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I can't stop skin picking! Help!

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So I have this habit on picking at every barely seen, almost invisible imperfection on face, arms, chest and back. It's like I get into a trans state and I do it non stop without even realizing what I'm doing. If someone tries to stop me, I get so angry and I have an impulsive urge to punch them, which is pretty strange cause I always tend to be so calm and never experience any anger. After an hour of picking at me skin I feel ashamed, guilty, angry at my self at a point that I even consider suicide. I promise myself that I wont do it again and I fail all the time. I'am so tired of running at this circle for more than three years. I'am ashamed at the way I look, I'am ashamed at showing any skin, I can't wear the things i like in sumertime, I tend to avoid going to the beach. My mom is the one that knows about this habit and she tries to stop me, sometimes using violent ways, but it doesn't help. I told her that I need to see a therapist but she told me that I will pass this phase because she knows that I'm a strong girl. I know that she doesn't want me to see a therapist because she is affraid that he or she will refer me to a psychiatris and I will be on medication, which is her worst nightmare. But this habit isn't stoping, I've tried everything, it's ruining my life and I'm starting to feel tired and giving up. I try to lower my anxiety because I know that's the main factor of what's causing my skin picking habit, but no results. Now that I'm having my exam period things are totally out of control, my arm are red and swollen and also my face. And the thing that depresses me more is that where I live therapy is so expansive so it's very hard for me and my family to afford it.

Does anyone has an opinion, advice, suggestion? I would totally appreciate it.

Thank you!

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Your mom is wrong, you need to see a counsellor and possibly psychiatrist for your anxiety. Skin picking is just a symptom of anxiety. In the meantime try keeping your hands busy, I don't know if you have tried that already but maybe having some small you to hold and fiddle with, or a stress ball? You could also try meditation/yoga which helps me a lot with anxiety

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I agree that you need to see a therapist - I think that what you have is called trictillomania, you are definitely not crazy, and lots of other people have this. It's a type of OCD. Don't feel bad, there are tons who have it!


I know this will sound weird, but have you ever watched Dr. Pimple Popper, MD, on YouTube? Bear with me here, there's a parallel... She shows videos of popping zits and other weird stuff, and has MILLIONS of viewers - the theory behind this is that watching these things calms the picking urge in pickers and "poppers," as they're affectionately known. Try it; not sure if watching this would help you, but maybe it helps knowing you're not alone.


Like I said, what you have is a form of OCD and it's a thing, you are not imagining it or doing this to yourself "on purpose." However, aside from lots of therapy and (yes) medication, I would highly suggest starting to exercise a lot if you aren't already (start with walking if you're out of shape, and it will quickly turn to jogging if you stick with it!) and try watching Dr. Pimple Popper. Seriously, I have a couple friends who have what you do and watch her channel, and stop picking on their faces when they do!


Good luck - things will get better, I promise you.

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Thank you so much for your answer. Well yeah I've tried watching those videos but they make me vomit

And I'am also a big fan of walking, I walk 9 km everyday and they are days when I walk 20 km, but as soon as I get home and see a mirror I start picking my skin. I guess I should remove all the mirrors from my home.

Thanks again for your support!

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