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The Borovkoff Blog

Neo-Pagan Modern Thoughts On Society

But in some cases, about 4% of the population, 8 women to 1 man, suffer from dermatillomania. Where picking takes on a different meaning. Where the person picks until they reach bone, blood, or in some cases a major artery. There are cases of people suffereing from this mental illness who pick holes so deep in their face that they must undergo extensive surgery to rebuild their face.

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Many people pick their skin. Its part of normal maintenance to remove dead skin, tear off a hang nail that is bothering you, pull off a white head the is irritating you, or picking that scab that is dry and itchy. Its a normal part of human cleanup.

But in some cases, about 4% of the population, 8 women to 1 man, suffer from dermatillomania. Where picking takes on a different meaning. Where the person picks until they reach bone, blood, or in some cases a major artery. There are cases of people suffereing from this mental illness who pick holes so deep in their face that they must undergo extensive surgery to rebuild their face.

I am here to stand as a token man who suffers from dermatillomania. Finally I know its name and finally I know I am not entirely alone. For me, the obsessive compulsive act is brought on by stress or depression. But sometimes it just comes for no apparent reason.

My earliest memory of self mutilation is when I was in first grade. I was sent to the school nurse at recess because my hands were bleeding as if I had cut myself on the playground. Little did the staff know that I actually had picked the skin off my hands so deeply that I almost reached the muslce tissue below. Only when the pain was so bad and the blood so wet on my hands that I could not longer pick, did I stop.

My tools have always been my fingers and sometimes finger nails. (I try to keep them short to try and avoid the tendency). And my targets have usually been my hands. Out of nervousness or depression or anxiety, or all of the above. The pain seems to snap me back into reality. When my hands were too ripped apart to pick anymore, I would move to my feet. And then I would only stop when I could no longe walk because the pain of having no skin on the bottom of my feet was unbearable.

I am here to tell you that you are not alone. There are others who do this and there is help. Every day of my life I battle with this illness and every day of my life forever I will continue to battle with it. If you suffer from it please talk about it with friends or family and get help. As I type now, the pain of my bleeding fingers striking keys reminds me that it is part of me and something that I will always need to be aware of and work on. You should not feel alone, nor feel ashamed. Many people have dermatillomania and many people live productive lives still. If you know someone who suffers from this illness like I do, don’t let it get so far that they become hospitilized, give them this article or send them the links below and let them know there are many other people who suffer just like them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermatillomania

http://www.stoppickingonme.com/

http://www.skinpick.com/compulsive-skin-picking

 

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