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Anxiety Disorders, OCD & PTSD A forum to discuss Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Simple Phobias, and Social Anxiety Disorder

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  #1  
Old 03-25-12, 06:12 PM
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Impulse Control Disorder - Skin Picking

Does anyone have any tricks or tips to make you stop???
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Old 03-25-12, 06:23 PM
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Re: Impulse Control Disorder - Skin Picking

I have this too Fuzzy12.
I've read somewhere that if you use the opposite hand from what you scratch with, it can slow it down. However that didn't work for me as it is my major fidgeting issue.

I did notice that when I got my nails done it seemed to make it more difficult to do as well.
Have you tried anything to just slow it down?
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Old 03-25-12, 06:27 PM
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Re: Impulse Control Disorder - Skin Picking

You might want to look up "habit reversal therapy" -- it's been used for both tics and trichotillomania (hair-pulling, closely related to and sometimes comorbid with skin picking).

Really simplifed version: it consists of identifying and reducing environmental triggers and putting in place a "competing response" (something to keep your hands busy that's less harmful but provides sensory feedback) to ride out the urge.

The Trichotillomania Learning Center (TLC) has a lot of good info on both hair pulling and skin picking.

Some medications can make the urge to pick worse (and ADHD meds, often stimulants, are among them for some people), though sometimes ADHD meds can also help with self-awareness. There have been mixed results with treating skin picking itself with meds -- some can help, but it seems to be pretty individual. I personally have found clonidine to be somewhat helpful in reducing urges to do various compulsive sorts of behaviors (as well as reducing hyperactivity), though it has effects on blood pressure and can make people tired.

You may also find that generally good hygiene helps (which you may already be doing already, but lots of people have trouble with it), just by reducing blemishes/dead skin/itchiness/etc., along with covering up scabs very well (so you don't re-pick at them), and at least in private, wearing gloves or covering your fingers with tape or band-aids to make it more difficult to pick (or to do damage).

Last edited by namazu; 03-25-12 at 06:42 PM..
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Old 03-25-12, 06:36 PM
Blueranne Blueranne is offline
 

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Re: Impulse Control Disorder - Skin Picking

Beta-blockers helped with me with hair pulling issues.
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Old 03-25-12, 06:37 PM
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Re: Impulse Control Disorder - Skin Picking

When I used to get really bad acne, i'd pick and pick and pick. I'd always be told off for not just leaving it alone.

I should have listened.

I think things like skin picking and nail biting are OCD related. You just can't stop, either because you're blissfully unaware that you're doing it, or you can't resist the urge, no matter how much logical sense it would make to stop.
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Old 03-25-12, 11:55 PM
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Re: Impulse Control Disorder - Skin Picking

I'm constantly working on cutting down on or cutting out my skin-picking problem. I've been getting better at stopping myself, resisting the urge. When stressed though, I go all out.
No tips to offer. I just use my... mind? To fix this. It may be CBT-related. But I'm not consciously thinking about CBT stuff I've learned.
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Old 03-26-12, 02:17 AM
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Re: Impulse Control Disorder - Skin Picking

I pick my gums which is the same disorder and well, i can't do a lot to stop myself.. as soon as i think about doing it, there's basically no stopping myself :s
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Old 03-31-12, 08:29 PM
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Re: Impulse Control Disorder - Skin Picking

Blue...

You've obviously overcome that, as you clearly didn't look like

Sinead O'Connor the last time I saw your pic.

Even if you did, she wishes she could look that good.

tc

Robert
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Old 03-31-12, 08:31 PM
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Re: Impulse Control Disorder - Skin Picking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraser_0762 View Post
When I used to get really bad acne, i'd pick and pick and pick. I'd always be told off for not just leaving it alone.

I should have listened.

I think things like skin picking and nail biting are OCD related. You just can't stop, either because you're blissfully unaware that you're doing it, or you can't resist the urge, no matter how much logical sense it would make to stop.
I love zeeee pain.
I dont like other sorts of pain, but pins in my gums is addictive.
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Old 04-01-12, 03:06 AM
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Re: Impulse Control Disorder - Skin Picking

McT, I just barely saw your comment. You are so sweet, thank you.

As a matter of fact though, if your curious, I never pulled the hair on my head. I only pulled the hair on my arms from the elbow down, my bottom eyelashes and my eyebrows. Those areas can go unnoticed for the most part. Though I did have to draw my eyebrows on.

Thank goodness hair grows back!!!
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Old 04-01-12, 06:17 PM
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Re: Impulse Control Disorder - Skin Picking

I have an impulse control disorder-- trich. I have a daughter who picks skin, and my mother was/is a skin picker. Another of my daughters only has a problem with "bothering" a certain spot just below her bottom lip until it becomes a sore--which HAS to be related to skin picking in some way. I have not found anything that helps my girls other than religiously using band aids to cover the tempting spots until they heal.

