I am in my mid twenties and I have had a problem with scab picking for as long as I can remember. When I was little I would pick at any scab I could till it bled or till it was too painful to bear. I eat my scabs as well, I also tweeze constantly at my facial har. If I don't have any scabs to pick I'll find an ingrown hair or a pimple and make it so bad that I am pulling layers of skin off to make a scab...then I'll wait for it to heal a little bit, then peel it off again. Sometimes I'll even use tweezers to peel the scab off if I can't get ahold of it with my fingernails. This doesn't happen constantly, but if I have one it lasts for weeks at a time. My Husband is starting to get concerned because he caught me picking at a scab on my stomach while I was driving the other day. I'll sneak off to the bathroom to go pick at it and now it has become about the size of a dime. I am thinking I should seek help but would like some opinions first. I am already on an anti-depressant and xanax. I don't know if I should just seek out a therapist but I am starting to get sick of the way this makes me feel. Any advice???? Please!
A lot of the medications that treat OCD are anti-depressants. So if you don't mind me asking, what are you taking, how much, and for how long? It is definitely a compulsion because if you don't pick at it, I'm sure you become anxious. A compulsion is a habit and like any habit it can be broken but it takes work. The best person for you to talk to is a psychologist so that they can teach you behavior modification strategies.
Have you learned any CBT strategies? Usually because this is a habit, it really needs to be broken with CBT strategies. The meds can help you with the anxiety related to the disorder. The trick is to really treat the OCD and I'm not sure that the meds alone will do it in this case. To really cover all the bases, I would talk to the doc about an increase if you have been on the meds for more than 6 weeks and not seen any improvement and also find a psychologist that specializes in OCD and CBT so that you can learn the strategies you need to break the scab picking habit itself.
I know this is hard but I promise you it can be done no matter how long you have been doing it. Can you imagine sneaking around for the rest of your life? That just takes too much effort. Better to really give it your all to finally get rid of this compulsion.
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