Something That Has Helped Me...

 Hello all! I have had dermatillomania since I was 11 or 12 and have been aware of it actually being a problem since I was 15. My mother picks too although she refuses to admit that she has a problem, therefore I believe I have it due to genetics or learnt behavior (since my mother used to pick on my skin when I was young). What I found that has actually helped drastically is telling myself 'i will beat this' instead of saying 'i will not do it anymore'. That is because when you put up sticky post it notes, cover mirrors or other things it just reminds you that you have a problem. Its the same thing as telling someone 'do not think of a white polar bear for one minute', you will obviously be thinking about it because you are constantly checking up on yourself that its not on your mind. Whenever I crack and destroy my face, i get extremely angry at myself and even have panic attacks. So the next time i go to the bathroom or near a mirror, i ask myself, is this worth me getting upset over? And if im really confident i will walk away from the mirror because a pick is not worth a panic attack or tears of frustration. What i think is that many people believe that one day they 'will no longer do it anymore'. It does not happen that way, it will take months or even years of hard work and controlling. If you can narrow down how much you pick per week it will start building up. I punish myself by allowing myself to get very upset to remind myself how negative i feel afterwards. If i am very stressed or i know my skin has been breaking out more then usual then sometimes i will brush my teeth with closed eyes and run out the bathroom before i can have a look at myself. I avoid touching my face during the day because dirt from your fingers causes more breakouts. I also ask family members or friends to hide all tweezers and enlarging mirrors. If they are out of sight they are out of mind. I also remind friends and family to please not tell me ‘have you been touching your face again?’ because even if I have not I will then do it because it is on my mind again. Any reminder of having this condition makes me trigger. Seeing my mom picking, or any mental reminder. I keep myself motivated telling myself i will do better next week, instead of saying i will not do this starting today. Little by little, small goals keep you motivated. Tracking it or reminders just keep the habit around because its subconsciously reminding you of the issue. Instead i put up pictures around my room or near my mirrors of women with clear skin, to remind myself of my goal and how i want my skin to look. By having positive pictures around it makes me more likely to want to skip picking today and read a book or do something useful. 'No' contains such negative energy, and treating an addiction should be done with positive energy. Other things that have helped both depression and some of my other problems has been Reiki and acupuncture. Although it is expensive, it is much more satisfying then talk therapy. I have tried everything in the book, including putting fake nails on, covering mirrors, putting a new post it  note for everyday i cracked on the mirror until i couldn't see myself in the mirror anymore, tracking myself on the calendar, holding stressballs so my hands are occupied when im by a mirror, etc. And what i find is that this has been the method with the biggest improvement. I have also quite smoking and dropped caffeine in order to decrease breakouts and decrease negative moods. In order to solve this problem i believe you have to change your life style, otherwise it is very unlikely that there will be a change if your doing the same routine day after day. Although I am not fully recovered and I still pick occasionally, my picking has decreased over the past 6 months. Before I would pick for an hour every morning and every night and now I could go two weeks without a single pick! When I do break down I pick with care and use napkins so my nails do not scratch up the skin. If after 2 squeezes I don’t get it to go ‘splat’ I take a deep breathe and tell myself to ‘let it go’. I am still improving and learning more ways to improve my condition since its something that I am unhappy about. Good luck to everyone!, everyone has different ways of dealing with this problem and this my input. Hope it might help and motivate someone =) 

18-21, F
Mar 9, 2010