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compulsive skin picking

I am 20 years old and have been picking and biting the skin off my hands since I was 8. I do it consciously and sub-consciously and feel guilty and self hatred afterwards. They are red raw down to the beginning of my wrists but I can't stop.

From researching online dermatillomania and compulsive skin picking seem to be the two terms most relevant to what I do. However various websites say that it is an OCD-related disorder whereas others say it is self-harm. I have cut myself but it is less often now than before so perhaps it was related to the skin picking?

I recently went to see a doctor about it who didn't know anything about it and couldn't tell me anything. He did ask me to fill out a Hospital Anxiety and Depression form of which it turns out I have both however was not given any treatment or medication. I think that medication might help because I reckon it stems from anxiety and depression and it may take the edge of a bit. With regards to my hands, the doctor refered me to cbt however it will take months for me to find out if I am suitable for the treatment or not.

I have put off getting help for so many years now and finally it is time to do something about it before it is too late. I want help now and not four or five months from now.

Is there any more information you can give me or tell me who to see or what to do?

Thank you in advance
2 Responses
370181 tn?1428180348
You feel "guilty and self-hatred afterwards."
OH MY! That's a wee harsh, don't you think?
I was going to say it  sounds like a rather nasty habit with perhaps a soupcon of OCD, but then one must take into account your history of cutting. Which is not a good thing and which indicates a much deeper problem.

It's my humble opinion the only thing that is going to really help you is getting into therapy. Since this bagan when you were 8 years old, I have to wonder if something traumatic happened in your life at that time? Any thoughts on that?

You must live some place with socialized medicine if you have to wait months to see a psychologist. It's a nice concept, but doesn't work.

Perhaps in the interim, you could see a dermatologist, which will also no doubt take months. But I think they can help people who gnaw at themselves by putting something on your skin that tastes really, really bad. Or maybe it's in pill form now. It would be too easy to just not put the stuff on.

Maybe when you call for an appointment with a therapist, you could them you're a cutter. That may push you further up the line. Just sayin'..........

That first doctor you saw really let you down as a patient. Did you tell him you cut yourself? If so, and he did nothing, that verges on malpractice. I sure hope you didn't spend months waiting to see THAT quack. And please DON'T see him ever again.

I wonder if there is a website out there for people who cut? If you can find a good, legit site, that might help you until you can get profesional help?
I think it would be worth a search.

I wish I could have been of more help, but please know that somebody is always awake here, so write anytime things get weird, OK?
I hear you when you say you're at the end of your rope with this, but just keep hanging in there. You've made it this long, you've taken a huge step by posting to us, your in a safe place, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. We'll be here until you reach it.
You're going to be fine, understand?

Avatar universal
Alot of drs dont seem to be familar at all with this. I self diagnosed myself and brought it to the attention of my therapist and she has it herself. Its not yet treatable, once they have the cure then they will probobly become more familiar. Everytime i brought it up that was ignored. It could be bias of no knowlegde shrinks/dr
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Arlington, VA
370181 tn?1428180348
Arlington, WA
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