Wow! Neat-o! This Is the Group For Me

I recently joined a group for cutters maybe a week ago.  I knew i had something in common with them, but i didnt know what my actual 'problem' was called, so thats why i joined them.

I am a 'Skin Picker', meaning that i friction burn my skin.  I have been doing this since i was two years old.  Maybe it was one of the first warning signs that should have alerted someone that i wasnt quite right in my head.  I am Bipolar undiagnosed for 24ish years, then diagnosed for the past almost 4 years. My family members had names for what i do to my arm which range from; pinching my arm, digging in my arm, or rubbing my arm... No one thought, 'hey, lets take S to a shrink', lol.

Most of the time i don't realize when i  'pick' my arm.  I just do it and realize it after i do it.  But, then it's really hard to stop because it's sooooooooooo soothing.  Like i feel nothing really when i do it.  I don't think about it, i just do it. 

I usually use my pointer or middle fingers, and my thumb to do it.  I rarely use my other two fingers.   Guess it depends on my moods.  I notice that with whatever finger i use, i am feeling a certain way.  Sometimes i can go years without doing it - then something will happen am im doing it all over again.  I don't necessarily want to stop cause it calms me and i can focus on other things when im not sooo-happy, rather than focus on what is bothering me.  Its like i forget whats going on for a long time and whatever i may be going through can resurface when i am able to handle it.

Its nice that i only do it in the joint of my arm opposite the elbow cause it's easy to hide.  Im not ashamed of it, it's just really hard to explain to others who question it.  But, i hide it unintentionally actually. 

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2 Responses Aug 22, 2009

I do the same thing i have really bad depression and anxiety and also have been diagnosed with impulsive control disorder and recently i was put into the hospital for self injury which i thought was weird because i was really hurting myself that bad but i realized there that if your doing it at all it really is a problem and its hard to stop because its so easy to do but its been three months since ive done it so it is possible!

I dig things under my fingernails for comfort. Usually I don't dig in hard but I have caused bleeding and infection a couple of times. When I was a child I used to do it with my Grandmothers fingernails and she would slap me. Now I am almost 30 and I use feathers from my pillow or quilt or the space just above where the two fabrics are stitched together. Sometimes I even use paper although papercuts under the nails are awful. I cannot sleep unless I'm doing this and when my anxiety sets in, I use my other fingernails - I keep them longish just for this purpose. I have never admitted this to anyone before.<br />
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Sometimes cutting isn't cutting.