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  • Obsessive Picker: NEED HELP STOPPING!

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    Old 03-10-2006, 12:33 PM   #1
    Divation
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    Obsessive Picker: NEED HELP STOPPING!

    Please, if anybody is an obsessive picker, I need tips and ideas on how to stop!! Last week I posted about how frustrated I was because I picked my skin. Well my skin healed itself rather quickly from it, but just today I picked my skin again. So now I'm back in the same situation I was exactly a week ago. I can't keep going through this. I literally CANNOT STOP MYSELF. I've tried writing things on my mirror's like "Don't Touch" but nothing seems to work. My parents don't want to put me on medication for it because they don't see it as a problem. But obviously, it's a big one.

    Please-if anybody has any ideas....Right now I cut my nails extremely short to prevent myself from picking but I need more tips...

     
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    Old 03-10-2006, 01:09 PM   #2
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    Re: Obsessive Picker: NEED HELP STOPPING!

    I don't think that there is really a method for stopping. You just need to not do it. Ask yourself what is more important, picking or having clear skin?

     
    Old 03-10-2006, 01:41 PM   #3
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    Re: Obsessive Picker: NEED HELP STOPPING!

    I wish it was that easy but it's a compulsion. It's just hard to stop.

     
    Old 03-10-2006, 02:35 PM   #4
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    Re: Obsessive Picker: NEED HELP STOPPING!

    I was like that too.... always picking my face when i saw a pimple popping up and i couldn't stop it. My derm told me to stop picking so I tried and I find it much better.

     
    Old 03-11-2006, 10:52 AM   #5
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    Re: Obsessive Picker: NEED HELP STOPPING!

    I can relate. I was a bad picker too and that's why I got quite a few deep indents. Nowadays the way I keep myself from doing it is to use either the aspirin mask or Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask - with a mask on the face I can't pick as much. Then when the zits are gone down I apply Polysporin to minimize any scarring.

     
    Old 03-11-2006, 11:31 AM   #6
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    Re: Obsessive Picker: NEED HELP STOPPING!

    Maybe you really do have OCD. If so, there are meds that can help that. What I've tried in the past is putting lotion on my hands frequently. This keeps me from wanting to touch my face. Good luck!

     
    Old 03-11-2006, 02:21 PM   #7
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    Re: Obsessive Picker: NEED HELP STOPPING!

    Thanks for all the advice. The mask sounds like a good idea. I might try that.

     
    Old 03-11-2006, 04:08 PM   #8
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    Re: Obsessive Picker: NEED HELP STOPPING!

    Obsessive picking generally is a symptom of OCD. Do you have any other obsessive behaviors?

     
    Old 03-11-2006, 04:22 PM   #9
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    Re: Obsessive Picker: NEED HELP STOPPING!

    Don't feel bad - I have a mild obsession with scratching at my face when I see a new blemish appear, or scratching at a healing sore. Honestly, I scratch and apply either peroxide or an acne medication called BenzaClin (the best acne cream I have ever used) to areas that end up bleeding. By doing said scratch-and-apply routine, it helped my face clear up faster than if I just left my skin alone.

    Last edited by Dark Stranger; 03-11-2006 at 04:25 PM. Reason: Typo

     
    Old 03-11-2006, 07:36 PM   #10
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    Re: Obsessive Picker: NEED HELP STOPPING!

    I'm guilty of this on what are now rare occasions, and I feel really guilty about it afterwards .. The best advice I can give is to avoid the mirror. Keep your hands busy (or sit on them!) when you're watching tv or whatever so you don't go probing around your face, in case you find a lump and then feel the need to check it out. Don't spend any more time looking in the mirror than is really necessary .. it sounds weird but it really does help.

    And if you can really get it settled into your mind that a nasty bloody mark or a scab looks worse (and lasts longer) than a spot, you'll find yourself stopping your hands when they assume the position.

