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Finally saw my psychologist about this today, had wondered whether to bring it up as it may have seemed trivial? So we talked about it and tried to figure out what it is related to. Anxiety? No, because I do it when relaxed. Stress? No, for the same reason. Boredom? No, because I will even engage in the behaviour when I am trying to do something else. Nothing seems to stop me. Not guilt, not shame (both of which I feel). She asked has there been a time when the picking was less and I said yes, when I took haloperidol (which was to treat tics). When I was on that, it was like the urge to pick wasn't there. Since I have come off that, the problem has been like 10 times worse, driving me crazy with all the time I waste doing it.

So she said the picking could be my brain dealing with mechanisms that could lead it into a mild psychosis, like a sort of dissociation to calm me down. Which explains the sort of trance I go into while picking and the somewhat soothing feeling it brings me even though I feel bad about it afterwards. And it also explains why the antipsychotic worked as it calms the brain down from a hyperaroused state. My psychologist said she has read about a few studies recently about treating skin picking and trichotillomania with antipsychotics and that the results have been promising. She said for some people, it is not just a simple habit that can be helped with therapy. Sometimes meds are needed. Which brings me to this:

My pdoc is having me try Abilify for intrusive thoughts and skin picking. The former is gone, and the latter seems a bit better today (just increased my med dose four days ago). Too early to know where this is going to go, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Abilify can at least reduce the picking to a reasonable level.

Good to know your intrusive thoughts are gone. :)

Anyway, my psychologist said I could ask the pharmacist (because that was where I was going after the appointment) what antipsychotics could be taken that wouldn't negate the effects of dexamphetamine (that I am taking for ADHD) like the haloperidol did, so I went and asked that and the guy there said Abilify was one of the better antipsychotics for non-sedating effects. So I am thinking of going to my doctor and asking about this medication to treat the skin and nail picking problem. If it lessens tics too, that would be a bonus.

But first, my psychologist has set me a task. I am to write down what I think before I pick, while I am doing it, how I feel afterwards (which I already mostly know) and what situations I am in when I do feel the urge to pick. I did say any situation but she said there might be a pattern somewhere to it. Also, that writing all this down would help when it comes to explaining things to the doctor so he doesn't have to start at, "Does it happen when you're anxious?" and things like that.

I am glad I got the courage up to say something today as now maybe something can be done. This has really been driving me nuts.

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I pick my cuticles (the most), scabs, you name it. I have found my fingers bleeding while in public (I sometimes keep bandaids in my bag now), I also obssesively blow my nose (yuck). Im picking my skin right now, good time to find this board!

I find its really a nervous habit or something I do when I am thinking or in most cases worrying.

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Inside of my lips, skin on my feet, palms and finger tips, arms, nose... Probably a few more that I'm forgetting right now.

N

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Finally saw my psychologist about this today, had wondered whether to bring it up as it may have seemed trivial? So we talked about it and tried to figure out what it is related to. Anxiety? No, because I do it when relaxed. Stress? No, for the same reason. Boredom? No, because I will even engage in the behaviour when I am trying to do something else. Nothing seems to stop me. Not guilt, not shame (both of which I feel). She asked has there been a time when the picking was less and I said yes, when I took haloperidol (which was to treat tics). When I was on that, it was like the urge to pick wasn't there. Since I have come off that, the problem has been like 10 times worse, driving me crazy with all the time I waste doing it.

So she said the picking could be my brain dealing with mechanisms that could lead it into a mild psychosis, like a sort of dissociation to calm me down. Which explains the sort of trance I go into while picking and the somewhat soothing feeling it brings me even though I feel bad about it afterwards. And it also explains why the antipsychotic worked as it calms the brain down from a hyperaroused state. My psychologist said she has read about a few studies recently about treating skin picking and trichotillomania with antipsychotics and that the results have been promising. She said for some people, it is not just a simple habit that can be helped with therapy. Sometimes meds are needed. Which brings me to this:

My pdoc is having me try Abilify for intrusive thoughts and skin picking. The former is gone, and the latter seems a bit better today (just increased my med dose four days ago). Too early to know where this is going to go, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Abilify can at least reduce the picking to a reasonable level.

Good to know your intrusive thoughts are gone. :)

Anyway, my psychologist said I could ask the pharmacist (because that was where I was going after the appointment) what antipsychotics could be taken that wouldn't negate the effects of dexamphetamine (that I am taking for ADHD) like the haloperidol did, so I went and asked that and the guy there said Abilify was one of the better antipsychotics for non-sedating effects. So I am thinking of going to my doctor and asking about this medication to treat the skin and nail picking problem. If it lessens tics too, that would be a bonus.

