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    Old 10-17-2008, 07:38 PM   #1
    Faenyx
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    Picking!!!

    Ok, so after a lot of googling, I figured I should make a post somewhere, because I can't find exactly what i'm looking for...

    Basically, I have a problem with picking. At scabs, and my lips. NOT my hands, I have no problems with my hands/nails, etc.

    Anyways, I pick at scabs.. I just hate scabs, I can't stand them. I LIKE picking them, I like the sensation of peeling off the skin, does that sound weird?

    I have struggled with acne problems for years now. And every time I get a new pimple or bump on my face, I pick at it. Then it turns into a scab, and I pick that, every single day.. I KNOW i'm doing it, which is thing thing, but I just can't stop. I repeat in my head the consequences of picking (scarring, not being able to cover it up properly, going out in public, etc) but still, somehow I make up excuses in my head so I can pick it, and like I said, I like picking scabs,.. I don't know. Anyways, it'll get so bad, that it's basically just open wounds on my face. Like last month, I had one the size of a QUARTER on my chin, it was huge!!. and trust me, makeup doesn't cover that ****, haha.

    My lips are another story. They get chapped, and then I pick at the dry skin. And then when they start to scab over, I can't STAND the feeling of the dry scabby skin on my lips, so I pick it to my lips can feel "smooth".. does that make sense?, I try to wear chapstick as much as I can to get rid of it, but.. ugh.

    And yeah, I just pick scabs anywhere. Last week my cat scratched my arm, and it was a small tiny little scratch, but now it looks huge because I kept picking at it.

    I also chew/bite on the inside of my cheeks.

    But yeah, I dunno what to do really. It's NOT stress or anxiety, because i'm not stressed or anxious. And i'm NOT willing to go on any sort of medication whatsoever, so don't suggest it. But i need to know why i'm doing this, and why I convince myself to let.. myself, do this.. to myself. (lol).
    I don't understand why I pick at everything!. I don't think it's OCD..

    Is it possible to just really like the sensation of doing this kinda stuff, and not have ANYTHING wrong with me? Mental-wise, etc. Because I truly don't think there is anything wrong with me, but my fiance pushed me to ask about it (mostly because he's sick of hearing me complain about how bad my face looks, when i'm the one to blame, lol.) And yeah, I don't think this warrants seeing a doctor about, so here I am!... thanks

    - Courtney.

     
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    Old 10-17-2008, 08:33 PM   #2
    katlin09
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    Re: Picking!!!

    Honestly,

    Even though you've convinced yourself that you have no stress at all...this really sound like a form of self-injury...but if not, then at the least you do need to see a doctor, becasue this in not regular behavior, and if you're not careful you're going to end up with a really bad, possibly life threatening infection one of these times. I would set up an appt. with a psychiatrist, or if not comfortable with that type of doc, then your GP. Please don't keep thrying to convince yourself that you don't need to get some type of medical help with this, because it definitely warrants it.

    Good luck.

     
    Old 10-17-2008, 08:49 PM   #3
    eyesworld
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    Re: Picking!!!

    I think it sounds like OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder. There are a couple of ways of treating it including medications and/or CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy. If it continues to concern you talk to a doctor.
    Read up on it.

     
    Old 10-17-2008, 08:55 PM   #4
    Faenyx
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    Re: Picking!!!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eyesworld View Post
    I think it sounds like OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder. There are a couple of ways of treating it including medications and/or CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy. If it continues to concern you talk to a doctor.
    Read up on it.
    Cognitive behavioral therapy... i'm reading up on it right now, and it definitely sounds interesting. Thanks.

     
    Old 10-18-2008, 05:52 AM   #5
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    Re: Picking!!!

    I think it's an addictive behavior, that's why it's so hard to stop.

    Self injury to scab picking, they're mood altering. That's the basis for all addictions.

     
    Old 10-18-2008, 06:19 AM   #6
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    Re: Picking!!!

    Hi,
    This is definately a form of self harm, you stated that you have suffered before, think back, how did you stop then, or have you just transferred it to picking ? A good way of stopping or delaing the urge is to wear an elastic band on your wrist and every time you get the urge to pick or chew just snap at the band, also you need to see medic to get antibiotic cream to help your face to heal. Good Luck
    Maisie-Jane

     
    Old 10-18-2008, 12:51 PM   #7
    Faenyx
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    Re: Picking!!!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AuntieLeela View Post
    I think it's an addictive behavior, that's why it's so hard to stop.

