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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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Do you consider skin picking self harm if... - June 21st 2018, 05:17 AM

I consider myself self harm free for almost three years now. I had one very minor blip but it was so minor that I didn't count it, and haven't repeated it.

However, in this time I have continued to skin pick. I haven't considered it self harm because I don't do it for the same reason. Obviously, it harms me, but I don't do it TO harm myself. I see or feel an "imperfection" on my skin and feel the need to pick it to "remove" it even though it obviously makes it worse. So, it's not really to harm myself or to cope with any negative emotions, so I never really counted it.

So I'm just wondering if you personally consider skin picking to be self harm if it's not done for the same reasons one would normally self harm. I still feel like I can say I'm two years and 11 months free of self harm since I don't skin pick TO self harm, but maybe you guys feel differently. I probably still will consider myself almost three years self harm free regardless, but I just want to know what you all personally think of situations like this.


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Re: Do you consider skin picking self harm if... - June 21st 2018, 05:38 AM

Hey Dez,

I do not consider skin picking self-harm at all. I talked to my therapist about this and she said that as long as I'm not really doing it to feel pain, or the same reason I did it to cut then it isn't self-harm.

For me I hate the look of scabs so I pick them. I also know they are there and have to pick them. Its kind of like an impulse in a way. It sounds like me and you kind of pick are skin for kind of the same reason, so since my therapist says mine doesn't count towards SH, I honestly don't think yours does either.

I hope this has helped show some insight.
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Re: Do you consider skin picking self harm if... - June 22nd 2018, 02:32 AM

I believe it's about your intent and emotions at the moment. When I was 14-16, I picked my fingers so badly that I had to pour anti-septic on them to prevent infections.
Spoiler:
This is actually the thing I suggested to another user not too long ago, but have since found out that is the worst thing to do


In that time period, between the ages of 14 and 16, I was feeling a severe amount of anxiety and unknown/undiagnosed depression. I never told anyone, because there was such a huge stigma against it all around me (and if you even cut yourself a teeny tiny bit, gossip be damned!) so I'm sure I got spoken about about my hands. I always covered them up with long sleeves, even in the summertime. Still pull my sleeves over my hands today.

But anyways, it's about the intent and feeling at the time you're doing it.
   
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Re: Do you consider skin picking self harm if... - June 22nd 2018, 02:58 AM

No, I don't consider skin picking to be self-harm, at least for those reasons. When I was in fifth grade I had an awful habit of picking at my skin to the point my parents made me go to school in bandages. Yet I don't consider it self-harm because I wasn't doing it to hurt myself in some way, it was just compulsive. I don't know if your skin picking is compulsive or not but it doesn't sound like you're intending to harm yourself while you're doing it; ergo, I wouldn't call it self-harm.

And congratulations on almost three years self-harm free! That's a huge accomplishment! Way to go.


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