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Self Harm If you or someone you know is struggling with self harm and needs advice or alternatives, we're here to help.

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Picking and peeling - October 4th 2013, 01:25 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

Hey guys, it's been a while since I posted my own thread...

I'm pretty sure I've brought up this issue of skin picking and lip peeling, as I've been doing both for a long time (15-16 years) and can't seem to stop. Right now my lips are swollen and bleeding. I know when the skin grows back I'm just going to do it all over again. But what if one day my lips don't grow back. I feel like I don't have unlimited chances to mess up/relapse like how I'd like to believe.
The thing with skin picking/lip peeling is that my fingers are my tools. So hiding the "blade" doesn't help. My fingers are here to stay....
I can do most activities simultaneously. It's become such a habit I don't even think it's considered self harm, because I don't have to be having a bad day, though that can make it worse. Even when I need good luck, or just nervous, and I don't need to do it in the bathroom, though the bathroom mirror makes it worse. It's such a weird thing, I used to think I'm the only one but then I discovered some people on TH have this problem too.

It's still confusing, especially because my family have tried all these different things on me, and none of it has been working...
and that's what they don't seem to understand, every time my dad buys some face soap, he expects the problem to go away. I've come to realize it's more psychological, than physical...I CAN'T stop. It's ME who is doing it. I've damaged so much of my skin from it, I have so many scars on my face and all over my body.
I also had other habits before such as: biting the sleeves of the sweater I wear, peeling nails (not biting) cutting my hair (without thinking of making it even, just random)
These habits seem to have died, though sometimes I'd go back to them.

I don't know what's wrong with me, or why it started from an early age. I want it to go away, but at the same time I'll feel I'm missing something without it.
   
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Re: Picking and peeling - October 4th 2013, 02:39 AM

Hey!
This is pretty common. Habits can be hard things to break. Especially habits stemming from self harm.
I think the best way to go about quitting these things is to find something a little healthier to replace them. If I am understanding correctly, you have begun to do these things without even thinking about it.
Have you tried keeping your hands busy? You could take up hobbies like knitting. There are also other things you can do such as making bracelets, braiding hair, or playing an instrument. However, these things are not accessible all of the time.
One thing I do when I'm nervous or bored is play with a rubber band. I just wear one around my wrist and when I feel like it, I take it off and tie knots and mess around with it. Something like that might help you keep yourself occupied. You could always sit on your hands It actually works!! I promise! That's how I stopped popping my knuckles
You could also try using some alternatives on the sticky.
I hope I helped at least a little bit
Good luck with everything


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Re: Picking and peeling - October 4th 2013, 03:44 AM

I don't know if you've every talked to a GP or a therapist about this, but I think it's a good idea to. Partly because this sort of picking, the way you have described it, could be a behaviour related to something other than just self-harm - because it sounds like you're not doing it purely with the intention or hurting yourself.

I know that I have a problem with plucking out facial hair such as eyelashes and eyebrows, and occasionally I'll spend a while pulling out the strands of hair on my head. Luckily never to the point of baldness, but I've often had no eyelashes and occasionally had no eyebrows. I started this behaviour long before I started self-harming - probably when I was 8 or 9 - and I know for me it is an anxiety based, OCD-type behaviour. It also happens more when I'm in a mildly dissociative state and have very little concept of how much I'm doing it.

Anyway, it's worth bringing it up with somebody, because as you said, you always have your hands with you, so the usual alternatives are unlikely to be as effective. Finding out more about the behaviour may be beneficial as well, if you understand the roots of the behaviour, it may be easier to decrease it.

   
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Re: Picking and peeling - October 4th 2013, 04:35 AM

Hey Susan!

Post as many threads as you need to. We're here to listen and to help you As Nal as mentioned, keeping your hands busy is a good idea. If you're in class, you can keep a bracelet or hair tie with you so you have something to fidget around with. Maybe, you could also try chewing gum or putting chap stick on to make it harder to pick. Do you know what's making you do this? Try to write things down, to find those deeper reasons. Once you have those, you can work on resolving those and hopefully eliminate the need to pick.


