TW: skin picking and mental health.
So, this isn’t actually the first post I’ve written about Dermatillomania. I wrote a post years ago on my old blog about Dermatillomania and my life with it, but now as I’m older and my relationship with it has developed, I thought I should write another one and I might be able to raise so awareness along the way!
Dermatillomania is an impulse control disorder that is related to obsessive compulsive disorder and also has links to trichotilliomania. It is also known as a skin picking disorder (SPD) in which the individual will repeatedly pick at their own skin, often causing significant damage. Different people who suffer with Dermatillomania will skin pick in different areas and sometimes use different tools to do so. Obviously I’m not a doctor, so I’m so sorry if I’ve gotten aspects of this wrong, this is just my understanding and my experience with it!
I’ve been skin picking for as long as I can remember, I don’t know how it began so I can’t even say for certain what triggered it to start. I’m now 24 and at a guess I’d say I’ve been doing it for around 14+ years or so. My main ‘tool’ that I use is just my nails and the areas I typically go for are my arms and shoulders, but I will also go for my face, jaw, thighs and knees. I’m quite lucky that most of the areas I go for are easily covered, my arms being the worst are particularly scarred and scabbed over in a lot of areas but I can easily cover them.
I’ve never found myself to have an overly addictive personality, but there is something about picking my skin that I just can’t stop. It’s incredibly satisfying for me and even when I try to tell myself I won’t do it anymore, a few hours later I’m back at it again.
I have found that in recent years, more than before, I am trying to stop or atleast curb the habit slightly. One reason being that my wedding dress was strapless and I was terrified that you would notice my scar and scab covered arms in all the photos, I think I managed just under a week without picking and I was so incredibly proud of myself because its so hard to stop yourself from doing something when it’s right there in front of you.
My main reason for trying to change though, is Grayson. The idea of my little boy picking up this awful habit because he’s seen mummy do it, really scares me and I don’t know if I’d ever forgive myself. I feel awful when I find myself doing it and I see him looking at me or coming over to me, because I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. It can be extremely painful and just generally make you feel like shit. Although I’m no where near stopping completely, I’m definitely better than I have been in the past and I’ll continue to try and stop even if its just so Grayson never remembers me doing this.
However, I do want to say, I’m not ashamed or embarrassed. I cannot help being like this, it isn’t my fault and I am trying my hardest. So if you suffer to, don’t feel ashamed because you are trying and that’s all you can do!
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