How do you know if you're a picker

Hi Everyone,

I have read numerous posts in OCD and Anxiety about skin picking and I am wondering what the warning signs are and how it all starts? I pick the skin around my nails when I have high anxiety and stress. Sometimes I catch myself doing it and at times I've had others point it out to me. This all started approximately 5 years ago. I don't do it every day, but I just want to know if I have a real problem and if there's a way to work through it.

Thank you so much!

Talk to your doctor if you are concerned; it never hurts to call and ask.

Mine results in visible self mutilation and is often absent minded, in addition, I cannot usually stop once started. I struggle every day and have for as long as I can remember. All that said, it doesn't denote your curiousity and recognition is a great first step.

I sincerely hope you keep yours under control and get additional advice as needed; I am realizing just how disgusting this is and wish I had more control.

Hi Cdwilson, thank you so much for your comment and advice, I really appreciate it. I am sorry for what you are going through and hope that you get better. I will definitely work on consulting a doctor. Thank you again! Wishing you all of the very best.

I definately agree with cdwilson - if at the moment your picking is not everyday or really severe - please try and get some help in some way to try and nip it in the bud before it escalates.

I sadly pick for sometimes upto 18 hours a day at its worst. I gauge my skin and scars until they bleed and im in severe pain to even walk or get in the shower.

Sometimes its a way of punishment for being the way I am and through frustration and upset.
Sometimes I do it without even realising Im doing it.
Sometimes I do it as im so very unhappy with myself mentally and how i look phsyically that i run my hands on any part of my body to find what i believe is some sort of imperfection and that i have to get rid of it and when i do i will feel or look better - obviously that is certainly not the case - as i feel a million times worse and embarrassed at my marked inflamed and scarred skin - which once upon a time was actually pretty perfect and clear, ive never really suffered with acne or anything like that. Recently I did it so bad that i was unable to walk without pain and caused a huge infection in my lower leg and had to take a huge dose of anti biotics and have it strapped up as even though it was so severe i still couldnt leave it alone.
it has become a total obsession, day & night, whenever have the opportunity (most of the time) my poor husband continually tries to stop me and tell me off but bless him to no avail. He has tried holding my hands and arms for long periods of time the second he moves the second I start again. ive worn gloves of a night at home watching tv that didnt last long. My worst used to be at night when in bed - as my sleep was severely disturbed by overthinking, not being able to switch my brain of thoughts again and again, restless legs, severe shakes, anxiety attacks, vivd memories relived, very bad dreams which i have to fight to get out of and the saga continues. But now Im on alot of meds so they knock me out 10 mins after getting into bed sleepers, sedatives, anti-psychotic etc..
Im ashamed and embarrassed and feel ugly and dont want my husband to see me naked and causes probs with intimacy as ive lost confidence and no how ugly and damaged i look and think he will think the same - its very hard for him but hes still here and continues to try and boost my confidence and give me reassurance and tell me that im beautiful although he knows it usually falls onto deaf ears!

Sorry i got a little lost along the way as i do - My point was whilst its not a huge issue and obsessive or very damaging (i used to just bite skin round my nails once upon a time, although that was after i had pulled my hair out in clumps whilst i was a toddler til i started school - but have only just associated that conection from reading other journals) please find help and pre occupy yourself with anything you love or enjoy doing and hopefully you can stop before it really starts.
I would desperately hate you to have to go through what I do - its really not a nice place to be.

Keep writing your thoughts and let us know how your getting on xxx

Hi Roxy, thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your story with me. I am so sorry for what you are going through, though wish you all of the very best in trying to work through it to heal and recover. You are so right in that I should seek help now so as to nip it in the bud. Thank you again so much for sharing with me and for your support, I really truly appreciate it.

Sending you tons of positive energy and wishing you all of the very best!

My brother has paranoid schizophrenia but he also picks the skin around his fingernails and has done so for many years. I have seen him use nail clippers to remove the skin, or any other kind of tool to dig around between the skin and the nail, and now his hands are absolutely disgusting looking. The nails are misshapen and the skin much receded from the nails. He bites them a lot too. I don't know if this is the same as skin picking, which I have, or not. I don't pick around my nails at all; I pick my face, arms, legs, back. I don't know how this post could be helpful to you. I just thought I would mention about my brother. I would also suggest checking with your doctor.

Hi Birdygirl! Wow, thank you for sharing your brother's story, as it's really eye-opening for me to see how something can start somewhat small and build to something a lot bigger. I will definitely nip this in the bid asap to make sure that it doesn't get any bigger. Thank you again so much for sharing and for your support. Wishing you all of the very best!