What do you liken your skin picking to?
What do you liken your skin picking to? If at all you liken it to anything.
For me I feel my skin picking is closely related to drug addiction. I “depend” on my picking to feel a certain way. I “use” it to dissociate, calm me down, relieve anxiety, entertain me and of course when I get a good “pick”, kind of like a good “fix”, the rush I feel is indescribable. However once I “come down” off the picking “high” I feel ashamed, resentful, disgusted and phsyically ill to my stomach. I experience nausea, the shakes and suicidal thoughts.
In saying all this though; I am also a perfectionist. I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I pick compulsively. I pick to “perfect” and “fix” my skin. When I am doing it, I think (truly believe!) that I am making it better. I know it looks worse but it feels better. I like the feel of smooth skin. Picking achieves that for me. There are no bumps, there are no scabs. Unfortunately what is left in its place is raw skin – open wounds.
Then I hear picking compared to cutting… which makes me very very angry. Because for me, as a person who used to cut, I do not pick for the same reasons I used to cut. Cutting was about feeling physical pain in order to gain some release from the emotional pain I was feeling. And also at times to “bring me back to Earth” because I felt so out there. Not even in my own body; like I didn’t exist. I needed to feel something. When I pick, I don’t feel pain. I am numb to it. I admit that sometimes if I am angry my picking becomes aggresive and I do dig and tear at my skin with my nails in a way that is not focussed on perfection. It is me self-mutilating and taking my temper out on my skin instead of on others. However I only do this on rare occassions. Most of the time I pick I am not even aware I have started to do it. Then by the time I realise what I am doing, I feel like I need to keep going in order to achieve something or fix the damage I have already done.
There are multiple reasons why I pick. And there are probably multiple conditions that picking is similar to or related to. Drug addiction and OCD is something I feel my picking is similar to. Cutting is something I hear picking compared to. Whatever your reasons for doing it, it probably differs from mine. I am curious to know why people pick and what it is like for them. There definitely needs to be more research done on this condition and I hope to discover other sufferers who are open about sharing their stories with me. Together we can raise awareness and encourage further research on Dermatillomania. A silent, often misdiagnosed, and even deadly condition.
Much love to everyone reading and anyone suffering. ♥