Helping with the psychological effects of skin problems and picking
I’m am so happy you reached out. I know anyone reading this feels a tremendous amount of empathy. Our hearts go out to you and you are not alone on these skin problems.
I often talk to my patients about picking behavior. And really… almost ALL of us pick something at certain times. Some of us pick a spot on our scalp, or our cuticles, or hangnails, or spots on our skin, or pull on hair, and even more. Think of this as a scale or continuum with very mild on one end and much more severe on the other.
You are clearly on the more severe end and are really suffering. Please, please, please go and talk to your primary care doctor, show her/him and ask for a referral to a good psychologist or psychiatrist to help you. Often depression is part of the problem, but there are often other issues as well. Sometimes this is a variant of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and some believe that they have small mites in the skin, etc. Help is out there for you!
In the past, we have sent patients to work with biofeedback therapy to increases awareness of the picking. Meditation, which can increase awareness, may be another good option. Pema Chodran in Getting Un Stuck may be a good resource.
When you have conquered and controlled the picking behavior, please write back to me, and I’ll be happy to give you some ideas for the scarring and skin changes you are seeing.