But first, my psychologist has set me a task. I am to write down what I think before I pick, while I am doing it, how I feel afterwards (which I already mostly know) and what situations I am in when I do feel the urge to pick. I did say any situation but she said there might be a pattern somewhere to it. Also, that writing all this down would help when it comes to explaining things to the doctor so he doesn't have to start at, "Does it happen when you're anxious?" and things like that.

I am glad I got the courage up to say something today as now maybe something can be done. This has really been driving me nuts.

I'm up to 7.5 mg of Abilify (started at 2 mg because I'm so sensitive to new meds), and my skin picking has decreased by about 75% since I started it. I've been skin picking for over 30 years (since I was 8 or 9 years old), and I do it for all sorts of reasons as well. Good luck, I hope Abilify is the right drug for you!

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Finally saw my psychologist about this today, had wondered whether to bring it up as it may have seemed trivial? So we talked about it and tried to figure out what it is related to. Anxiety? No, because I do it when relaxed. Stress? No, for the same reason. Boredom? No, because I will even engage in the behaviour when I am trying to do something else. Nothing seems to stop me. Not guilt, not shame (both of which I feel). She asked has there been a time when the picking was less and I said yes, when I took haloperidol (which was to treat tics). When I was on that, it was like the urge to pick wasn't there. Since I have come off that, the problem has been like 10 times worse, driving me crazy with all the time I waste doing it.

So she said the picking could be my brain dealing with mechanisms that could lead it into a mild psychosis, like a sort of dissociation to calm me down. Which explains the sort of trance I go into while picking and the somewhat soothing feeling it brings me even though I feel bad about it afterwards. And it also explains why the antipsychotic worked as it calms the brain down from a hyperaroused state. My psychologist said she has read about a few studies recently about treating skin picking and trichotillomania with antipsychotics and that the results have been promising. She said for some people, it is not just a simple habit that can be helped with therapy. Sometimes meds are needed. Which brings me to this:

My pdoc is having me try Abilify for intrusive thoughts and skin picking. The former is gone, and the latter seems a bit better today (just increased my med dose four days ago). Too early to know where this is going to go, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Abilify can at least reduce the picking to a reasonable level.

Good to know your intrusive thoughts are gone. :)

Anyway, my psychologist said I could ask the pharmacist (because that was where I was going after the appointment) what antipsychotics could be taken that wouldn't negate the effects of dexamphetamine (that I am taking for ADHD) like the haloperidol did, so I went and asked that and the guy there said Abilify was one of the better antipsychotics for non-sedating effects. So I am thinking of going to my doctor and asking about this medication to treat the skin and nail picking problem. If it lessens tics too, that would be a bonus.

But first, my psychologist has set me a task. I am to write down what I think before I pick, while I am doing it, how I feel afterwards (which I already mostly know) and what situations I am in when I do feel the urge to pick. I did say any situation but she said there might be a pattern somewhere to it. Also, that writing all this down would help when it comes to explaining things to the doctor so he doesn't have to start at, "Does it happen when you're anxious?" and things like that.

I am glad I got the courage up to say something today as now maybe something can be done. This has really been driving me nuts.

I'm up to 7.5 mg of Abilify (started at 2 mg because I'm so sensitive to new meds), and my skin picking has decreased by about 75% since I started it. I've been skin picking for over 30 years (since I was 8 or 9 years old), and I do it for all sorts of reasons as well. Good luck, I hope Abilify is the right drug for you!

Awesome, I am glad it is working for you. It makes me hopeful as well. I will be seeing my doctor the week after next and will talk to him about it then.

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So I went to the doctor (GP) about my nail picking problem and asked about Abilify and he said, "Abilify?" as if he had never heard of it. Oh geez. But he looked it up and found it is not on the PBS unless the patient has schizophrenia, which I don't (PBS - Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, makes meds cheaper). So it is really expensive.

So he sent a fax to my psychiatrist asking for his suggestions. Trying to avoid seeing the psych as he is really expensive too. So now I wait some more.

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So I waited ages to see my psych and he went through a bunch of antipsychotics but two of the most promising ones - Abilify and Saphris - are not on the PBS. So I will be trying ziprasidone (which is called Zeldox here and Geodon in other places). I hope this is a good one. Am starting on a low dose as I am sensitive to antipsychotics.

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I'm a lifelong picker. Mostly it's been the skin around my fingernails and my fingernails, but I also pick my scalp, lips, acne bumps, dry skin on my feet, etc.

