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bluestbird
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 7/28/2009 5:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello. I am bipolar, the slow cycling type. I am 32 years old and have had acne since I was a teen. I have always picked at my acne. But the acne and the skin picking has been getting worse. When my pdoc added Abilify to my anti-depressants and mood stabilizer my menstrual periods become heavier and my acne became noticeably worse. (I've been off the abilify for a month or so now) I keep picking at it more and more for HOURS a day... my face is a mess, my shoulders are all torn up and as horrible as this is... my chest, all around my breasts I have picked everything apart.

My husband keeps telling me to stop, that there is nothing there and that I am only making it worse. I'm worried about the scarring BUT I just can't stop, I pick when he is at work or after he goes to bed.

Does anyone else do this? Has Abilify given anyone else menstrual problems and/or acne?

I am having such a hard time trying to get through this really low depression right now... it is so difficult... I just want to get better... but nothing seems to help.

Karin

fibrocrafter
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/28/2009 6:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Yeah, I'm a skin picker too. I pick the skin on my fingers. I don't mean the hang nails. I mean the pads of my fingers all the way down to the knuckle and sometimes down to the wedge in between. It started out with dry and cracked fingertips, and then I got this sensation, a type of anxiety release or something from doing it and it just got further and further down my fingers. Now, my fingers won't heal. They get dry over and over again and tough skinned and I hate the feeling so I pick to get the feel of fresh skin underneath except it's not fresh skin...it's raw skin. Then I'm bandaging up my fingers, hands, whatever and making excuses to people...you know..."burned my fingers" or stuff. Sometimes I'm bleeding all over the place from it. I looked it up online and sure enough, there is a name for it. "Dermatillamania", a type of OCD. There is a show on cable that features OCD and it actually featured skin pickers, just like you. She was stuck in the mirror for hours doing her skin picking. Didn't get to finish the episode or I'd tell you what to do. Also, what is the slow cycling kind of bipolar? I didn't know there was a difference.

bluestbird
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 7/28/2009 9:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the reply... it helps to let me know that I am not alone in this. I am Bipolar Type I, called slow cycling or deep cycling. Lows are lower for longer and highs are higher for longer. I have only had two manic episodes... both ended up in psychiatric hospitalizations.

I think I know the cable show you are talking about... I'll have to keep an eye open for that episode.

As far as your skin picking... I guess I never thought of it as an OCD problem til you mentioned it... my husband picks at his fingers and like you it's not just his cuticles. He says he doesn't even realize he is doing it. The ends of his fingers are all deformed. Kind of makes me feel a bit better to know that my husband has at least a slight form of OCD... now I'm not the only one who has mental problems ;)

Thanks again for the info... Take Care

pickerandpuller
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/9/2009 7:56 AM (GMT -6)   
You are NOT alone! I have recieved help and encouragement beyond my wildest dreams through phone meetings of Skin Pickers Anonymous. I started picking my skin at six and I'm 30 years old and I pick everywhere on my body. I pick anywhere I can reach, sometimes for hours, and I pull my hair from my legs, chest, stomach, pubic area, and anywhere else I see "imperfections" I also pick my scalp and have had several very bad infections. I tried EVERYTHING to stop and over the years it's only gotten worse. I've tried cog behavior therapy, habit reversal therapy, talk therapy, blockers, abstinence, group therapy, online programs (not free) and every SSRI on the market. However, I recently found a 12 step group for skin pickers and now have HOPE and people I can reach out to for support. I have experienced repreive from my picking as I never have before! Today, I'm not facing this devistating illness alone and I no longer have to "figure it out." It's a HUGE relief and I have seen MIRACLES of healing and recovery. Please call in if you need support. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. SKIN PICKERS ANONYMOUS PHONE MEETING - Sundays at 7PM EST.

(I'm SO sorry I had to take the phone # out but we discourage the use of real personal info on the boards to discourage spam. Perhaps there's a website? -- serafena)

Post Edited By Moderator (serafena) : 8/10/2009 4:36:02 PM (GMT-6)


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/10/2009 5:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I am a vicious skin picker too -- mostly my face. I use a 10x mirror. Sometimes it's so compulsive and so bad I have to call my DH in to stop me because I'll have been at it for like and hour and a half. I used to be a cutter. It's a similar compulsion. It's born out of seriously bad self-esteem and the inability to express emotion properly. You need to discuss it with your therpist. Medicine won't make it go away -- only learning new habits will. This has been one of my hardest.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


mommy.michele
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 8/10/2009 8:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes I agree...you need to talk to a therapist about this and get to the bottom of what you are still keeping inside. I myself was a hair puller. Ever since I was a ****, until adulthood. I can tell when I am stressed because I start to twirl my hair. Well I fixed that and chopped off all of my hair :)
"Just because you're in the driver's seat, doesn't mean
you have to run people over." ~ Fred Pausch


spinnaker
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 8/11/2009 11:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I am glad to find and read this as we are dealing with this now with our teen daughter. She is adopted and has had a very traumatic life. Her mother was bipolar but so far we don't see signs of it, however she's a picker. Does this habit often occur with bipolar? And bluestbird, she picks exactly where you do- shoulders, and around her breasts and now her face. I wonder why here? She also digs at her scalp and i am afraid of infection. We talked to a therapist but she wasn't too worried or interested? Her advice wasn't very helpful. Anyway, I will try some things mentioned here and watch this thread for further developments.
Thanks
Spinnaker

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/12/2009 9:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi spinnaker,

Welcome to the bipolar board. Think anxiety more than bipolar. It's a way to release tension. Take her to a new therapist. She's got more to work through than the picking. The picking is a symptom of larger issues, not the issue itself, if that makes sense.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


spinnaker
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 8/12/2009 11:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you, that will definitely be our next step.
Spinnaker
 
I also wanted to ask Do any of you who pick also have vitiligo? She does and she looses pigment where she's picked. She had fallen before we adopted her and had large scabs on her knees. She picked and picked at them (pre-adoption) and this was the one of the first places she lost pigment. I noticed this pattern to her pigment loss about a year ago and wondered if anyone has experienced this and thought I'd ask?
Thank you again,
Spinnaker
 
PS Just wanted to clarify, I don't mean the vitiligo causes the picking (skin itches etc, it does not) but that her picking (trauma to the skin) results in the vitiligo.

Post Edited (spinnaker) : 8/12/2009 11:00:05 AM (GMT-6)


LadyKnight4
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 8/15/2009 2:07 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm a quick cycler, and I am a crazy picker. Things on or in skin that "shouldn't" be there freak me out. Like I just don't want to pop or pick my skin. I'm ready to chase down my husband if I see a little hint of anything! When my baby was a newborn, she had pretty bad cradle cap, and I had to restrain myself from tearing her scalp apart to get it all off. I even fixate on facial piercings because those metal loops do not belong hanging out of that lip!

I was also a cutter and a hair-puller, so I think (for me) it's related to more of an anxiety issue. But I do get very frustrated and actually have to look away from people sometimes if they have a "thing" on them that my brain doesn't like. I'm kinda weird.
"Sanity is a cozy lie." ~ Susan Sontag


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/15/2009 3:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Thecrazycatlady,

Just wanted to take a moment to welcome you to the bipolar board. Do you suffer from bipolar as well as the skin rubbing and picking?

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

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