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Meds for skin picking?


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My pdoc has me on Prozac to help with my depression and anxiety, and we're slowly increasing the dose (so far, so good). However, she's not too confident that it will help with my skin picking and other compulsions. We're going to see how I do on just Prozac, but if I'm still having compulsions, she may add an antipsychotic drug. Just wondering if anyone else has been through this. I don't have full OCD, just compulsions, so I'm particularly interested in hearing from anyone in the same situation, but delighted to get input from anyone. I'm wondering if I can make myself better (or better enough) through therapy only and avoid going on another med. I haven't tried therapy yet because the increasing Prozac doses make my anxiety worse, which makes my compulsions worse...not a good time to try to stop them. Thanks much!

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I'm sorry I have no awesome advice to offer, but this issue is personally relevant, and I just want to offer you my support. I've just started therapy and medication in the last month, and so far am only on Celexa for depression. However, speaking informally only for myself, if I were setting about treating my own picking habits, I would talk to my docs about trying therapy first; maybe you'd have some success with "thought-catching" types of exercises, or even talk therapy to attempt to address what lies at the heart of the picking compulsion. That's just me, though. I have found mindfulness somewhat useful in the short-term for helping me keep myself from picking.

Whatever you do decide, I hope it works for you; I know how hard it is to stop this. I'm thinking of you. :) If you need someone, even just a shoulder for venting, please know that I'd be willing to be that person. Sometimes it's easier to talk to someone who's not looking you in the eye, yeah?

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I'm sorry I have no awesome advice to offer, but this issue is personally relevant, and I just want to offer you my support. I've just started therapy and medication in the last month, and so far am only on Celexa for depression. However, speaking informally only for myself, if I were setting about treating my own picking habits, I would talk to my docs about trying therapy first; maybe you'd have some success with "thought-catching" types of exercises, or even talk therapy to attempt to address what lies at the heart of the picking compulsion. That's just me, though. I have found mindfulness somewhat useful in the short-term for helping me keep myself from picking.

Whatever you do decide, I hope it works for you; I know how hard it is to stop this. I'm thinking of you. :) If you need someone, even just a shoulder for venting, please know that I'd be willing to be that person. Sometimes it's easier to talk to someone who's not looking you in the eye, yeah?

Thanks, Oddjob! I like my pdoc a lot, and I'm going to talk to her about the options. I'd rather do therapy than meds, but I've been through counseling twice for depression and had bad experiences both times, so I'm skeptical. I need to keep trying, though. Sometimes I can get myself to stop for a little bit, but most of the time I don't even notice that I'm picking. And sometimes (like just a minute ago) I absolutely can't stop myself. I also catch myself thinking that my problem isn't that severe and that I can just live with it. But at the moment I have a toe infected from picking, and one of these days I'm going to get a Bad Infection and be really, really sorry.

Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions. And good luck to you in your own journey. I just started on meds two months ago, for depression and anxiety, and after I didn't want to kill myself any more, I was able to start focusing on getting healthy. It's a lot of work but it's worth it. I appreciate your offer to talk/vent, and I return that offer. If you ever need someone to talk to, I'm around here pretty often, and I'm always happy to lend some support.

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Prozac should eventually help your anxiety or at least be neutral. If it continues to make your anxiety worse there's something wrong.

Beta Blockers or something like clonidine might be worth asking about to help with the picking.

Thanks, VE! Next time I see my pdoc, I'm going to ask her if the Prozac is really making the anxiety worse or if the anxiety was being masked all along by the depression. Maybe it's some of both.

Beta blockers and clonidine...thanks, I'll read up on those! I trust my pdoc, but I want to educate myself as much as I can before I see her.

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if you can also see a good dermatologist there can be coexisting condition that provokes the OCD you could really have a condition underlying that makes you start the picking ..it happens a lot !

right med for the brain and right med for skin if needed is win win

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I am also an obsessive skin picker, looking for a solution.

I've picked all my life, but the obsession is increasingly stronger while on my meds (vyvanse for 1 year and Sertraline 1 month).

I'm going to meet with my doctor this week, as I currently look like I have 'meth bugs'.

For now all I can say is I totally feel your pain.

It's so hard to have something like this because it's not just internal. All of my life I've gone through billions of band-aids, false stories about how I got that huge sore on my arm, and wearing long sleeves in the summer to try to cover them. It's something that everyone can see, you can't stop, and of course looks disgusting.

Thank you for your post, it's comforting to know that none of us have to go through our issues alone.

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My doctor put me on Lexapro, thinking it would help my depression, anger, and skin-picking. It helped the depression and anger but not the skin-picking. He asked if I wanted to try a second medication that would help my anxiety and compulsions. It's called Anafranil, it's a tricyclic antidepressant and it's supposed to be really effective for OCD and OCD-type disorders. I still pick just as much as always, but I've only been taking if for about a week. Maybe you can ask your doctor about it?

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Thanks, everybody! I am seeing my pdoc on Wednesday, so I'll make sure to do my med homework before I see her.

mompcork: I do a bit of lip biting, but I used to be an awful lip licker. At one point I was licking my lips so much that the skin was cracked and bleeding all around them. People kept asking what was wrong with me. I finally learned to use lots of Chapstick often, and I keep Chapstick tubes everywhere--it's helped a lot.

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  • 7 months later...

I pick my cuticles/fingers all the time (was actually doing that while reading this). So far what helps me is keeping my hands busy (as in typing) etc. The picking is usually done when I am trying to fall asleep (its like it relaxes me) I pull out my split ends too (which my husband and I affectionatly call "split ending"). Right now my fingers are in shambles.

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