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Hey all,

It has been a while since I posted here. January of 08, I reluctantly went to see a someone and got prescribed Zoloft. Since then, my SA has improved dramatically. I am now up to 100mg daily. My friends have noticed a change, and I managed snagged myself a boyfriend who has also helped me to boost my confidence.

I realize I will never be completely outgoing and will always have anxieties about specific social situations. Calling people is still very hard, as is seeking any sort of help. There are also a lot of service industry related anxieties.. regarding etiquette, tipping, ordering, etc.

Anyway, the beauty of the psychotherapist (I think that's the right title) who prescribed me my medication .. is that I didn't have to talk a lot (that is, cry a lot). I told her about the skin picking on my fingers, and she said the Zoloft would probably help.

It did help a lot (though I still sometimes pick), but has caused me to refocus my attention. Now I pick at the soles/heels of my feet. They are swollen and raw, sometimes bloody, and sometimes I cannot wear shoes or even walk because of it. This problem has created a new anxiety for me in that.. well, this is embarrassing, there are pieces of skin like. Everywhere in my apartment. Luckily my boyfriend is has not noticed, but in my mind its only a matter of time before he does, and figures out what these little hard snowflakes on the ground are, and then freaks out and leaves.

I cannot think of how to stop picking at my feet. My mother, who is aware of it (because when I was visiting home she saw my feet and the pieces of skin I littered about her floor) cries and then gets angry at me because I refuse to seek help (SA prevents me from calling my doctor). Not only that, because I have no idea of what kind of treatment is available.. (how would CBT be applied to something like this?), I am afraid of diving in with no sense of what temperature the water is.

Does anyone have experience with treating (not just engaging in) skin picking while also suffering from SA? What helped?

I've tried bandages, wearing socks, shoes. Etc.
What I notice when I'm picking--which is either casual (ie, while I'm doing something else) or focused (sitting down with tweezers in hand and foot to face) is that I am not necessarily thinking anxious thoughts. I'm just thinking.. intensely.

Anyway. Any sort of response is welcome.

This community is awesome.
 

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I have dermatillomania too. Its an obsessive complusive behaviour. http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/f33/dermatillomania-again-65126/ I pick my fingertips and scalp. I have not found anything that works long term. Bandaids worked for the short term. I pick when Im relaxed or my mind is elsewhere, such as watching a movie, by the time the movie is over, my fingers are bleeding, I also pick while online, I dont even notice I do it.. oh wait.. there I go. LOL.
Im also on zoloft but my picking is worse! Let me know if you find anything helpful.

Oh and congrads on your progress to overcoming SA! wow a bf thats a big step!

Sorry just read your reply to my other thread. lol.
 

· Randomly Joy
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With in the last 2 years I have developed the skin picking. Well, before I would just pop a pimple occasionally but now I find anything and everything to pick at. It's really bad right now I dose off for hours at a time just picking away at my arms until they bleed. I try to stop myself but it's really hard to do so I decided to come online to find out reasons why I do this. It's not like my arms have something to pick at when I start but I find a way. I am taking Zoloft for my depression but my anxiety and picking habits still seem out of control. Like right now, I took a break to reread what I just wrote and I ended up picking my face while I was reading it. Do you have any suggestions?
 

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Well, I have this problem, too.

Just a couple of days ago, I started just standing in the mirror for a little while, thinking to myself, "This isn't the right way. This doesn't help, etc."

It stopped me for a little while, but when I stopped thinking about what I was doing, I picked again. I've had this problem since I was young. I remember I used to do it because I thought I could make myself perfect somehow if I scraped and picked at my blemishes...I think I may have gotten rejected by a guy around that time and plus, my dad often makes me feel very imperfect/ugly...so I thought I could "fix" myself my picking.

I'm going through a bout of it now. Sucks, cause it's my face and it's hard to hide.
 

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I have been a closet skin picker for over ten years, and I am just now getting help from both a psychiatrist and psychologist. I was put on Lexapro to control my anxiety and help with depression, and what an incredible difference one little pill has made. I generally am a face picker, but also have created severe scaring along my bikini line (nice and easy to hide, go figure). Although the Lexapro has helped a lot with obsessing over how horrible my skin seemingly looks, I admit to also using other methods to release my pressure valve (scratching my wrists with a thumb tack - awful stuff!). I feel like I have traded in one bad tick for another. Although I know that the majority of my triggers stem from my severe anxiety (we share similar service industry anxieties), sometimes things as silly as boredom, being hungry, sleepy or even excitement can cause me to go at my skin. While I have not found ways that really help me stop myself when I am in a trance, I can say that staying busy - and out of my house - has been one way of lessening the damage (though not always easy when I am in a major depression). I also allowed myself to purchase a somewhat pricey bottle of Clinique Even Better Clinical Spot Corrector, to help minimize the scaring from past picking and hopefully prevent myself from future episodes. So far the product seems to brighten my skin and it has kind of helped, knowing I paid so much for the product. But, then again, I picked this morning at work and that is why I am on the forum to begin with.

I hope that with time, your meds will continue to alleviate your anxiety and picking. If you find a method that helps you stop when the urge is high, please share. I read someone pictures a red "Stop" sign in their hands when they go to touch their skin. I am going to give that shot.

Support & solidarity.
 

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I've been picking at the skin on my thumbs for years. A lot of the time I don't even notice, and I make them bleed sonetimes. My boyfriend notices and if he sees me doing it he grabs my thumbs. I used to work as a cashier and i used to worry about customers staring at my thumbs. And i dont like putting bandaids on them that much because then someone might ask what happened and i dont want to be like "oh i picked my skin off untill it bled" And if I have any scabs, I can't stop picking them. My cat scratched me months ago and it should be healed by now, but I just made it worse.
 
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I also have a skin-picking problem (my scalp) that's been going on for 7 years now. It's left a lot of small scars and I think it's the reason why my hair grows out to be so frizzy. I haven't gotten help but I plan to when I see a psychiatrist in the near future.
 

· JackBauer
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I am a 20 year old college student with SA and skin picking. I have been picking my thumbs and face since I was little, have not tried any medication, supplements, or therapy before but now think I might try something...
 

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Help using NAC

I have had a LOT of luck with the amino acid N-acetyl cysteine, which is sometimes sold as N-acetyl L-cysteine, for my 11-year-old daughter who severely picks her skin (arms and legs). I'm hoping that everyone on this group will check it out. We started out at 1200mg each day, 600mg in the morning and 600mg in the evening. Then we worked up to 2400mg, 1200 mg in the morning and 1200 mg in the evening, within about 3 or 4 weeks. The study that was done in 2009 showed the best results were after 9 weeks of continuous treatment with this amino acid, also just known as NAC. We saw great results after 6 weeks. Please consider trying it. I am not a doctor, so please weigh out the risks for yourself. It has truly been a godsend. My daughter used to pick to the point of staph infections. She has scars all over her body. It works by regulating the URGE to pick. You can download the summary text of the 2009 study on this website - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19581567. The study was for hair-pulling, but skin-picking and nail-biting result from similar sets of urges.
 
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