For me--for the first time in my life--I am on a medication that is helping my trich. Risperdal. My psychiatrist says that in small doses it helps OCD types of things. I am on a very low dose as it is normally used as an anti psychotic. I have noticed a dramatic difference in the urge to pull--seriously dramatic. Wonder if it would have the same effect on all impulse control disorders? I know everyone is different, so I'm sure it doesn't work for everyone.

I have tried behavioral therapy for my trich a few times in the past, and it has never worked for me. I find that it requires so much time, effort, and emotional investment that it makes me depressed (made worse by the fact that it doesn't ever seem to reduce my urge to pull). I think that behavioral therapy causes me to be entirely too self-focused which is what makes me depressed. It feels like I spend 90% of my mental energy on the thing that is wrong w/ me, and I forget or have no time or energy left to enjoy all the good things in my life.

Before the risperdal, I had just come to accept the trich as part of who I am. The new drug is just a wonderful bonus, and I'll enjoy it as long as it continues to work for me.
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Old 04-09-12, 03:56 PM
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Re: Impulse Control Disorder - Skin Picking

Keeping an open mind to any kind of treatment. However, my county's medical est. is overburdened and the onus is on me to figure it out, unless money to burn on pro opinion and their prescriptions.

I woke up recently, last ~6 months and realized: My body is my own and I am the authority (well, the 'I am my own authority' part was more from reading on Zen Buddhism, but definitely rings true considering how easily we give away our personal authority to the experts (refer to Steve Hagen's books, if interested). (oh, and yeah, aware of no self as thing. There is no 'I'.)

Laid off job and divorce is perhaps the best things to happen to me, as have taken the time to figure out a lot of things: going bonkers in a small basement room led to finally trying meditation, surfing for physical ailments, discovering others have skin picking problems like me, adult add, anxiety disorder, etc. Really, maybe there is just one root problem, otherwise death by labels.

Currently experimenting with Orthomolecular medicine (mega doses of vitamins, taking 40mg dexedrine + 20-30 mg Paxil (acknowledge, it is not popular), exercise (wogging: walk and jog), and egads, come to think of it, lots of other things...like binaural beats, fasting, green smoothies. The list would go on, and, smoke! even for me, were I to read this post, what a whack-job, eh?
I like to experiment until I find something that works: big thumbs up for both pax and dex, meditation amazing! (who knew doing nothing could make me so blissful and happy)

My goal for signing up for this forum is to find more info on Vitamin interactions with Dexedrine, especially Vitamin C, for which I take 10 grams or more at once. The info I have found so far sounds like fear-mongering, so curious to know if anyone here has any experience to share.
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Old 04-23-12, 01:16 PM
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Re: Impulse Control Disorder - Skin Picking

HuntingADream, isnt it toxic for your liver to take that much vit C?
I take a bunch of supps every morning, which include zinc, fish oil, Cod liver oil, B complex, Alpha GPC, Brami(bacopa), vit C and E. Many of these i take hoping that they will improve my mild acne which i obsess over and pick at making it worse.

Nothing has made me stop, but there are things that have reduced it.
Stopping adderall for a few days helps my skin but to the detriment of my studies.
wearing a thin pair of silk gloves. I hate wearing them though, they themselves distract me. Umm getting out of the house. Going to study in the library, and trying to be around other people rather that alone at home in my pyjamas near the bathroom mirror.
putting my makeup on nicely in the morning makes me feel a bit more beautiful and kinda stops me from touching my face once i leave the house (cos i know ill expose all my carefully covered up blemishes if i start touching). All this has helped but not enough, so i just went to see my doc about it and he suggested i start taking the pill to clear up the acne. So i am on Yaz now. I have seen a reduction in the breakouts but still tryin to refrain from picking to let the blemishes heal.
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Old 05-04-12, 07:25 PM
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Re: Impulse Control Disorder - Skin Picking

I do this too, it's generally better when I'm home alone or can study without any interruptions. The minute my husband starts talking to me, every morning, or I feel stressed it goes way out of control. I tape my finger nails with scotch tape during the day. It helps a little...until I get ****** and tear if off.
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Old 05-17-12, 11:04 AM
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Re: Impulse Control Disorder - Skin Picking

DermOtic Oil ear drops has helped with my daughter's ear picking. Polysporin has helped a little with the nose picking. Vaseline sometimes helps with the other picking. I don't recall any more band-aids or blood from picking since our visit to the ear nose & throat specialist.
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