    Self injury to scab picking, they're mood altering. That's the basis for all addictions.
    I definitely agree, I think most of the problem is that i'm somehow addicted to doing this. That's why it's a hard habit to break. I CAN stop, but I get cravings to do it... aka: addictive. So I guess I need to work on "quitting" hahaha.

     
    Old 10-18-2008, 12:54 PM   #8
    Faenyx
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    Re: Picking!!!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maisie jane View Post
    Hi,
    This is definately a form of self harm, you stated that you have suffered before, think back, how did you stop then, or have you just transferred it to picking ? A good way of stopping or delaing the urge is to wear an elastic band on your wrist and every time you get the urge to pick or chew just snap at the band, also you need to see medic to get antibiotic cream to help your face to heal. Good Luck
    Maisie-Jane
    Pretty sure I just transfered it. I think it's a combination of self harm (as much as I don't want to admit it, I know I have to), and addiction.

    The elastic band thing is a good idea, i'll keep that in mind.
    And I use polysporin, meant to put on wounds/cuts/burns, etc etc. It seems to work well. I use it at night, when it's most effective. (I'm not touching my face at night, wounds heal faster when you sleep)

    Thank you!!

     
    Old 10-18-2008, 06:04 PM   #9
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    Re: Picking!!!

    Hi there,

    I went through the exact same thing as you for about 10 years, and I know how horrible it is to go into an almost trance-like state of picking and then step back in horror at what you've done to yourself. For me, it wasn't so much stress as it was about perfection. I couldn't stand the thought of having my skin surface uneven (i.e. scabbed over), so I'd pick until it was flat (hopefully that addiction will make sense to you as crazy as it sounds!

    If you're at all in a similar frame of mind that I was, my advice to you would be to transfer the obsession from picking to doing something good for your skin. I started doing microdermabrasion treatments that peel off dead skin and smooth everything out - a much healthier way of getting that smooth feeling!! If you can, also try to find a medication of some sort (for me it was birth control) that clears up your breakfasts and saves you from the urge to pick your face at least!

    I would also try setting small goals for yourself, like say going 3 days without picking, and see how much better your skin looks. It can inspire you to slowly stop! Clipping your nails way down so you can't pick is also a really great way to force yourself not to do as much damage.

    One last piece of advice - avoid looking closely in the mirror for awhile. Sounds strange but it really helps to distract you from noticing anything to pick. I know that's a hard one though!

    I haven't had the urge to pick for over a year now and I can't even begin to tell you how much better I feel....but I know the hell you're going through with it and how frustrating it can be when people assume you have mental issues.

    Hope that helps a bit and good luck with everything!

     
    Old 10-18-2008, 06:05 PM   #10
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    Re: Picking!!!

    And by breakfasts I meant breakouts...hopefully you caught that

     
    Old 10-18-2008, 10:33 PM   #11
    Faenyx
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    Re: Picking!!!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sunshine21 View Post
    Hi there,

    I went through the exact same thing as you for about 10 years, and I know how horrible it is to go into an almost trance-like state of picking and then step back in horror at what you've done to yourself. For me, it wasn't so much stress as it was about perfection. I couldn't stand the thought of having my skin surface uneven (i.e. scabbed over), so I'd pick until it was flat (hopefully that addiction will make sense to you as crazy as it sounds!

    If you're at all in a similar frame of mind that I was, my advice to you would be to transfer the obsession from picking to doing something good for your skin. I started doing microdermabrasion treatments that peel off dead skin and smooth everything out - a much healthier way of getting that smooth feeling!! If you can, also try to find a medication of some sort (for me it was birth control) that clears up your breakfasts and saves you from the urge to pick your face at least!

    I would also try setting small goals for yourself, like say going 3 days without picking, and see how much better your skin looks. It can inspire you to slowly stop! Clipping your nails way down so you can't pick is also a really great way to force yourself not to do as much damage.

    One last piece of advice - avoid looking closely in the mirror for awhile. Sounds strange but it really helps to distract you from noticing anything to pick. I know that's a hard one though!

    I haven't had the urge to pick for over a year now and I can't even begin to tell you how much better I feel....but I know the hell you're going through with it and how frustrating it can be when people assume you have mental issues.

    Hope that helps a bit and good luck with everything!

