How to stop an unhealthy habit

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Things, Aug 21, 2010.

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  1. Things

    Things Well-Known Member

    Warning, this may be triggering. Or gross...this is actually kind of difficult to say.

    I pick a lot, have been for as long as I can remember. I have horrible acme and I pick at it constantly. I scratch at the scabs and makes them bleed. I get relief when my skin feels smooth after the damage is done, when I can't feel the scabs or bumps anymore. I feel relief even though I know I've caused more damage.

    I have scars that are years old now, and recently my back is getting worse. I get blood all over my clothes. Sometimes I've done it so much that it hurts to wear shirts. I don't think about my appearance often, but this is hurting my self image. I can just imagine how someone would react if they saw the worst spots...

    I don't even know what triggers it, besides feeling the bumps. Even if I'm not feeling anxious, I do it anyway. I do it when I'm bored, but even when I'm doing something else I start scratching myself with out thinking.

    Why am I doing this to myself? How do I teach myself to knock it off and let it heal?
  2. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    I don't know, and I'm not a doctor so can't diagnose, but it sounds like dermatillomania. There are lots of things out there that can help, but it will probably be a long road.

    Do you have any mental health support at the moment?

    I would suggest things like wearing gloves? Or keeping your hands busy by playing with something like blue tack might help deal with the short term urges. I'm not sure if you've tried exfoliating, but that can also help the skin feel smooth, but thats healthy (but only try once your wounds have healed) and might be some sort of substitute? Maybe also finding good products to use on your skin to help ease the acne? And also maybe talking to a doctor about ways to ease the acne?

    I feel for you. Its a tough one to beat and a hard thing to go through, but it is doable.
  3. nolonger

    nolonger Well-Known Member

    I'd have to say I'm in a pretty similar situation :laugh:. I tend to blame my acne for some of the reasons why I have little to no self esteem, yayy :dry:.

    As far as I know, there are medications and what not you can get a doctor to check out for you that apparently work fairly well. I've never talked to a doctor/parents about checking any of them out because I feel way to uncomfortable talking about how I look to them. It took me a day or two to get the courage to tell my mum I wanted a hair cut, :laugh:.

    I have it pretty bad on my back too, plus the scarring is shit. I don't have many on chest though, but it can be a pain when you get it on your shoulders(because I have to carry a bag around etc). All the lazer re-surfaceing/scar removal treatments are gonna be a fucking bitch to pay for once it 'eventually goes away', if ever.
  4. KittyGirl

    KittyGirl Well-Known Member

    I have a tendency to 'pick' too... and it's really hard to just stop.
    You have to have reminders and tell yourself to stop when you start doing it.

    Something I tried when I was in highschool... and I admit it's pretty gross XD - I pinned up a photo of someone I found on google image; with the WORST severe- super photoshopped; bad acne scarring that I could find. I used it to remind me that I could look like that if I kept picking all the time, and touching my face; spreading the bacteria on my skin.
    That helped most of the time. Although it also freaked out anyone who came into my room. XD "Why do you have that picture?! gross!!"

    The more you touch your face, the more the bacteria will spread and so will your acne! Remember that.
    If you can get that into your head, you should be able to break yourself of your habit.
    It worked for me!
  5. Madam Mim

    Madam Mim Well-Known Member

    Scum is right, this is dermatillomania. I suffer with it too, but also have trichotillomania, which for me is much worse. However, they are very similar conditions (both Impulse Control Disorders), and cognitive behaviour therapy has proven to be a very successful treatment.

  6. Things

    Things Well-Known Member

    My scars looks like a lot his. I can definitely to the article.

    Well, at least there's hope. I don't have any doctors though.
  7. Ash420

    Ash420 New Member

    It is obvious you will only pick your acne if there is acne there, if it is an extreme case of acne going to your local GP will help as they will almost certainly prescribe a cream of some sort or pills. My boyfriend had bad acne and taking one pill a day that he was prescribed cleared it up almost instantly, but you have to keep taking them for a while after it goes so your body is used to it. I have a habit/problem with picking the skin of my lips, until they bleed and far there is nothing I can do except use excess amounts of Chapstick. Good luck! xxx
  8. Things

    Things Well-Known Member

    I do have some cream I keep forgetting to use. I think we're running out though. I'll see if I can get more.

    By pills, do you mean Acutine? (I'm not sure how to spell it) I've heard they cause health problems.
  9. nolonger

    nolonger Well-Known Member

    It's different person to person. Doctors can usually sort tht kinda stuff out fairly quickly :laugh:. Or I'd hope so :tongue:.

    Accutane does various things to do with your skin. Such as reduce the oil produced, the amount of skin cells(can't remember where I read that). I saw it on a website somewhere XD.
  10. Infinite Sadness

    Infinite Sadness Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure if this is helpful or not..I used to have the same problem, I used to pick at my back a lot. I was given an antibiotic that cleared my backne up by my GP after I explained to her what I was doing.

    I also cut my nails super short, I mean so short it hurt so I couldn't pick.

    Kittygirl's idea sounds helpful to me.
    Having a picture to remind you of what the scarring looks like because you can't exactly see it back there all of the time?
    It would help myself. I use visual aids such as this for other things.

    If you feel it bad enough, behavioural therapy might also be beneficial to you..I have used it in the past for anxiety attacks and it helped me.

    Good Luck..
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