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AI have a thread running in "the heath care system" about this. I was recently treated like poop b/c I pick my nose. I then added a signature line to my profile. If you have had any experiences at the docs office, like the derms, the ENT or anyone else please comment.

S

http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php/topic/37914-we-pick-our-noses-and-insert-objects-into-our-ears/

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My sister and I, both with ocd, have the most atrocious fingers you have ever seen. Begone evil cuticles! and the small calloused areas around the sides of your fingernails... i . must. remove. them.

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Yep I have the problem, and I've always had it, my whole life.

I'm just now putting the pieces together with OCD and all my bad habits.

The areas around my thumbs are the worst. All picked apart, hell I'm even scratching at it now. lol

Edited by Bribarian

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My mother always scolded me for picking scabs and such. I never really thought it could be part of my OCD but it makes sense. But, I think we can over-analyse things too. As soon as someone finds out you're OCD they try to blame any 'odd' behavior on it. People are more comfortable if they can put a label on something. The older I get, the more I think there is no such thing as normal.

However, any behavior that is destructive or disfiguring or disturbing to you should be examined.

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I pick at my legs. (everywhere below my knees) I started doing it when I was 14 or so.. I don't know why. I have very dry skin on my legs as well, so it's a peeling/picking type thing, but I'm still left with dozens of scabs every time. The number of scabs is directly related to my stress levels. I can rarely ever wear shorts/skirts/dresses because of it and it's embarrassing trying to explain it to someone who happens to see.

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I am so glad to have found this thread. Nothing stops me from picking. I even do it in public without even thinking about it. I'll be sitting on the city bus peeling a scab off my face and suddenly think, "my god. I'm one of those crazy, dirty people no one wants to sit next to--" start into this whole cycle of guilt and disgust with myself, but don't stop picking, of course. I don't keep it off my face; I don't hide it. And I think it's one of the only things I can literally NOT KEEP MYSELF FROM DOING. I've turned pin-prick sized whiteheads into half-inch scars on my breasts and thighs and cheek. I'm covered with scars. And I'm getting old enough--late 20s--that my skin isn't as resilient as it used to be. If I keep this up, I'm going to be messed up for good--like scars and unevenness of tone & texture that I WON'T BE ABLE TO FIX. On my forehead I have this giant--well, like, pencil-eraser sized--white scar, very conspicuous against my reddish/freckled skin, and something that looks like a permanent cigarette burn right there on my breast, visible to anyone who ogles me (but fine, ogling's not nice anyway so I don't care if it's alarming to those who do)... and what kills kills KILLS me is how I can't not do it. I feel out of sorts and sad when I am for some reason being socially aware enough to keep myself from doing it. Sometimes I'll get up and take a break from work/school/social activities to go to the bathroom to pick a scab. But because I don't really have any other obsessive or compulsive behaviors, my psych said there's not really much can/should be done about it medically, that it's something I should be able to fix with therapy/counseling?

Edited by January

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Guest christinazimm

Just got put on Paxil 10mg QD for a week, then up to 10mg BID. Already feeling a loss of appetite and upset stomach but it'll pass. Here's to hoping. PCP had no issues writing a script because I actually tore at my thumbnail so badly that I ripped the bed of my nail off up to the middle and exposed the quick. Hurts like a beeyoch. Let's hope this works.

I too, am on Paxil; only my dose is 20mg. I know it is really harsh on my stomach and from what you've said, sounds like you are having that problem too. It took about a week, but that finally went away.

Sad to say that I haven't found it has helped with my picking, but it is really good for my depression.

I take 50mg of paxil every day

I've been on it for ten years and my dosage has steadily increased I have KP and I also have dermatillomania I obsessibely squeeze and pick any "imperfections" on my triceps and I am covered in scabs I've had anxiety for a long time but this is all new for me and its been getting bad I'm glad I find stuff like this where other people have the same thing and talk about it. I'm going to start therapy soon to try and help it and also start using some lotion that will supposedly help. anyway I hope the paxil works for you but personally for me this is a new thing that manifested through my KP and anxiety so idk.

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updating: I think I'm going to ask my psych to consider putting me back on paxil because lately my anxiety has been really really getting to me, and particularly manifesting itself in picking. Last weekend I pulled a loose strip of thumbnail not only away from the nail but also out of the nailbed, beneath my skin, about a quarter inch, and now it's really badly infected. I'm having difficulty using my left hand because my left thumb is warm and throbbing and I think I'm going to have to see a doctor and meanwhile my neck and face are dotted with conspicuous scabs. Last time I spoke to psych about it she didn't think it was a big deal and felt it would go away with the effective treatment of depression but the depression is being effectively treated by the effexor--the anxiety, however, is lingering, and I'm seriously messing myself up. (for me, paxil helped with the anxiety, which in turn helped to prevent--but didn't altogether eliminate--my compulsion to pick.)

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I also can't keep my hands off my face and tend to pick anything there (thankfully I'm not prone to acne and just get occasional small blemishes). Even though I know logically that squeezing face zits is bad bad bad, I will pursue the little fuckers until it looks a million times worse than it would have if I just left the damn thing alone.

Me too! Hubby calls it core drilling, and makes fun of me. Not enough to get me to stop. I really should stop. Really.

