COMPULSIVE SKIN PICKING: ALL YOU SHOULD KNOW by Imogen Clark
When I was first diagnosed with compulsive skin picking disorder (CSP) or what many know today as dermatillomania, I felt my world had ended. At first, I would occasionally pick my skin and then it graduated into rubbing, picking and excessive scratching. It got so bad that I would sometimes pick and scratch until my skin began to change color. Other times I’d notice that the scratching resulted in scarring.
From my research and what I would later learn from doctors, skin picking disorder is medically referred to as a body focused repetitive behavior or self-grooming behavior. People develop this knack to pinch, scratch, scrape or even bite and stick pins in themselves. Sadly, this behavior can result in serious skin damage.
Purge your picking story here.
I discovered that it is often normal for people to pick their fingers, cuticles, skin and other skin related issues, yet still, research states that only 2-5 percent of the population pick their skin to the point where it results in obvious tissue damage. What’s more, I discovered the majority of people dealing with compulsive skin picking are females. Unfortunately, I was only 15 when I first started to pick my skin. Generally this compulsive behavior begins at adolescence. While this condition may be chronic without treatment, it can either increase or wane after a while. In my own case it grew worse by the day. Below are some facts about dermatillomania you should know.
SKIN PICKING DISORDER FACTS
GLARING SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
To give you an idea of how I felt, these are some noticeable signs of skin picking disorder I encountered during my earliest days of struggling with this condition.
Hypnotherapy can be very helpful and the Clarity hypnotherapy download for skin picking (above)has helped many people stop skin picking. For me, what helped the most was telling close friends and setting myself small challenges.
As I continued to deal with this situation, my parents took me to the doctor to ascertain whether my behavior was a characteristic of dermatillomania or if it could be considered as just another skin condition which needed urgent treatment. Here is a scenario the doctor explained to us that you may or may not find helpful. According to the doctor, skin picking or scratching could be a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder, dermatological disorder, substance abuse disorder, spectrum disorder or even psychosis. Why psychosis? Often skin ITCHING is a symptom of psychosis and people can believe they have something crawling beneath the skin. I certainly believed there was something that shouldn’t be there, which I could dig out with pins or tweezers.
How this condition impacted my life
Since I have been struggling with this condition. I have endured quite a lot. Besides the felling of shame and depression which I had to deal with, there are times when I had to avoid all social activities. Why? Because I felt I was not just good enough. And this isn’t surprising giving that I was ridiculed on many occasions because of my skin. Sometimes people would stare at me so much it felt like the ground should just open up and consume me. That’s not all, this condition affected me emotionally. I was withdrawn and would always want to be by myself. There was a time it got so serious my doctor felt I was at a risk of a corresponding psychiatric disorder. What length didn’t I go to cover my imperfections? I mean, I would sometimes use make up and wear long clothing to camouflage my scars. I would spend hundreds on skin products ad potions.
Medical complications from compulsive skin disorders are not uncommon. When you begin to pick your skin regularly, you may need treatment, as you may develop discoloration, opens wounds, scabbing scarring, infections or lesions that need immediate medical attention.
How to live with Dermatillomania
There is no need to beat yourself too hard or feel too sorry about your situation. Having compulsive skin disorder isn’t the end of the world. If you must overcome this hurdle you’re dealing with, you must first learn to love yourself. I’m not saying that there aren’t time when I feel depressed, I’m only saying that love conquers all, in fact, self-love conquers everything. Skin picking disorder may become serious or decrease with time, giving us all a ray of hope that this condition may become a thing of the past. I have found this support group really helpful.
Thanks for reading my story, Imogen.
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