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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
1 Responses
1699033 tn?1514113133
You are right...now is the time to act.  Psychologists can teach you CBT...but you need to check with them first to make sure they do offer that.  Also, you need to get a formal diagnosis by a psychologist and/or psychiatrist so that you know what you are specifically dealing with.  

Now if you want to try medication in lieu of CBT (which you should do in conjunction with medication) then you need to see a psychiatrist.  They can diagnose you as well but they usually don't teach CBT.  They can however, based on your diagnosis, prescribe the medicaiton they think is best for your particular disorder.  

But let me say again, that these medications are not magic in that the problem goes away.  You do need the strategies you learn from CBT along with the mediction to have the best chance of beating this...at least in my opinion.  So start with a psychiatrist first...then move on to the psychologist and CBT.

Take care.
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