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Dermatillomania and BDD


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For those that dont know about these things, http://en.wikipedia....Dermatillomania http://en.wikipedia....orphic_disorder

!!!!!!!!!WARNING!!!!!!!!!!! could be a TRIGGER, i dont know.

Hello lovely people, its only over the past few days ive realised that i do actually engage in a form of self harm. Not your typical, common type, but self harm none the less. Ive picked the skin off my fingers since as long as i can remember but its only over the last year that its moved to other parts of my body and it gets very extreme. Youll all probably think im a nutter and i dont blame you, but i literally CANNOT stop doing it. Its sooooo satisfying its unreal! Thats not all, carry on reading. I havnt told my doctor about it because i thought it was just a kind of 'side effect' of OCD, not a disorder in itself. Im going to when i see him next which is on the 12th february. Basically what I do, is stick a knife as far into my skin as my pain threshold lets me and just rip it away, its incredibly, INCREDIBLY painful but i cant stop. Its moved from my fingers to pretty much every area on my feet, it looks disgusting and it drips blood like a tap, today it was to the extent where i psyhically couldnt walk, i also do it on my scalp. It leaves dry blood patches, callouses and makes every day things very painful. Today ive spent pretty much all day doing it and my feet are red raw, one foot is down to the 6th layer of skin. It interferes with daily life and it is actually an addiction, pathetic i know. Anyway, was just wondering if anyone has any experiance with this, or any adivce on how to stop until i see my doctor. Sorry for the vileness.

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if you stick a knife in your skin, I don't think that is dermatillomania, but rather reguular old SI. I pick my skin compulsively, which may be dermatillomania or ocd related. I don't use a knife, I use my finger nails.

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The line between Dermatillomania and SI is a fine one. I've been picking at my skin (both with my nails and with various tools) for over half my life; for me, it was a kind of preliminary SI, I think. I started doing it long ago both because it was calming, and because, like you, I got a huge satisfaction out of it.

What I advise is, first and foremost, get shed of the tools you use. Throw them away, give them to someone you trust to hold them for you, put em in a safe deposit box...whatever. I keep mine in a case in my desk at work. That gets them away from where I can get to them, and then, if I do give into the urge to start picking, I have nothing but my nails. Second thing I'd advise, obviously, is trim your nails a little. They don't have to be super short, but it's pretty difficult to do any major harm that way. I also play amateur guitar, and to that purpose I had acrylic nails put on my strumming hand. I found out those worked really well at stopping my picking habit in its tracks; the acrylic nails are too thick and blunt to do anything with.

It seems to me that, just like SI, the biggest help you could give yourself for this would be a combination of moral support and effective distraction. Have you tried drawing on yourself? I don't find this much good for the SI, but it does seem to ease the picking habit. Those drawings occasionally end up pretty detailed, haha. Sometimes I find it helpful to direct my destructive urges onto something else--shredding paper, for example. I love scratch boards, too. If you don't already know what that is, it's basically a piece of matting or heavy cardboard with two layers of coloring on it, and you can scratch away the top layer to show the color underneath. It's a cool alternative to sketching or drawing that I've found strangely helpful against the picking urges.

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I love scratch boards, too. If you don't already know what that is, it's basically a piece of matting or heavy cardboard with two layers of coloring on it, and you can scratch away the top layer to show the color underneath. It's a cool alternative to sketching or drawing that I've found strangely helpful against the picking urges.

this idea has some potential for me. are these expensive? do you have a link or a photo of them that I can look at for reference?

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Oh I love scratch boards. You can get them at any art store, that is a wonderful, crafty coping skill. They are black paper and under is all sorts of rainbow colors and they give you a tool/pick to scratch away the black.

You can end up with cool designs and a feeling of satisfaction.

They are very cheap at Micheal's I use them with my kids at work someetimes.

Good idea!

Anna

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I paid 15 bucks for the "fancy" tool set with an assortment of different picks, and the scratch boards themselves generally don't run more than a couple of bucks, depending on the size of the board and so forth. The craft section at Wal-mart here used to carry them, but now I get them at the art supply store. It's possible to crosshatch and detail a scratch board drawing such that it is every bit as beautiful as a pencil and blending stub sketch. Mine are not that fancy, haha.

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Yes, this is the same kind of thing. The ones I get are blank, without the pre-drawn designs on them. The art supply store I frequent carries Dick Blick brand, which is a pretty good company. They have colored ink or sometimes clay underneath, depending on what your budget range is.

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