Dermatillomania - Skin Picking -
02-25-2012, 06:24 AM
Ever since I was in my early teens (around the time I developed Body Dysmorphic Disorder) I have had a crazy compulsion with skin picking (particularly, my lips, scalp, and skin/nails on my fingers). Apparently a 1/4 of people with BDD have this problem. It started off with striving to look perfect. If I felt my nails were uneven, I'd bite them down to nothing. If I saw any dry skin on my lips, I'd pick it off and would pick until I felt they were smooth. If I felt any bumps on my scalp, I'd pick them until they bled. If I had acne, I'd pick it off.
I told myself this was normal. "So many people bite their nails", "It's probably just a nervous twitch type thing" - but it had nothing to do with being nervous. Even though I don't struggle with BDD like I used to, I kept the habit. It's become something I do without consciously thinking about it. My husband hates it, and sometimes he grabs my hand and holds it so I stop, but it causes me to get extremely agitated and I usually end up yelling at him. I know he's trying to help, but the withdrawal causes the "butterflies in the stomach" feeling and makes me unable to think about anything other than "when will he let go so I can continue what I was doing?" If it's my lips I was picking at though, I just end up chewing them, because he can't stop me from doing that.
Right now I just stopped to pick/bite my fingers(or nails). Actually, since I started this thread post, I've stopped at least half a dozen times for about a minute or two each time. Sometimes these sessions can last for nearly an hour straight. O_O
Does anyone else have this sort of compulsive behaviour?