I Can't Stop The Picking...

I've had OCD symptoms as long as I can remember, though I was only recently diagnosed. I have many, many obsessions and compulsions, but one of my biggest is face-picking. This is a common compulsion, but I'm pretty severe with it. I can sit in front of my mirror for twelve hours (no exaggeration; I have friends who can confirm this) picking at my face. I really don't have bad skin or a lot of acne or anything, but this is my ritual... First I pop any obvious whiteheads and squeeze out any goo possible. Then I squeeze at the bigger ones that aren't whiteheads but still have something in them... Some won't pop but I can't help to squeeze at them until they bleed. Then I start on the blackheads. I have a lot of those. They basically cover my nose and chin. To deal with blackheads, I take two coins, preferably dimes, and use them to pinch my skin. A lot of the time, this will make all the blackheads pop quickly all at once, and it looks like a bunch of little hairs growing. I know it's gross, but it's fascinating and easy to obsess over... I do this until I've squeezed out every possible little gray dot. Then, as if my face isn't already enough of a bloody, swollen mess, I take the time to squeeze out any oil in every single pore of my face. Yes, I actually squeeze every individual pore. Sometimes I'll do it five times or so. I just can't stop. It's interrupting my sleep and daily activities and such. I know I should stop for so many reasons... They'll never heal, it can cause infection, it takes up a lot of time, etc... but I can't. Those of you with OCD can understand. It's one of those compulsions that just stays in the back of your mind at all times until you give in. My face is swollen and hurts all the time. That's another thing; I don't even really notice the pain most of the time. I can squeeze for hours on end and feel nothing. Is that healthy...? This may sound odd, but one of my biggest fears is that my skin will someday clear up completely. What would I do? What would I pick at? Oh God, I'm about to have an anxiety attack just thinking about it... I haven't  always been quite this bad. It's been in the past few months that my face-picking has gotten severe. Sure, I'd still pick a lot, but mostly only from stress, etc... as a lot of people do. What I do is not normal and I know it. Anyone else have this issue? What can I do to stop?
dpbg dpbg
18-21, F
1 Response May 13, 2012

I have been shifting from one obsession to another for years and years. The past ten years I've been picking scabs on my head, legs, arms and other areas.

Years ago I bit my nails, pulled out knots in my hair (making myself start to go bald) and cracking ice cubes with my teeth.

It's a constant struggle. I have to make myself be conscious of what's triggering me to do these behaviors.