    This isn't really advice, but it might be a less harmful alternative if you absolutely can't avoid physically doing something about your spots - get a lancet or thin needle and sterilize it, surround the spot with gauze or tissue (so you aren't touching your face with your hands) and gently ***** the top of the whitehead. It doesn't help much, but when I can't resist myself I feel slightly better when there isn't a glaring whitehead or a bloody wound staring back at me. Not touching it at all is better than this, but this way will do you less harm (it may still scar, and it might still take longer to heal than if you just left it alone).

    And just don't go near spots that haven't come to a head - digging out stuff beneath the top layers of the skin is a sure way to get some scars. I can't give you any alternatives or advice, you just need to set up some kind of mental block. Try to go a day without touching a spot, then a week, and so on. It's hard, but you'll definitely see an improvement.

     
    Old 03-12-2006, 12:32 PM   #11
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    Re: Obsessive Picker: NEED HELP STOPPING!

    I used to have mild OCD when I was little; I remember switching the light switch on and off to get to an even number. Umm...I used to have to touch things with both hands like if I closed my bathroom door with my right hand, I would have to touch it with my left just to be "even" in my mind. I don't know. Weird stuff like that. I still have a little of it to this day, but not to that degree.

     
    Old 03-12-2006, 06:26 PM   #12
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    Re: Obsessive Picker: NEED HELP STOPPING!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DivaDevilition
    I used to have mild OCD when I was little; I remember switching the light switch on and off to get to an even number. Umm...I used to have to touch things with both hands like if I closed my bathroom door with my right hand, I would have to touch it with my left just to be "even" in my mind. I don't know. Weird stuff like that. I still have a little of it to this day, but not to that degree.
    So, it sounds as if you have a predisposition toward forming habits/obsessions. It certainly doesn't make you bad, wrong or weird, it is just so.

    I know there are medications out there that can help with the obsession, however one must also do their part. I talked to my friend about this after I saw your post as she also struggled with it. She said, she realized it was an obsession and needed treatment after she took to wearing gloves to keep from picking and would end up ripping them off because the need to pick was so overwhelming.

    It goes from habit, obsession to addiction. There is help out there in the form of mild medications, support groups and behavior modification. I suppose when you want to quit bad enough you will do whatever it takes to achieve your desire.

    I wish you the best of luck.

     
    Old 03-12-2006, 08:41 PM   #13
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    Re: Obsessive Picker: NEED HELP STOPPING!

    Hi there! Do a web search on dermatillomania. My son has trichotillomania. They're quite similar and it sounds like you might have that. You can see a therapist for help in setting up ways to block or redirect your attention to the picking. Good luck!

     
    Old 03-25-2006, 11:38 AM   #14
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    Re: Obsessive Picker: NEED HELP STOPPING!

    You might not like my answer but I'm just speaking from personal experience.

    I think the best way to stop picking your face is to treat your acne. If you don't have any breakouts, you will pick your face less. It sounds like you have active acne and if you are using medication already maybe you are using the wrong treatement.

    I think you need to stop blaming yourself for your acne. That's what people with clear skin will tell you. "Oh you have acne b/c you pick your face, because you eat chocolate" etc. It is true that it causes more breakouts but it's not the main reason. The main reason is genetics. I know people who picked their faces and their skin is clear.

    Another thing that will help you a lot (if you can afford it) is facials from a dermatologist office. Let a professional pick your face while it's clearing. They're expensive though.

     
    Old 03-26-2006, 12:43 AM   #15
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    Re: Obsessive Picker: NEED HELP STOPPING!

    I have that obsession. It makes me kind of angry when people say to "just stop" when there is nothing I would rather do but can't. Then there's the whole guilt trip because you're convinced you should be able to stop it. My mother used to say things like, "Your skin looks good now, if you would just leave it alone!" which is sooo not something an obsessive-compulsive needs to hear.

    Spironolactone finally cleared my skin so I didn't have anything to pick at, but I still pick at ingrown eyebrow hairs.

    A psychiatrist has been trying to help me with various medications, but the ones that give me relief from my compulsions also give me unacceptable side effects.
    But most people don't have those side effects.
    Diva, have you talked to a doctor about trying some medication to counter-act your OCD? If you can't stop the compulsive behavior, and living with the compulsion is making you miserable, it's bad enough to get some medication to give you the ability to change the "habit."

     
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