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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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trying to heal my lips - May 16th 2016, 05:56 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of self harm, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

Hi everyone,
Some of you know I engage in severe skin picking and for a really long time too. Something else I do is lip picking/peeling. I do this when I'm anxious or fidgety. I've gotten swollen lips and bloody lips and it takes a while to grow back only for me to start all over again. A few times it got so bad that my lips got puffy and inflamed. Other times it hurt like crazy to eat or speak or even just move my mouth/lips/facial muscles. It is likely done permanent damage as well but I wouldn't know because I'm constantly peeling the tiniest amount of skin off. I never saw what it would be like for my lips to grow back 100%

About 4-5 weeks, there was a fair at my school and one of the booths gave out pens, nail filers, fliers about their program etc and also a ChapStick. I normally don't use chspstick but because it was a really small (only a third of an average ChapStick) , the ingrediemts aredont seem harmful, and itwas free anyway, I decided to use it daily in an effort to heal my lips. The problem is that as it starts healing I just peel it off again.

I'm wondering if anyone has tips as what to do? I haven't managed with skim picking so I don't know of anything that worked. I find SH alternatives are helpful for cutting but with skin picking and lip peeling, I feel like I need something physically satisfying? I have a few fidget things like slinkies and that can help sometimes with preventing other forms of SH but not the kind that is out of being anxious. Also my cutting is getting pretty habitual to the point where I feel anxious without it, just for not doing it that day.


Also I feel super ugly and disgusting appearance wise. and that mixes with my social anxiety like my social anxiety had been flared up recently. I think two of my big anxieties is abandonment and/or rejection and loss or endings in general and social anxiety/messing up/low self esteem and negative body image

Feeling like something bad will happen is also a huge thing for me and feeling like I'm the cause of said bad thing. Like right now I'm upset at my father and sisters but now I'm scared I put an evil eye on them because I'm upset.

I have 2 principles that I operate by and I do things according to those two principles that I believe are true due to me being a bad person. I feel like because I think I'm worthless it is a vicious cycle with self care and interferes with me being successful at stopping harmful habits



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Re: trying to heal my lips - May 18th 2016, 03:07 PM

Hey there,

Iíve had this problem throughout my childhood. Iíd get chapped lips and then I would pick them, making them worse. I would do it when I was bored too. Iíve picked them until bleeding too. How I managed was reminding myself that I didnít want to go back to having painful, sore and bloody lips. I didnít necessarily think about healing, but just not going back to that. Other than that, Iím not really sure, but I do understand the need for it to be physically satisfying though. As for cutting, it sounds like you depend on it quite a bit. Perhaps you could give yourself a certain amount of times to cut, and then slowly lessen it, so that you wonít feel too dependent on it?

I can see how the abandonment, rejection, loss, general and social anxiety, and low self-esteem and body image issues can all tie in together. I think when we have low self-esteem, think we cause problems and have negative body image, we then get anxious thinking others judge us, or that people will find out what we are really like and will leave us. We are naturally our worst critic, so instead of focussing on the negatives and what you dislike about yourself, you could try to focus on the positives and what you do like about yourself. Then it can be helpful to remember that most of the time, in social situations, no-one is paying attention to what we think our negatives are. When we mess up, particularly in social situations, it can feel like the end of the world, and we may go over the situation in our head a lot. But again, a lot of these things are worse in our head. The reality is no-one may notice that you messed up, or if they did notice, theyíll forget about it soon after. Building up self-esteem and confidence, while trying to lower the anxiety, may also reduce the fear of abandonment and rejection as youíll come to realise that a) you arenít as bad as you think, so no-one is going to leave you for being you and b) even if the worst case of abandonment/rejection happens, youíll be able to get through it anyway.

You arenít the cause of all the bad things that happen. Sometimes, things happen that no-one has control over, other times it can be a mixture of factors. You are also not a bad person, though I do understand that feeling that you are a bad person makes self-care difficult, and harder to stop self-harming (Iím assuming something like ĎIím a bad person, I deserve to be punished). To quote from Harry Potter ďWeíve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act oní. You may think you are a bad person, but chances are, thatís just your negative voice. No-one can really be a Ďgoodí or Ďbadí person as that is black and white thinking, and things are never that simple. But regardless of how you think you are, you donít deserve to punish yourself. You deserve self-care, even if it can be difficult for you at times.

Hope this helps


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