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Dermatillomania (picking at skin until it bleeds) watch

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    For the past couple of years I have picked the skin around my hairline and scalp until it bleeds. Regardless of the pain, I still get a sense of satisfaction at the same time. However, the cons by far outweigh the fleeting pleasure, my scalp stings, my forehead and fingers blooded and am experiencing some kind of hair loss from losing the hair which are attatched to the pieces of scalp I pick out. I'm seriously reaching a point where it just makes me want to collapse and cry- I realise it's painful and I need to stop, yet I just can't seem to. I've ssen two different doctors about it and a dermatologist, yet have recieved no diagnosis. They have however given me some creams/ steroids to heal my scalp, but I often forget to use them or just pick at my head anyway. I'm going to see a doctor again soon, but I have no clue about how to stop and what kind of help to seek. If anyone could help in any way/ offer some advice it would really be appreciated.

    Edit: as I've mentioned earlier, I've experienced some hair loss- is it likely my hair will grow back?
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    I kind of have the same thing as you 'cept it's like picking at my face (sounds worse than it looks!) When I'm stressed, I find myself just picking at my skin without even thinking about it, it's just a way of chanelling my stress and I too feel the same sense of satisfaction. Believe it or not, it may be a kind of mental issue so perhaps councelling would also help you to figure out why you do it and how to stop
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    (Original post by TheSmithsIndeed)
    I kind of have the same thing as you 'cept it's like picking at my face (sounds worse than it looks!) When I'm stressed, I find myself just picking at my skin without even thinking about it, it's just a way of chanelling my stress and I too feel the same sense of satisfaction. Believe it or not, it may be a kind of mental issue so perhaps councelling would also help you to figure out why you do it and how to stop
    Thanks you're right, and I think I'm always stressed or anxious in some way or another (though most people don't recognise it). Did you ever get help on how to stop, or is not really that much of an issue for you?
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    (Original post by Chaofan88)
    Thanks you're right, and I think I'm always stressed or anxious in some way or another (though most people don't recognise it). Did you ever get help on how to stop, or is not really that much of an issue for you?
    Still bothers me quite a bit but my skin has healed now so I try my hardest not to do it! I hope your hair grows back and your scalp heals, it's a nasty thing! But every time you go to do it, try to do something else instead to relieve the anxiety- I kid you not, stress balls help!
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    I've had dermatillomania for as long as I can remember. When I was little I constantly picked the skin off my fingertips so that it bled and made it painful for me to hold a pencil, and later on I picked at the sides of my thumbs and my hand web which looked horrible. People always used to ask what was wrong with my fingers and I would just hide them and say it was eczema. I also did the scalp picking thing for a short while as well. I understand how addictive the skin-picking can be; it was always something I did when I was stressed and the sensation of it made me feel somewhat more relaxed.

    I realised how bad it was getting and managed to stop in the summer which, apart from a few relapses, has been great, but I still get the urge to pick at my fingers from time to time and have to consciously stop myself before it starts looking bad.

    From the sounds of it I don't think I ever had it as badly as you did and I really feel for you, OP. My method of stopping just involved extreme willpower and consciousness of picking my fingers but maybe you'll need something more. I don't know them off the top of my head but I've heard there are a lot of ways to help you stop and I'm sure one of them must work for you. Good luck
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    :s i got a whole body cringe reading this - not meant offensively. I really hope you can overcome this problem it's about self control .