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Re: Picking and peeling - October 5th 2013, 03:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nal View Post
Hey!
This is pretty common. Habits can be hard things to break. Especially habits stemming from self harm.
I think the best way to go about quitting these things is to find something a little healthier to replace them. If I am understanding correctly, you have begun to do these things without even thinking about it.
Have you tried keeping your hands busy? You could take up hobbies like knitting. There are also other things you can do such as making bracelets, braiding hair, or playing an instrument. However, these things are not accessible all of the time.
One thing I do when I'm nervous or bored is play with a rubber band. I just wear one around my wrist and when I feel like it, I take it off and tie knots and mess around with it. Something like that might help you keep yourself occupied. You could always sit on your hands It actually works!! I promise! That's how I stopped popping my knuckles
You could also try using some alternatives on the sticky.
I hope I helped at least a little bit
Good luck with everything
thank you! I'm thinking of trying play dough right now. I tried stress balls and making friendship bracelets so far. It's fun but doesn't do so well as a replacement. I think I started when I had chicken pox and didn't like the bumps and it went on from there. I think sometimes I would do it consciously, in a self harm sort of way and other times I'd do it absentmindedly as a habit sort of thing, almost in a trance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by i_like_black View Post
I don't know if you've every talked to a GP or a therapist about this, but I think it's a good idea to. Partly because this sort of picking, the way you have described it, could be a behaviour related to something other than just self-harm - because it sounds like you're not doing it purely with the intention or hurting yourself.

I know that I have a problem with plucking out facial hair such as eyelashes and eyebrows, and occasionally I'll spend a while pulling out the strands of hair on my head. Luckily never to the point of baldness, but I've often had no eyelashes and occasionally had no eyebrows. I started this behaviour long before I started self-harming - probably when I was 8 or 9 - and I know for me it is an anxiety based, OCD-type behaviour. It also happens more when I'm in a mildly dissociative state and have very little concept of how much I'm doing it.

Anyway, it's worth bringing it up with somebody, because as you said, you always have your hands with you, so the usual alternatives are unlikely to be as effective. Finding out more about the behaviour may be beneficial as well, if you understand the roots of the behaviour, it may be easier to decrease it.

thank you =) I think that it might be an OCD like behavior for me too. I was never diagnosed for anything though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enchantment View Post
Hey Susan!

Post as many threads as you need to. We're here to listen and to help you As Nal as mentioned, keeping your hands busy is a good idea. If you're in class, you can keep a bracelet or hair tie with you so you have something to fidget around with. Maybe, you could also try chewing gum or putting chap stick on to make it harder to pick. Do you know what's making you do this? Try to write things down, to find those deeper reasons. Once you have those, you can work on resolving those and hopefully eliminate the need to pick.
thank you<3
I don't really know why I'm doing this, but over the years it has been for different reasons. It has been for SH reasons a few times but other times it's when I worry. Also if I feel like I'm ugly or when I used to be bullied I'd do it. Then other times it would be to cope with family problems and things like that. I'd like to investigate it more but not sure how to. I'll try writing it down but there are certain moods that I'd rather do something aggressive than sit down and write.
I forgot to add, I've written on the walls a few times that's probably one of the worst because it's hard to erase. We still have old walls with lead, and I feel so guilty afterwords because I'd be releasing chemicals if I were to scrub it off.

Then there's the anger issues....that meets with skin picking because during those times I feel I have to do something quick and it's usually impulsive. That's how I turn to skin picking too sometimes.

I'm just so confused right now. I don't even know if I'm making a good enough analysis
   
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Re: Picking and peeling - October 5th 2013, 03:19 PM

I know what you mean, dealing with anger can be hard sometimes. Sometimes, it's easier to do something more physical than writing. Have you considered going for a run? I know that when I take a walk or a run at night, it's very helpful. Maybe you could scream into or punch a pillow, or scribble all over cardboard. You can always message me


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