After over a year and a half of going to my local support group for pickers and pullers, I’ve become convinced that peer support is a key part of recovery. Being able to talk to someone in person, right in front of you, about your picking is just mind blowing. This disorder of isolation just needs a little bit of light to make a huge difference.
Online support, and texting/messaging can also be valuable, so I encourage you to buddy up if you can. There are lots of Facebook groups, that focus on dermatillomania or other BFRBs. No one should feel alone because they are a picker.
I haven’t been able to attend my support group recently because I have classes on the same night/time. So I really miss seeing all my friends, regulars and even new people. Sometimes I think that I go to meet new people and give them some hope. But I know I still need that social support. I still need to feel less alone.
I’m hoping that organizations like the TLC and CBSN can help in getting people to start their own groups.
Here are some back-to-school tips for any BFRBer who is heading off to college or university! What would you add to the list?
Well I think if you start out by talking to your girlfriend in a serious discussion, tell her what you wrote in the last half of your last sentence you can let he know how much you care and want her to get help. You cannot make someone get help, or help them without their involvement. But you can tell them how much you are worried about them and how you care and want them to get help.
Obviously, you know her best so you will have to figure out a good time/place or occasion to talk to her. When she is receptive and open. Make sure you are not flip or showing any inappropriate emotions when you have an important discussion like this.
It’s important to tell her that you support her, even if she does not want to get help right now. Tell her you will stand by her. Ask her how you can help, and also what you can do differently.
Outing someone before they are ready or even know that they have dermatillomania can be very distressing for people. So I would tread lightly in this area. You can ask her questions, like, I notice your picking your skin (or whatever behavior it is) and was wondering if you’re feeling anxiety? Or have you ever heard of skin picking disorder?
You can also start off everything by just telling her that it’s okay for her to talk to you about anything, especially if it’s anxiety-producing or difficult to talk about. Tell her you will keep her privacy and confidentiality and just want to help her.
Good luck and thanks for writing!
1. If it feels wrong, don’t do it.
2. Say “exactly” what you mean.
3. Don’t be a people pleaser.
4. Trust your instincts.
5. Never speak badly about yourself.
6. Never give up on your dreams.
7. Don’t be afraid to say “no”.
8. Don’t be afraid to say “yes”.
9. Resist the need to always have control.
10. Stay away from drama and negativity – as much as possible.
Source: Lessons Learned in Life
More fidgets and techniques that I use to help fight derma/excoriation disorder :)
So, after my previous post on fidgets that can be found here I decided to put together another post including more fidgets and techniques. I won’t be going over the fidgets from the other post, so please check there if you want to see some more.
I’m going to be really focusing on giving my skin a break over summer so this is useful for me as well :)
So, as before, from top to bottom and left to right:
1&2. These are a bunch of puzzles I picked up in a christmas sale. The idea is to untangle the two pieces without using force. So if I want to pick I can untangle them all one by one and put them back together and by the time I’ve done all that the urge is usually easier to resist.
3. These are some weird magnet bean things I got on ebay :’) you throw them up in the air and they stick together and make a noise. They’re good to fiddle with and use as a fidget.
4. These are pretty cool because they’re a bit like the baoding balls from the previous post but with magnets in them and spiky. I got them from ebay too. The texture is distracting and helps when I just need to feel some kind of sensation, which other derma sufferers probably understand all too well (:
5. I really should have put this back together before taking the picture but I’m tired. This is another bamboozle puzzle. You can find what it looks like all together if you google ‘wooden bamboozle puzzle’ lol. It’s really fiddly and requires concentration to put back together so it’s a great distraction.
6. My other tangle. This one isn’t as good as the tangle therapy but it’s alright. Less bulky so I can just stick it in my pocket.
7. rubiks cube. Yeah, sort of explains itself, everyone knows what you do with a rubiks cube :p my mum actually bought me this when I was younger and my eczema was really bad. She couldn’t bear to see me scratching, so she was looking for things to distract me.
8. Spray on plaster. This makes it harder for my nails/fingers to grip my skin and i can also pick at this rather than my own skin. I need a few layers of it to make it easier to pick at though.
9. Plasters on my fngers, especially in bed. It makes me pretty grumpy because I can’t get a grip at all which frustrates me, but it works.
10. Hydration. Drinking enough water improves my skin and makes me feel better, so I have less to pick at and I feel like picking less. I don’t like drinking water so lemon slices and tea are a must :p
Other techniques and resources:
- Sticker charts, like this post here.
- Lip scrub to gently exfoliate lips for people who are tempted to pick their lips. Make your own using a recipe like this.
- This whole website is pretty awesome to be honest
- Make your own playdough fidget
- Silly putty recipe
- A recipe for that scratch off stuff that you get on lottery cards. I haven’t tried this yet but it seems like it would be pretty good.
- Meditation resources. Meditation helps to reduce stress that can cause you to pick. It also increases your self control. Along with many other benefits. Similar benefits could come from other sources, such as yoga as well.
- Not so much a resource, but finding a hobby that engages you entirely and requires both your hands can help. I draw using my tablet (one hand needed to hold the pen, one needed to press keys for shortcuts) or carve wood. I imagine sewing, needle felting, cooking, painting etc. would all be good. I’m not especially good, but that’s not what matters. While I love reading, I do find that I still absent mindedly pick while I read.
- Spinner rings on ebay
Please check back as I will be adding more :)
Wow, I’m surprised but happy that so many people have found this useful :)
No it’s not strange at all. But your feelings of shame or embarrassment are totally normal. Many people find it difficult to talk about eating scabs or skin/flakes. It’s definitely a taboo subject. I never talk about this out loud, even in my support group, or to my wife. I mean, I may have mentioned it a few times, or talked around it, but I don’t like having discussions about this.
It makes me feel uncomfortable. Even with my anonymity (to most people) I still am thinking about what people will think when they see me and know that I’ve done this. The secrecy and not talking about it is a breeding ground for intense shame. So I still feel this shame. It’s like bonus shame, on top of the picking, then there’s the eating.
So your picking in uncontrollable, that’s the nature of this disorder. Once you start it’s hard to stop. The key is to stop yourself while you’re picking, and gradually stopping yourself earlier and earlier. Until you are only picking for a few seconds. Or maybe you can stop yourself from picking at all.
I hope you can get some help or at least just some counseling from someone compassionate to your problems. A school counselor or therapist, would be ideal. The shame only goes away when you can speak about it. When you can share the shame with others.
Thanks for writing. You’ve really made me think about this uncomfortable part of myself, which helps me in healing, I believe. Good luck in recovery.