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Sunshine and Scarring

Sunshine and Scarring

It’s Winter here in Perth, Western Australia but you wouldn’t know it! The sun is still shining and there’s hardly a chill in the air so yesterday I decided to catch a bit of the sun’s rays while they’re still hanging around.

I decided to take pictures so you could see the different types of scarring I have on my body. There’s the white lumpy scars on my belly. The dark purply brown scars on my legs. And then of course as soon as my skin is exposed a bit of picking is bound to happen. In that photo, not only can you see the freshly picked spots but also the white and brown scars. If I tan, the brown scars fade but the white ones stand out and if I remain pale the white scars aren’t noticeable but the brown ones are. So I can’t win either way really!

Minor Relapse plus Genetic Precondition?

Sooo I’d finally managed to get my face clear and then last night while I was reading a book I started to pick at it again. I attacked the spots that were almost healed (they were dry and flaky) and I don’t know if subconsciously I did it because I still wanted there to be something to pick at on my face. :/ So now I can not wait for my fidgets to arrive! TLC sent me shipping confirmation today so I am excitedly waiting for my parcel!

On a different note while I’m sitting here writing this my 6 year old son is picking at his lip. He’s a lip picker but ONLY when there is dry skin there to actually be picked off. I’m telling him to stop because it will hurt if he rips it off and he gives me a cheeky smile like he knows that’s what’s going to happen but he wants it off anyway. So far I’ve kept his hands busy with a drawing & writing activity and I’ve told him to drink water to hopefully rehydrate his lips but I guarantee you he’ll pick at them later when I’m not looking. I also went to visit my nan last night with my mother and while I was sitting there picking at a spot on my back, my mum was sitting there scratching at her face. Genetic much?

Dermatillomania – My old skin care routine

Video 3 is live! Titled “Dermatillomania – My old skin care routine” it was filmed back in 2009 & I was demonstrating the routine I used to follow for my skin. At the time I was using The Body Shop’s Vitamin E range but switched a couple of years ago to their Seaweed range which is super light on the skin which means no breakouts for me yay!! I’d also forgotten about the Aloe Vera gel for the open wounds… I now use Bactroban cream, prescribed by my doctor, if I get an infection. Last year I was getting LOTS of them thanks to the huge amount of stress I was under. Thankfully this year has seen improvements all round ♥

Dermatillomania Awareness Wristband

Ok so here’s what I’ve come up with so far for the awareness bands:

I’ve chosen these colours because I feel both sexes would be comfortable wearing them as would both sufferers and non-sufferers.

I like black because I think it represents the depression/isolation that comes with derma (also I don’t notice many black bands around) and white is for hope (plus it stands out quite nicely).

I like blue because it is associated with mental health awareness and it’s also the colour that represents Trichotillomania (although there’s is a lighter blue) and again white for hope.

Also by choosing to fill the words in with white it means it stands out… I can opt to not fill the words in with colour, so they will still be there but they will only be indented into the band.

So far this is just an idea… I would have to figure out a cost-effective way of being able to post the wristbands worldwide first. Will enquire about this at the post office within the next couple of days.

So my questions are what do people prefer:

Black or blue?

Indented words only or indented and filled in with white?

Awareness Wristband for Dermatillomania

I have been thinking a lot lately about creating an awareness ribbon or an awareness wristband for Dermatillomania but I don’t want to go ahead and create one until there is a general consensus on colour. I have sent off a quote tonight to a silicon wristband company in Australia to see how much they charge to find out if this will be an affordable endeavour for me or not. In case I decide to go ahead with this it would be nice to know what colour/style other derma sufferers would be comfortable with. As it will be us wearing them and because it will be representing a very personal struggle to us, I want to make sure I get this right. Below I have posted a direct link to the different style wristbands offered by the website I have contacted. I am leaning more towards the Single Colour Debossed Silicon Wristband with the option of filling the word “Dermatillomania” in with the colour white. As most of the sufferers I’ve come across seem to live in the US it may not be worthwhile for me to do this once I factor in postage and handling so if anyone knows of any US based companies like this one please let me know. Thanks!

