Dickens Process" tape (I think it's in the first week or so of the 30-day program.) Literally it changed everything for me and was a tremendous impetus in curing and healing myself. Creating a new (very brief, then out-of-the-bathroom!) ritual of CARING for my skin was a way to cement the profound change in myself.<br />
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The scars DO go away! (Murad was great for this too, because it exfoliates and seemed to help the healthy new skin radiate through.) Especially if you eat healthy foods (I highly recommend Dr. Fuhrman's book, Eat to Live) your skin can recover amazingly quickly. Everything changed vastly for the better for me so quickly after Tony Robbins' "Dickens Process" helped me to make the decision to associate and FEEL to my deepest core far more PAIN with skin-picking than pleasure. I don't believe any psychologist/doctor whatever could have created this change in me as quickly and completely as just listening to Tony Robbin's 30-day program.<br />
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I am not associated with Tony Robbins or Murad in any way ... but I am deeply grateful to Tony Robbins because he gave me a completely different outlook on everything, helped me to become a much happier and more optimistic person, and helped me to cure myself of skin-picking. The Murad helped to reinforce good habits to replace my bad habits because it would have burned my skin to use it if I picked at all. So I didn't pick at all; I used the Murad to help my skin regenerate and to reinforce my promise to myself (creating a positive and HEALTHY cycle, to replace the old vicious cycle); and amazingly my body/skin healed itself very, very quickly from many years of devastating skin-picking -- when I just gave it a chance by leaving it alone.<br />
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I once heard Tony Robbins describing how he himself had a terrible problem with nail biting, but he wasn't compelled to stop until someone he respected (and whom he had only just met) called him on it and embarrassed him so much, it helped him to focus on associating more pain to the nail biting than to continuing nail biting. But he also made a reference to doing a physical manifestation any time he had the urge to nail bite: I think he would place his hand near his heart, then snap his fingers and right after the finger snap lay his hand on his chest (like your hand over heart for Pledge of Allegiance). I am just describing how it looked when he did it. It was a physical reminder to him if he had the urge to nail bite -- like a scratch in a record -- stopping the habitual recording in your mind -- stopping the habit (i.e., the urge to nail bite or skin pick) by making a strong physical movement that you reserve solely for this purpose. To remind yourself to STOP and think about what your hand is doing. I am guessing the hand over his heart might be a symbolic pledge: a promise to himself made physical by the 1-2 motion of snap/and hand over heart. I haven't found anywhere where he talks about that in more depth; it was just a few seconds when I heard him describe how he stopped his own nail biting. But I really like the idea of creating your own physical reminder to stop the automated recording in your mind when you feel like you are going to go into lala land and just pick the rest of the night/day/whatever, away (as I frequently used to do). I like the 1-2 snap/hand-over-heart reminder. (If you’re away from home, wherever you are, having a physical gesture like this that you can make as a physical REMINDER is helpful if you find your hand wandering toward skin picking.)<br />
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Here is one more thing that I hope can help people who have this devastating problem (skin picking): a way to help you associate more PAIN to picking than pleasure (via de-stressing by picking). Listen to Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture on Youtube. Listen to the whole thing; I can't imagine anyone regretting spending the time. When I first heard The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch was still alive; talking about how precious each moment he had left to live was to him; how important it was to not waste a minute of his time; to focus his love and energy every moment he could on his family, his children... He didn't know how many minutes or hours or days or months he had left to spend with them. But he knew he would treat every minute as a precious gift. I was reeling when I contemplated how many minutes/hours/days/weeks?/more? when combined altogether, I had spent in my lifetime, mindlessly escaping whatever stress/worries I had by picking my skin, to the point of devastating my skin. That's the kind of PAIN that Tony Robbins helped me to associate very deeply to skin picking. How could I throw away all of those precious minutes of my life? What if I learned I had only days or weeks to live ... would I spend those precious minutes completely WASTING each minute by picking at my skin? (Or would I go outside and breath the fresh air, go for a drive, play, exercise, meditate, pray, sing, call a friend, go the the beach, GIVE, help someone else, get OUTSIDE of myself instead?)<br />
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A lot of what Tony Robbins teaches has to do with gratitude; focusing on gratitude has changed my life and helped me to heal in many ways. Sorry to have gone on for so long about this; I just hope it can help someone else like me whose life has been ravaged by skin picking. I never knew anyone else really had this problem; I only looked it up tonight on the computer for the first time. At the time I had this problem there really was no such thing as Googling, nor all of the web resources out there now. But in my search tonight I still didn't find too many answers for this problem, except maybe drugs/psychiatric clinics/groups -- to me sounds depressing and not very promising. I wasn't finding anything uplifting / hopeful or ways to help you to CURE yourself ... Believe that you CAN cure yourself, potentially in a matter of days/weeks, if you WANT to. If you make yourself believe to the core of your being that you MUST stop hurting yourself.<br />
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So I wanted to share how Tony Robbins Personal Power II program helped me to very specifically and intentionally cure myself of skin picking, even though his program is not geared to this specific type of problem (but is geared to help you resolve the underlying problems associated with any type of self-inflicted damaging habit - from smoking, to over-eating, nail-biting ... so it worked for me to cure skin-picking). If you do the program mindfully and focus on healing yourself you likely will be amazed by the changes you can make, very quickly. <br />
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I wish you all the best and I wish you great happiness and liberation from any self-inflicted habits that have caused you pain in the past. I am so grateful that I discovered Tony Robbin's work and I hope that through his work many others can heal themselves: not only from skin-picking, but from whatever other harmful habits we inflict on ourselves. As Tony Robbins puts it, "The past does not equal the future." You CAN change and KICK this habit! No matter how many times in the past you might have tried and failed, you CAN heal yourself with the right tools. I had tried to stop skin-picking SO many times prior and failed! I had been to see a psychologist/psychiatrist whatever they were called.... nothing helped. In fact I think my brief stint of trying to get "professional" help just made it worse because the guy made me feel like I must be nuts and that made me even more depressed so I picked at my skin even more... Tony Robbins gave me all of the tools I needed to change my MIND, my thinking and heal myself. I believe that with these tools anyone can change and create a much better, happier life. I wish you MANY BLESSINGS and rapid healing - in every way!

it really is amazing that when i read this, i have more power to say to myself, "STTTOOOPPPP" and read some more and the "stop" works.... stop reading, well then I need to take your advice he he... but I open up this page everyday and it stops the morning urges. thank you!!!

I'm SO PROUD OF YOU!!! You GO girl! :)) <br />
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Wow. I can't tell you how happy this has made me. I had a mini-relapse today where I scratched at a few things but when I read this it's like- my mind is recharged again. This is truly inspirational. Keep up the good work! Keep posting