Desperate - Skin Picking ocd

Im too new to this site and so far it seems to be bringing a new distraction and also excillerating exercise. I still can't believe what some people write as it could just have been me writing it! Your not alone at all which I have thought for your years as there are so many others in the world just the same.

My mum had severe OCD as a child and all through out her life with cleanliness (washes hands 100 times) can't bear sticky dirty things to extreme!! It is not as bad as it used to be but the traits are still there!

Its only just recently that as well as depression for 18 years, severe domestic violence in every possible way! and the last 7 years since escaping! that I have
anxiety, panic attacks, self-harm, loneliness, self-destruct, addictiveness (drugs, alcohol, shopping sprees, promiscousity). Now labelled with BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER!

That I actually realised that I also have traits of OCD with my perfectionism in everything! my relentless list writing, but the same as you I self-harm by SKIN PICKING upto maybe 18 hours in a day on a bad day! From someone who had perfect skin - I have badly scarred my body all over - legs, arms, face, boobs, bum, head and private area! Its not cause I have bad skin but I run my hands all over my body on skin surface and the second I find an imperfection (heat bumb) I pick until I gauge and make a whole and re pick and scab and again and again and even pick the scars!

Sometimes I do it without even realising automatically!

Sometimes I do it as I'm cross with myself and want to hurt myself as a relieving anger and frustration!

Sometimes I do it as I hate my self image so much that I think in my head I have to remove the inperfections and it will all be better -- obviously it just makes me 100 times worse!

It has taken over a big part of my life and makes me not want my husband to see me naked or really even to get intimate crossed with alot of other reasons!

I desperately want to stop and would do anything - enough damage is already done - but it still doesn't stop me!

Hope this has helped keep on posting thoughts
take care xxx

Thanks for sharing, I am struggling with anxiety and OCD, and am also a picker. I have good days in which I can stop myself and calm myself down, then I have bad days when I could stop even if my hand were tied behind my back. I too am very scared and dress very conservatively as a result. Sending positive thoughts your way.

Thankyou for your post - its comforting to know that your not just a weirdo and alone in what we do and feel.

I have times usually only when I am occupied by something that I leave my skin alone for a short while - but even then especially when stressed, anxious, panicky, upset, tired - the list goes on - I go to pick constantly.

My partner has tried holding my hands, tying my hands together, wearing thick gloves in doors! Nothing works without even thinking about it or sometimes realising the second your hands are free there you are picking again!!!

Honestly I wish more than anything that I could stop doing it as I'm destroying my body with scars and it's ugly - hopefully its not too late for me and my CAT therapy will help that I start in august or the DBT after that.

I live in hope today - but who knows how I will think tomorrow!

Keep posting your thoughts xxx

Unconditional thank you for your post. I had no idea there was a name for all of this until today. I am relieved and freaking out at the same time over it. I have been picking for a year. Started with my legs, then my arms and back then my face to my chest back to my fact. Now I have them on my face, chest, stomach, arms and legs. Big round dark scars on my legs. CANT STOP! The more I try to stop myself the worse it gets and I have to. Its not like smoking. With smoking if I wait a few minutes the urge goes away, but with picking the urge gets worse and so does the anxiety for it. Its awful. I wear clothes and makeup to hide it but sometimes the sores on my face are so big and deep that it doesn't hide nothing. I don't have insurance and I am done with my savings so I don't know how I can go on medication. I have a therapist thru the county that cost me only $5.00 a visit. I too just feel around on my body until I find a spot that is not smooth whether it be a scab or a bump and then I begin to dig. If its a scab I wont stop until I get the whole thing. If the whole scab comes off in one swipe thats the best high. Its gross, I hate it. I love it while I pick then I hate it and myself. Never ending cycle. Lately I have picked up the pace. I have been more aggressive at it and spending more time doing it. I do it while I drive, use the bathroom, watch tv, talk on the phone, smoke, sit, talk, etc. I even wake up instantly picking before I go to the bathroom, before I go smoke, etc. God help us!

Sooo interesting. It's so much more common than I thought. I'm 43 now. I think I did it because I was scared of having relationships, then it made me feel so unattractive that I didn't think I would have to address it. But I WANTED a relationship.

Finally I did have my first boyfriend when I was 23. It was a short-lived relationship with someone I'd liked since high school. He was a good friend. I wasn't very invested in it at the time, but was very sexually curious. I never opened up to it emotionally. I didn't share my motivations or intentions... maybe neither did he. Anyway, it ended pretty amicably, really vacuously. I took an opportunity to move away for a job, and we just kind of never spoke of it again. Years later we bumped into each other socially, and have rekindled a friendship, I think.

Also years later.. like 10 years. I had a second boyfriend. This time I was interested emotionally. I wanted to have a "real" relationship. I pretty much failed it. I'm about as addicted to my fantasy visions of what life could be like as I am to picking at my skin. I suspect these two things are related. I hope I'm starting to deal with that now. But I digress...

I've been emotionally reserved, conservative in all 3 of my sexual relationships. And one or two before I became sexually active as well. It's like I don't get involved until I've overcommitted completely. And then I'm desperate to make real the thing I've restrained from getting myself actually involved in in the first place. Does that make sense?

Anyway. I've been able to walk away from all of my relationships unscathed, but one. My first deep involvement with a man, when I opened up about how low my self esteem was, he bolted. That's the short version. It took years to play out because I was too scared to even have the conversation for that long. I told him I loved him years after I told him I didn't trust that he loved me (I paraphrase of course, who would want to share the actual words? good grief!). I think he gave up on me after that first admission, but he never said so until the second. It was at the second confession that he told me that my low self esteem was something he couldn't deal with, or turned him off... whatever it was, it was THE dealbreaker.

I think I was unlovable because I didn't love myself, it had nothing to do with my skin picking. I'm sure of that. Still, I was devastated. But I was pre-emptively devastated anyway, because I didn't believe he could love me even before he realized he didn't love me.

I'm mostly pretty good at taking care of other people. But I don't trust them. And I don't trust me. And I want to love myself and take care of myself. When I get that figured out, I will actually be BETTER at taking care of other people that I love. It's just hard. My parents were not a good model for me. They don't take good care of themselves, they try to take care of each other first... sort of. Anyway, they've got a really f-ed up dynamic. It's the thing I need to learn not to do, it's the something else that I need to learn to practice. I hope I figure it out. I might as well work on it anyway. I think that's what I pick my skin to try to avoid. I don't want to do that anymore, but it's so automatic. It's very hard to learn not to do something that you do as a reflex. It IS an addiction, negative thoughts. I think it's the hardest one to break.


Same as you.

I am a confused, irritatable, perfectionist, picker!

Dermatillomania is a hard thing to go through. I recommend seeking help. It really can run your life.

please. im 15 and im dealing with the same problem. I need someone who knows what im going through and can help me conquer it. your rightt, its running my life! please email me or reply back i need support and someone to talk to so i can get through this.

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