I've picked the skin around my fingernails and further down my fingers since I was about 5, and still do it now. My teachers in primary school were worried because I used to have great gouges out of my thumbs where I had picked them so badly. In my teens I had a patch at the top of my head that I used to pick and pick until it bled, then it would scab, and I would pick it again and just keep doing it. I kept that up for about 6 months until I had a bald patch there and then it stopped as suddenly as it had started.

Much of the time I pick absentmindedly and find a pile of skin afterward. Blech. BUT, there are many times when I do it with full knowledge and I still don't know why....

When I was a little kid (and this is the first time I've ever confessed this...please be kind), I did two things to satisfy my need to pick when I didn't have any dry skin that needed picking:

1. A light layer of elmer's glue on my skin would dry and feel like dry skin. It would flake off very satisfyingly. My uncle caught me doing this once and confronted my parents, wanting to know "what was wrong with me." Strangely, I don't remember any fallout from that episode.

2. I would take a needle and thread and "sew" beneath the topmost layer of my skin, where it wouldn't hurt. The needle and thread would pull the topmost layer of skin away from the rest, leaving it raised and "pickable" like dry skin.

I did both of those things...especially the needle through my skin. I'd forgotten about that until you had mentioned it!. I did it all the time. Sometimes I used to have thread on the needle and actually thread it through my skin along with the needle.

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I have done the Elmer's glue thing many times, though not for about forty years. I had forgotten about that, but it was much better than cutting and burning, which I did often.

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I don't have OCD but I do pick at my lips and bite the inside of my cheeks and the tip of my tongue. I never really saw it as a "problem" until I saw how many of you pickers there were!

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I don't have OCD but I am very fond of picking scabs. I also hate to admit this, but will anyway, If I find any scabs on the dogs and cat I will pick them off and it takes great restraint and willpower to resist.

I also have a history of trichotillomania, which affected me severely from age 17 years to 21 years. It has never fully gone and I find that if I' very stressed I start to pull my hair out again but thankfully I have really good control over it now and it hasn't affected me badly in over 10 years.Back then I had HUGE bald patches on my head

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I've done this for 10 years. Picking at my lower legs. I have no idea what triggered it. I seem to do it most when I'm feeling indecisive about something-- or frustrated, or if I'm in one of my obsessive thought loops. Occasionally I'll stop doing it for a few months, but rarely. It puts me in a trance-like state.

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I don't think this falls under the lines of OCD. could be wrong but most the time OCD manifests itself as a dicturbing thought with horrible conciciences . Thats just what I have gather since I have been dealing with Pure O for going on 4 yr's

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I don't think this falls under the lines of OCD. could be wrong but most the time OCD manifests itself as a dicturbing thought with horrible conciciences . Thats just what I have gather since I have been dealing with Pure O for going on 4 yr's

You're right.

Skin picking disorder is currently classified as an impulse control disorder. Skin picking disorder is also

sometimes referred to as a “body focused repetitive behavior.” It is also sometimes referred to as an

"obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder" (or “OC spectrum disorder”) because it shares features of OCD.

http://www.ocfoundation.org/uploadedFiles/MainContent/Find_Help/Skin%20Picking%20Disorder%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

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If I have scabs or anything i end up picking, I rip skin from my around the thumbnails with my teeth, I do it all.

I do this too. And my fingernails. :(

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I've had limited success with false fingernails...they do make it hard to pick, but they are such a pain in the arse for doing everyday things such as doing up jeans or whatever that I hate wearing them.

I definitely pick more when I am stressed, or just generally agitated with life...if I can keep busy then I can sometimes distract myself from picking. And sometimes it helps if I try to not pick in the morning, ie. manage to wait until lunchtime, and when I get to lunchtime I see if I can make it to dinner etc...So not telling myself that I can't pick ever again, but just trying to delay the picking long enough to give the sore/scab a chance to heal.

I pick at my head, forearms and just about anywhere that I get a scab. I'm going to try to limit myself to just one location, probably my head as at least the scabs are covered with hair so no one sees them, and hopefully that will give the scabs on my hands and arms time to heal. Will see how it goes.

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Welcome to the club! I pick at my head. I started in my teens and have never gotten off it, although I propose myself to stop all the time. I find it especially embarrassing when I go to the hairdresser's. Sometimes it's worse and sometimes I do it less, maybe depending on the level of stress I perceive at that moment, I don't know, I haven't been able to relate it to any specific situation in my life so far. But yes, I've been doing it constantly for almost twenty years now. I don't pick anywhere else, though, just the head (which is bad enough).

Nutty Woman

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It's pretty amazing to realize that Skin Picking is a real disorder. it is it's own thing. Dermatillomania. Though I have heard that it often accompanies other things like BDD or OCD.

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