Doing What I Know Keeps Me From Feeling Happy

I have always been a chronic compulsive skin picker. I pick my scalp. I pick at whatever even remotely resembles a bump on my upper arms...and even my breasts.

It is influencing what I wear. It is influencing my sex life. I don't feel confident about how I look. I am covered in scars. I always get stressed and angry for doing it to myself. Why can't I stop? My mother always scolded me for doing it and then I would scream of frustration! I don't need her reminding me of the one thing I don't seem to be able to control!

I am glad I am here on this website and that I discovered that what I am doing actually has a name...I would love to share some experiences with you.  We all need each others support.

I so much want to make a change in my life and stop this nasty habit.  I don't want to look in the mirror anymore... I consciously hide from the mirror everytime I get out of the shower.  I always wash with anti-bacterial soap to try and keep my skin clean, because the sores can so easily become infected again...

*******

Sunday, 20 Feb - I haven't picked at myself for about a week now.. I feel so good... my self-confidence is really coming back.. I feel great and beautiful again... and this is motivating me even more to continue with working on it... I am getting rid of tension and things that cause depression in my life...

It's possible to change.. I am living proof!  You have to accept the scars and recognize the beauty that you are underneath before you can make the change.

 

PixieGirlie PixieGirlie
26-30, F
4 Responses Feb 16, 2010

Hi Paradox24. Thank you from my side for all of the support. You sound so awesome! I totally relate to the episode you had regarding the top you wanted to wear, but then couldn't... It happens to me all the time... It also really sucks when you are standing in a clothing store and you want to buy something that looks so pretty on you, but then your skin is not pretty enough for it... that happened a lot as well.<br />
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You are so lucky to have a fiance that loves you so unconditionally. I can understand how you want to change not only for yourself, but for him as well. It's important though that you don't just do it for him, but for yourself too, but I don't think that is what you are doing. I think you do have your head screwed on straight heheh.<br />
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I really enjoy having a friend who understands the turmoil of what we are going through with this problem.<br />
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So far I am doing good too... I have had a minor relapse last night while getting annoyed with my kitten for jumping on all my furniture and running crazily around the house while I just wanted to relax from a hard day at work, but I just locked her up in the garage for a while until I could relax. I am okay now.. haven't scratched and picked at skin yet... It's important to stay calm and relaxed...It's the stress that helps the problem along so try to minimize stress and trouble in your day! Or walk away if you are going to tense up.<br />
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Congratulations on lasting another day so far!! Well done.<br />
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We can send private messages from now on to stay in contact.. what you think?

Hiya PixieGirlie,<br />
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Thanks for your post. I saw that you had become my fan and I wanted to become your fan too, but I have no idea what I'm doing properly on this website yet and I clicked a few things but I don't think it did it. But anyway, I will just tell you now that I am your fan despite not being able to find the button that lets me do it on the website. <br />
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It sounds like you have got lots of ways of dealing with the urge to pick, which is great. I like the massage one, and I might try this myself when things get bad (because I know they will). I have managed to leave my skin alone all day so I can cross my day off tonight on my little chart, yey! <br />
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I'll let you know how I get on with the challenge and I would also love to hear how you are doing as well. Don't worry, I will not hound you all the time and annoy you, but I have replied to you today just through the sheer shock that I have actually had contact with someone who suffers with the same disorder that I do. It is quite surreal to finally have solid proof that it isn't just me that picks my skin. It's sort of like, I knew that I wasn't the only one with dermatillomania but now there is writing from someone proving that this is true. Also what you wrote, about when you found out that it was a disorder with a name. I know what you mean, its like a massive shift takes place and the whole perseption of what we are doing changes.<br />
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I also know what you mean about wanting to feel sexy and wear what you want without feeling restricted as to what you can wear and how much skin you can show. There have been times when I have gone to meet one of my friends in town and got excited about wearing a particular top, then I have picked myself and I can't wear it, and I get absolutely furious with myself. It's like I am taking away my own freedom. I also feel uncomfortable when my boyfriend sees me naked when I have picked. This really gets to me because we have been together for nearly 8 years and we are engaged and I hate the fact that I want to hide myself from him and I force myself not to when I can. It's just that I feel really ashamed and I think he will think I am disgusting. He actually doesn't think this but I also don't want him to feel sorry for me.<br />
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I hope everything is going good for you, keep doing your breathing and beating those urges, because you were right what you said in the other message you sent, we can think our way out of this. We can't be like this forever, we just can't, and you deserve not to be picked and are worth this change. I have faith in you that you will be able to beat this, and I hope I can too.<br />
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Take care of yourself and I would love to hear how you are getting on xxx

Hi Paradox24! Thank you so much for commenting. Just like you said, I also understand your pain. It really is awful what we do sometimes to get rid of stress, or whatever. And in a sense there is really nothing wrong with us except that our natural tendencies are to release stress in a very destructive way. I have been doing it for a couple of years now. I've been doing it since high school.<br />
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The 30day challenge is really a good thing to attempt. Currently I am also trying to quit as far as I can. Because I know now that there is a name for what we do, I am much more aware of the fact that it is a condition that there must be a cure for. So far I am feeling good... I have had instances these last couple of days where I get really anxious and then I try to focus on breathing, but it is important to keep focus. I tend to force myself to not uncover my breasts in order to mutilate or touch my skin too much as it gives me too much of a taste of how good it feels so I try to stay clear. I also try to massage my arms when I want to scratch i.e. when the urge comes and I have to touch my skin I force myself to rub my arms so I still can feel some pressure...well... you know it is not the same, but it works... it's like using artificial sweetener in coffee instead of having sugar! hehe<br />
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please keep me posted on how you are doing? let's try and beat this thing together. I also want to feel confident and sexy and beautiful when I wear strapless tops or gets into a bikini. I want to get in the sun and get a tan and even though I don't have a boyfriend now, I want the future man in my life to one day think that my body is touchable and healed and just perfect.

I wish I could have been so open when I posted my story, I pick in the same places on my body as you (although not as much on my scalp) but I didn't feel confident enough to disclose it. You are so brave to be so honest and it inspired me. I am wanting to stop as well, and I found a woman on you tube who did a 30 day challenge without skin picking. I decided that I wanted to have a go at doing this as I have tried all sorts to try and stop the picking and I can never do it. This is only day one and its already really hard :-( Anyway I felt as though I had to reply to your post because I strongly related to what you had said, in the first part of your writing especially. Having dermatillomania is a horrendous thing to go through and you are right, we all need each other's support. Thank you for inspiring me xxx