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Guest still picking

Wow! Its been a few years since I first posted on here. It was 2007! Here I am though... still picking! I went to the behaviorial therapist and I didn't like what she was asking me to do... throw one tool away per week. So I stopped seeing her. I rationalized that I have a lot of bad habit and/or things I need to work on. Is picking really that bad compared to being obese? No... I should focus on losing weight instead.... so I continue to pick... and eat. I have lost about 25 lbs over the last 9 months but that's not enough. The picking is as bad as ever. I have my routine every night... picking the toes, scabs etc. My worst places are driving. I start at the top of my head and work my way down. Touching and feeling for imperfections. I had several scabs on the back of my neck at the hairline and my husband made me go to the dr. I also had a scab on my face and leg that had turned into a dry spot that never went away. The doctor said he could "freeze" them off. So I left him. I did let the one on my face heal b/c I didn't want a huge perfectly circular scar. But the one on my leg is still going strong. He gave me some topical medicine for the ones in my hair. They healed up in about a day or two. Now I have just one small one back there that I tend to. When I don't have any scabs to pick it is pretty boring. I will do my hand and toe nails. Pick my nose, ear wax etc. I love to pluck too. I have facial hair removal done via laser as I am italian and have a lot of hair. but my brows get done all the time. I have a mirror, tweezors, cuticle clippers at my desk in my cube! I am sure people think I am vain... but no I am picking. Damn... I want to stop picking my toes b/c they really hurt and shoe season is coming. I won't be able to wear my flip flops/sandels to work much longer. What to do.... I am currently reading "Forever Marked" by Angie. I can identify with her on some levels. I am not that depressed though. Plus I have no problem wearing bandaids on my face! I have no problem telling people I love to pick. I tell them I am a "picker". That I can't help it. My mom does it as well. I think I learned it from her. Started when I was 5 or 6 by chewing on my toe skin in the bathroom Gross! I have two kids. They both love to pick as well. They aren't as bad as me but they do it. My daughter had some hard wax in her ears that had to be pulled out by the dr and the nurse and i had to old her down while he did it with this instrument. She was screaming bloody murder but all I could do was watch in amazement and excitement what he was pulling out. He thew it in the trash and when he left I pulled it out to examine it. So gross. I am so glad I didn't eat that! ugggg. I have picked at my kids since they were born. I remember as babies they would put their hands up to their noses so I wouldn't pick at them. Ug.. I disgust myself. My husband lets me pick him too. Well most of the time. He got sunburned this summer and I had a hayday with it. My family try to control me and get me to stop. The kids and husband will yell Stop Picking at me! But if I am in the middle of something I can't stop. I would rather sit on my bed and pick for an hour then play with the kids. Its sad really.... I have no hope of stopping. I am glad to know others do it too... that way I am not as crazy I think I am.

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I suffer from this, too, but it is more mild now than it has been in the past. It was really bad in my teens. I would pick at my skin until scabs formed, pick at them for months until they went away. I can't stand to feel imperfections in my skin. Drives me batty.

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Guest april

I am not alone! I thought it was just me that does these things. Pick, squeeze, scratch, until the point I am bleeding. Ant bites or mosquito bites too, I can't leave them alone. I suffer from mild acne but I think it's really not my complexion that is the problem. It's this damn habit! I really need to quit, I'm freaking 30 years old and have been picking since I can remember, even before zits. I would pick scabs, scratch my scalp even though nothing is there, I almost thing I make zits form just from irritating my skin. When my nails are short it's worse because I have a better angle to pick and pry. I noticed when I had acrylic nails I picked less (hardly at all) because I couldn't get a good grip. Maybe that will help but I really don't want to have the upkeep associated with that either. Ugh. I feels so good to write this, I have really been keeping this inside for years and years.

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I remember getting told to stop picking when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I'm really hard on my cuticles - at this point, pretty much all the skin around my fingernails is scar tissue. I've never had hands that weren't damaged. And if I'm trying to give my hands a rest, I move on to my feet. I've peeled all the skin off my heels, pulled off toenails, and popped blisters. I make myself bleed almost daily. I'm usually barely aware that I'm even doing it, but I definitely cause more damage when I'm stressed.

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I have been picking more lately. my therapist had me show him my stomach today. that was a bit uncomfortable.

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Yeah, dermatillomania is one of the most common of the body-focused repetitive disorder. We're so prevalent, I don't feel much shame about it. And I've been doing it since I was a toddler, so it's practically normalized in my mind. Then again, I never minded scars. I just get pissed off when I have to hold a tissue to my cheek to stop the blood from getting everywhere. Or on a bad break out when I get cysts that resist popping. Not that I stop trying, so I end up with these painful, throbbing, scabby places on my face that look diseased.

One theory about body-focused repetitive behavior is that it's an overgrooming impulse connected to the immune system. We find "imperfections" and must "perfect" them, much as someone will make sure their clothes and hair are just where they want them, except we're drawn to things some others might not be drawn to.

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Guest Recluse

I hate the self-grooming compulsion. I always wonder if it's a learned behavior or a compulsive one in my case. My mother was a picker, to the point that it spilled over her own face and body and she would lay us across the ottoman and work on mine and my younger brother too. It was quite painful, but always excused with 'it's for your own good'. Now I do it without thinking about it, but I don't know if I always did, maybe I did.

There is a vague memory of having scabs in my hair and scalp when I was in middle school, and being repeatedly checked for lice, but I can't really grasp whether that's my own memory or someone else's recollection that ended up getting assimilated. I have tiny white spot-scars on the backs of my arms from picking for years. I wear sleeves to keep myself from doing it, but I still work on my forearms and hands and face, it's irresistible. I do my best not to leave scabs though - and nowdays I usually don't, just little pressure marks.

I still don't like it.

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Just realized that I pick when in specific moods/mind states: when I'm indecisive about something, after I've eaten (guilt) -or- when I'm hungry and restricting, and when I'm worried about my boyfriend leaving me.

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