    Wow, this was THE most helpful reply i've gotten from anyone, anywhere.
    What you said in the first paragraph, sounds EXACTLY like me.
    And that makes perfect sense to me, because it's exactly how I feel. Like, I can't stand the bumpiness of scabs, I like the smooth skin. Especially on my lips, if I can feel dry skin or scabs on my lips, I feel like I NEED to get rid of it.. Pair that with just an overall addiction to peeling/picking skin (like for example, in the summer, I like getting sunburns, because then when it starts to peel, I can peel off the dead skin, make sense? Or when I was a child, I would put white school glue on my hand, and let it dry, so I could peel it off), well it's just not a good combination, haha.

    I just bought pro-active! So hopefully that helps clear up my face, so I won't have any major breakout problems. And I actually have an appointment next week to get started on birth control. I've heard it can help with acne, so hopefully..

    The goal thing sounds good, I'm going to try and set little goals for myself, and just use all the willpower I can muster. I know once it all heals, and I can KEEP it healed, and healthy.. there will be nothing to pick at, and hopefully over time, I can just stop having those urges all together.

    The mirror thing will be hard, haha. I'm way too self conscious (which is funny, since I do this and it damages my appearance, but I am so self conscious about myself, you'd think I would be doing everything in my power to NOT pick, but instead I do it anyway.. hah)

    Congrats on being "free" from all this for over a year! That's amazing. And thank you for understanding me. I felt like I was alone, even though my fiance understands and sympathizes, he doesn't really KNOW, since he doesn't have this little problem..


     
    Old 10-20-2008, 11:14 AM   #12
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    Re: Picking!!!

    Sunshine is right on the money with her reply. I see nothing wrong physcially or mentally with you picking at your scabs. I think we all have done it at one time or other. As a child when I would get major sunburns (in those days, sunscreen was not made and we would be on the beach all day baking-we are now dermatologists best patients) I would always peel my skin, I would also love taking glue off my hands. Do you have the same joy with candle wax? There is nothing wrong with you, if fact you sound like a very intelligent person. Relax and enjoy life--when is the wedding?

     
    Old 10-22-2008, 07:50 PM   #13
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    Re: Picking!!!

    I'm so glad that you can relate to my story! Believe me...I felt like I was the only one who had this addiction. And when people saw me many would assume I had really bad acne or some crazy skin disease, which made it all the worse because it was all ME doing it!!

    Best of luck to you with the birth control! I'm on Yaz, and it took about 3 months for everything to really clear up for me. I'll keep checking this post pretty often, I know how nice it is to feel like you're not the only one. And just keep reminding yourself you're not at all crazy...I totally love sunburns and glue to peel also=).

     
    Old 10-22-2008, 08:46 PM   #14
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    Re: Picking!!!

    I almost forgot!! The best thing I ever found to cover up "wounds" after the fact was BareMinerals makeup. If you get the starter kit it comes with a Skin Rever-Upper that is a cream to take off dead skin and smooth things out. It's definitely a little on the expensive side, but even if you use a drugstore version I think it's more effective than anything else I tried. Also, Neutrogena has a Visibly Even line of overnight lotions that are great for speeding up the healing on scars and dark spots.

    Sorry to go overwhelm you with advice and ideas here, I just know that I suffered with this for way too long and it was affecting every part of my social and romantic life and I don't want you to! Especially with a wedding on the way=)

     
    Old 10-22-2008, 10:56 PM   #15
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    Re: Picking!!!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shisslak View Post
    Sunshine is right on the money with her reply. I see nothing wrong physcially or mentally with you picking at your scabs. I think we all have done it at one time or other. As a child when I would get major sunburns (in those days, sunscreen was not made and we would be on the beach all day baking-we are now dermatologists best patients) I would always peel my skin, I would also love taking glue off my hands. Do you have the same joy with candle wax? There is nothing wrong with you, if fact you sound like a very intelligent person. Relax and enjoy life--when is the wedding?
    THANK YOU!
    It's nice to see people understanding where i'm coming from, and not just going "You're crazy! You have such and such problems, go on medication! etc".. haha.

    Never did the candle wax. My parents rarely allowed me to use candles, so I had no opportunities. I actually have a small fear of fire to be quite honest. (Mostly just a fear of burning my house down. Not sure where it originated, as i've never experienced a house fire).

    Also, thank you for the compliment! I appreciate that a lot.

    October 31st, 2010!
    Yes, Halloween.. it's a long story, but we're very excited to finally have a date set. We went through about a dozen possible dates. That is another reason i'm hoping to finally fix this picking problem, at least with my face. I would like beautiful wedding photos, heh.

    Last edited by Faenyx; 10-22-2008 at 11:08 PM.

     
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