Why Can't I Just Stop???

I recently learned that what I do to myself has a name..dermatillomania, except I only pick my scalp b/c I've learned people can't see the scars under your hair. I've been picking my scalp for as long as I can remember..atleast 10 years or so. I always thought I was disgusting and weird and i'm so embarrased by it. I hardly ever get my hair done so people won't see my scalp and all the scabs, scars and loose skin. When people notice me picking I just say my head itches or something. It's gotten so bad over the years that I don't even realize i'm doing it most of the time. I try to tell myself not to do it but it's like a compulsive thing that I can't control, even if it hurts or bleeds i still do it. It almost feels like a high when I feel the skin or scabs underneath my fingernails. I've found that I do it alot when i'm angry, stressed, or depressed, or anxious. I have tried to stop, I even keep my nails short but I figured out I can still use the corners to pick. I've never met or spoken to anyone else who has this problem and nobody i seem to tell understands. Ughh I really need some help with this. Got any ideas???

ShayLuv ShayLuv
1 Response Mar 26, 2009

This sounds exactly like me. I haven't had my hair cut for a very long time because of the embarrassment of having them see the scabs on my scalp. Everyone at work will say, "boy your hair is really getting long". Yeah it is, but it is definitely not nice. The only way I can wear it is up in a pony tail. I hate my hair and I hate myself. I can't seem to quit picking. I recently started seeing a therapist for depression/anxiety and told him, with great difficulty, about my picking problem. That is when he told me I had dermatillomania, a compulsive behavior, a symptom of anxiety. I am 38 years old and have been doing this for at least 8 years, if not longer. I'm hoping the therapist can help me stop this somehow. He was very understanding & encouraged me to search online for a support group so I would not feel so alone with this problem. Because I to feel disgusting and ashamed, even though he assures me I'm not. I would never feel that way about someone else, only myself. I have also been on prozac for 3 months for depression and thought maybe that might help the picking also, but it has not. I don't know if there are any drugs out there that can help. I don't really have any suggestions on how to stop, I wish I knew. I have also cut my nails really short but somehow manage to pick anyway. Just know you are not alone in this.