Here’s the link to the Aussie site:

Silicon Wristband Website

Educating the Uneducated

Why are people so damn naïve? And why do people keep saying “God can help you”? *facepalm* -_- I suppose this is what I get for jumping on the Dr. Phil bandwagon haha! For those who have no idea what I’m talking about:

Dr. Phil featured a fellow skin picker April on his show not long ago and reran the segment yesterday… unfortunately he portrayed April as having Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) instead of Dermatillomania. This has upset a lot of derma sufferers because it has made our condition look as though it is all “made up in our heads” despite it finally being recognised in the DSM5 as a condition in its own right. Soooo I decided to comment on his Facebook page underneath the post “Could YOU be suffering from body dysmorphic disorder” and of course the ignorant comments are now flowing in.

Here’s a link to his Facebook page where the above mentioned post is featured:

Dr. Phil’s Facebook Page

And here is a link to Angela Hartlin’s article where she interviews Dr. Phil’s guest April about her experiences with Dermatillomania:

Angie Asks: April, Guest on Dr. Phil

Dermatillomania – It has a name!

Video Number Two: This was made at the beginning of 2009, a few weeks after I found out that my illness had a name: Dermatillomania. By this stage I’m getting pretty desperate for help… it’s very hard for me to watch back over these but I’m uploading them again in the hope that they will help other sufferers realise that they are not alone in this. Much love to you if you are feeling or have ever felt like I did in this video. x

Triggered Attack

Yesterday was really triggering for me. I’ve never been triggered by looking at pictures and videos of other people’s derma but rifling through my old footage really got to me. I stayed up until 1:30am picking last night. Angrily picking! Not at my face… but at my arms and legs. They were almost healed but I was so upset by my old footage that I just kind of lost control last night. I sat on the cold tiled bathroom floor, for I don’t know how long because I lost track of time, and gouged and ripped at my flesh until it hurt and bled. It was almost as if I was punishing myself for ever having experienced such a severe bout of Dermatillomania and for letting it rule my life to the extent it did. BUT in my new positive state I am not going to let it get to me. I gave it my energy last night and now I’m moving on from it. I can’t rewind the clock and change my past but I can pave the way for a better future. And that is what I want: A better future for myself and my son that is free from the confines of Dermatillomania.

I could only upload a picture tonight as I wasn’t mentally ready to rifle through anything more again so soon. The thing that troubled me the most last night was that I stumbled across an old goodbye letter that I had written to my son when I was planning suicide. I can’t believe I almost went through with my plan. To think I would have left my son all alone to fend for himself is utterly heartbreaking to me. I need to beat this not only for me but also for him. My boy is the most important thing that has ever happened to me and if it wasn’t for him I know without a doubt that I would not be here today. I only got halfway through writing that letter to him before I realised what I was doing and rung for help. The next day I became an outpatient at a mental hospital and a few weeks after that I did some Googling and stumbled across a name for my condition: Dermatillomania. It’s been years since I wrote that letter and although I’ve considered suicide many times since then – that was without a doubt the darkest year of my life. I am determined now to never let my battle with Dermatillomania or Depression take my life away from me. I’m worth so much more than that!

Kicking Dermatillomania

I’ve been looking through old pictures and thought I would share a comparison between how bad my skin can get (when my derma is severe and my stress levels are high) and how good my skin can get (when my derma is manageable and my stress levels are low). No matter how clear my skin can get I ALWAYS feel like the girl on the left. Having spent so many years in a continuous state of severe derma I struggle to see myself how I look now – I still think I look like the girl on the left until I see proof like this. Photos like this set out side by side show just how far I’ve come. As hard as it is to take pictures, especially when the picking is at an all time high, it’s worth it to see the progress you have made. It also motivates you to keep fighting the fight! Kicking Dermatillomania… we’ve got this!!

Dermatillomania – My video to Dr. Phil

One of the very first videos I made about my Dermatillomania. Never before has this video been uploaded until now. This was filmed in 2008 when I was 19 years old and before I knew that my condition had a name. You can tell in my video that I have no idea what I suffer from or that there are other sufferers out there as I still refer to my condition as “scratching” which is the only name I knew for it growing up. This is painful for me to watch and intimidating for me to upload but I’m hoping in sharing this it may be able to help others out there. It’s also a way of showing how far I’ve come in this battle over the years. There will be more videos to come over the following days and weeks containing old footage of myself describing my struggles with Dermatillomania – so stay tuned!

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