I am on day 2 of freaking out about my nails. Backstory: Ever since I can remember, I have obsessed over my fingernails. I traded one obsession for another. Awful nail biting turned into polishing and then picking it off every other day. Then I began clipping the skin around my nails obsessively. I've done this for ~ 15 years. I also had nail enhancements (acrylics, gel manicures, press-ons, etc.) constantly. I have over 120 bottles of nail polish and a tub of enhancement tools to do acrylics and such.
My husband finally demanded I get help. I constantly bite the skin around the nails, pick at it, or am touching/tapping/clicking my fingernails constantly. It is a nervous tick I never realized had gotten out of control. My husband took my cuticle nipper tool away and told me to bring this up to my psychiatrist. Since he made me aware of this, I have started realizing how often I mess with my nails. It is nearly constantly and habitual. (I counted my fingers in my mouth about 4 times in an hour, and that is just what I became aware of.)
Currently, my nails are all-natural. It is killing me. I normally have some sort of polish or other enhancement. My cuticle nipper is hidden. It is killing me. The only thing I AM allowed right now is cuticle oil to keep my very toughened skin moisturized. After years of clipping, it is pretty much calloused. I hate obsessing like this, but I figured this would be the place to vent this panic/obsession.
Any suggestions for me?
(background)I was diagnosed with Excoriation disorder a few months ago, but I've definitely had it for 4-6 years. Mine is currently and always has been out of control. My disorder has not only affected my social life but also my career and my education. Many many many people (bosses even professors) have asked me what the hell is wrong with my legs (legs are scared for life by this). My counselor is basically clueless on how to help me, I have no outlet, I have no one who understands what it's like. I feel as if its an impulse I cannot control. I cannot make myself stop. Please, please if you can offer me and advice it would help. I am tired of going through this alone. I've never talked to anyone else with this disorder and I also want to know other experiences people have had with it.
Hello, this is my first post on here! Where do I start... Since I was about 5 I have been obsessed with hair pulling. Luckily I would not pull out hair on my head, but on my arms, legs etc. When I got older and started growing pubic hair, the habit was transferred to that. This is very embarrassing for me but I have never really thought it was a problem. I am 19 now and finally realized that it is not normal. I can spend 5 minutes to 2 hours sometimes trying to pull it all out. I feel like I go into a trance when I do it. I want to pull them ALL. My habit has never been something you can see, since it is always covered up, lol.
I started looking up these habits and realized it was trichotillomania. That is how I found this forum. Anywho, I found one way that I feel has greatly reduced my plucking down there. I got a brazillian wax, all the hair was gone, and therefore no more pulling! It was great. Since then I bought my own brazillian wax and use that to rip all of them out so I am not constantly pulling them out on a daily basis.
Has anyone else tried this? Or any opinions? I know it does not completely get rid of the habit but it sure does make it less frequent.
Sorry this was long winded, but I just need some opinions on whether this is a good fix. Thank you!
OK...so this is my story. It is a little long, slightly embarrassing, and more than likely a little TMI for some. However, I want to share to gain insight on whether or not this sounds like Trichotillomania or some other obsessive disorder.
When I was a young child, maybe two or three, I used to pull out clumps of my hair. I would twist it around my fingers, and then just pull it all out. When my parents asked me about why I did it, I told them, "The boogey man made me do it." Now I don't remember this. Obviously I was too young, but I find it a little disturbing. However this behavior stopped by the time I started school at the age of 5.
When I was maybe 8 or 9, the behavior started again, but it changed from the hair on my head to my eyelashes. My parents thought I did it because my eyes were itchy or something, but I just loved to pull them out. I would pull them out one by one. I can remember staring at each one and sometimes would even rub the end of each one along my lips just to feel the tickle. Then, I would line them up on my leg as I pulled them out and count them. I would tell myself that I would stop after 10, but then I would keep going and only stop because I didn't want to get in trouble if my parents caught me pulling them out.
Eventually, after having to wash my eyes everyday with baby shampoo at the request of mom and dad, I stopped pulling out my eyelashes. Next, by about the age of 13 I moved to my eyebrows. I would pluck my eyebrows eveyday. This seemed ok because I was doing it for beauty purposes. I never really got obsessed with these like I have other parts of my body.
Also, I began again to pull out hair on my scalp. This time however, it was not big clumps of hair it was just one at a time. I would search diligently to find the "perfect" hair to pull out. I would look for one that had an odd "scrunchy" like tecture that stood out from my usually fine, slick hair. Once I pulled it out, I would look at it and play with it some. I would see how much it would stretch and usually I desired to show it to someone because I thought it was "cool" but never did because I was embarrassed.
Now, comes the most embarrassing part of my story. At about 17 I began plucking hair from my pubic area. The only person who knows about this is my now husband. I have always been embarassed about this. Sometimes when I go to the bathroom, I just can't resist the urge to pluck a few while I am sitting there. Sometimes I will have finished using the restroom, but stay in there for 10 ir 15 minutes just plucking out my hairs. I LOVE to see ones where I get the whole hair: the folicle, the root, the white bulb on the end, the skin attached to it etc. It is so gratifying and don't me started on going after ingrown hairs. Its like, when I spot one, I just cannot stop until I pull that thing out no matter how painful and no matter how bloody.
The worst part about it is its not just my hair I go after. My poor husband has been a victim as well. Sometimes we will be laying in bed and while my head is on his chest I will notice a hair that seems darker than the others. I will start playing with it in my fingers then before I know it I have yanked it from his chest. I have done this to his beard as well. He knows I am slightly obsessed with pulling out hair, but I don't think he or I have really realized how obsessed I really am.
It was last night that I realized I am worse than I thought. I sat for 2 hours and plucked out all of my pubic hair. I am so embarassed. It looks absolutely dreadful down there. It hurts. I am afraid for my husband to see it, and yet, I was just plucking at it again about an hour before stumbling across this forum.
Does this sound like trichotillomania? Does anyone have any suggestions for changing the behavior? Btw there is history of mental illness in my family OCD and multiple personalities and others I am sure.
This is a Dr. Phil episode which has April, 21 who is a compulsive skin picker and Meghan, 15 who was bullied, has a lot of family drama and thinks she's ugly, fat, should never have been born, ruins everything etc...
I initially watched it because I am also a compulsive skin picker...but it was Meghan's story that really had me in tears because that self loathing is exactly what I felt as a teenager and still feel today, in my 30's.
The bit on compulsive skin picking was okay, but I found it a bit disappointing when they went to remove the makeup but she didn't have any obvious marks, her skin looked fine. I just couldn't related because a lot of the shame i feel is because my marks are so visible. I literally can't go out without makeup on and covering my arms & legs because people do ask me about it. I wish they would have dealt with that issue.
But Meghan's story...the not feeling loved by her parents, not getting hugs or them saying anything nice, feeling like she should never have been born, feeling ugly, fat, worthless...that was how I was at her age (and younger). It made me have a little more compassion for myself at that age when I was so overwhelmed with self loathing.
The difference is that she was bullied at school, which is where she got those thoughts from, but I can't see a clear reason why I was thinking those things.
I haven't watched Dr. Phil in years but this episode got me going with the tears. But didn't actually offer any useful advice