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self mutilation
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self mutilation

i am a 19 year old girl who, for as long as i can remember, has been picking and biting the skin around her nails. it looks disgusting and sometimes it gets so bad that they bleed all over the place, the tips of my fingers are now so red and bulbous-looking and gory i hide my hands all the time. it's so painful but i rip at the skin anyway and i don't know why i do it and why i can't stop, i've heard that it is a sign of deep-seated self hatred or that it is the same as hair-pulling: the temperory relief of stress through pain. but i don't only do it when i'm stressed, (although it does et worse around difficult times)i do it when i'm bored, or on the phone, whenever...
please help me...i don't know why i do this to myself, i'm an otherwise confident happy person....
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Dear Louise,

Excoriations are breaks in the skin surface resulting from scratching or picking. "Neurotic excoriations" is a term used by
dermatologists to label patients who present with psychological excoriations. Despite the presence of "neurotic" in the terminology, many psychiatric conditions may underlie the condition, including depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The management of this type of disorder is defined by the underlying psychopathology. Ongoing collaboration with a
dermatologist in the treatment is often necessary. Both psychotherapy and the use of antidepressants are efficacious in the treatment process.

A consult to your primary care physician may help you determine the severity of your condition.

The information provided in this forum is presented for general educational purposes only. Specific questions you have pertainng to your health should always be directed to your personal physician or you may call Henry Ford Behavioral Health
at (248) 689-7476.

I wish you the best,

HFHS MD - RG

*Keyword: skin disorders




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