    Perhaps consider wearing mittens?
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    I used to have Trichotillomania (obsessive hair plucking) I pulled all the hair from around the end of my parting, crown area until i had a bald patch.
    I know how calm it makes you feel so I understand. Think I did it for a year until i just did it less and less until I stopped. Maybe see a councillor? I definitely feel mine was stress related. Good luck!!
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    I used to have something like this too, I had CBT and i'm now free from it.
    It took a while, but I found that to be the best thing i've ever done. Your GP should be able to refer you, mention it's linked to anxiety issues and see what they say.
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    (Original post by un-jardin-sur-le-nil)
    I used to have Trichotillomania (obsessive hair plucking) I pulled all the hair from around the end of my parting, crown area until i had a bald patch.
    I know how calm it makes you feel so I understand. Think I did it for a year until i just did it less and less until I stopped. Maybe see a councillor? I definitely feel mine was stress related. Good luck!!

    at first I thought I had trichotillomania, but then realised it was the skin and not hair (well, not directly, anyway) that I was tearing. My mum and grandad used to do it, but nowhere near to the extent that I do, but I'm pretty sure it's stress/anxiety related I'm always fidgeting, and have flirted with eating disorders (this makes me sound quite derranged, I'm aware ). Did your hair ever grow back?
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    (Original post by Chaofan88)
    at first I thought I had trichotillomania, but then realised it was the skin and not hair (well, not directly, anyway) that I was tearing. My mum and grandad used to do it, but nowhere near to the extent that I do, but I'm pretty sure it's stress/anxiety related I'm always fidgeting, and have flirted with eating disorders (this makes me sound quite derranged, I'm aware ). Did your hair ever grow back?
    Yeah luckily it all grew back, think I caught it just in time.
    The fear of permanent hair loss is the only thing stopping me doing it in the mirror when I brush my teeth just before I go to bed.
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    (Original post by un-jardin-sur-le-nil)
    Yeah luckily it all grew back, think I caught it just in time.
    The fear of permanent hair loss is the only thing stopping me doing it in the mirror when I brush my teeth just before I go to bed.
    Good thing you managed to stop- I think the fear of being bald is what makes me stop the most. But once it gets better I just start picking it again :/
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    I have been picking away at my scalp for just over a year and a half now and it's got to the point where i can't take it anymore! I love the sensation but i hate the effects afterwards -especially the pain when you go in the shower and the water hits your scalp-. I have suffered -like you said- from hair loss in 2 specific areas and therefore i am very self consciouss about my appearance and what people may think of me.
    I recently went to the doctors with my mum and i got some cream but i picked away anyway so i went back alone and basically broke down in tears; i'm so ashamed of myself for doing it so you're not alone at all. The doctor was so supportive and i'm getting councelling as he says it's self harm due to stress so it's defiantely worth going back to your doctor if you're unsure about anything.
    Hope anyone with the same or similar problem manages to sort it because i know just how difficult it can make day to day life, my aim after exams is to start councelling and stop picking!
    Good luck to any of you out there that may need it!
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    (Original post by StephK)
    I have been picking away at my scalp for just over a year and a half now and it's got to the point where i can't take it anymore! I love the sensation but i hate the effects afterwards -especially the pain when you go in the shower and the water hits your scalp-. I have suffered -like you said- from hair loss in 2 specific areas and therefore i am very self consciouss about my appearance and what people may think of me.
    I recently went to the doctors with my mum and i got some cream but i picked away anyway so i went back alone and basically broke down in tears; i'm so ashamed of myself for doing it so you're not alone at all. The doctor was so supportive and i'm getting councelling as he says it's self harm due to stress so it's defiantely worth going back to your doctor if you're unsure about anything.
    Hope anyone with the same or similar problem manages to sort it because i know just how difficult it can make day to day life, my aim after exams is to start councelling and stop picking!
    Good luck to any of you out there that may need it!
    ****.... your experience suonds almost identical to mine!I too, find pleasure in it, and find it almost impossible to stop when doing it, but then feel terrible afterwards, bought cream to help but ended up picking anyway and even also have 2 areas on my head where there is substansially less hair. I've actually just started a CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) course/ seeing a therapist and hope that things can get better from here on, and hope you find a counsellor who can also help you. Thanks for the advice, and it was great to hear from someone in a similar position.

    p.s. that shower-pain business is a *****
 
 
 
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