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Compulsive Picking: Finding out the benefits

  • Asks ...

    I started picking when I was about 16. I pick around the cuticles of my fingers and I can spend hours a day using my finger nails and small manicure scissors to remove small strips of skin from my fingers. My hands look like raw hamburger. It is so embarrassing but I have never been able to control myself. I notice some little piece of skin on a finger and I just have to have to pick at it. I don’t know why I can’t control myself. What can I do to stop myself from doing this? I am without any good ideas. I have tried wearing gloves at home, but I just don’t end up doing it and it’s not like I only pick at home and it’s not like I can wear gloves around all the time.

  • Connie Clark Says ...
    Connie Clark

    I suggest you look at what benefit you get out of picking, even as you know your hands look like raw hamburger and causes embarrassment. Does it put people off and allow you to maintain distance? Does it give you a sense of safety that people will not want to have any sort of intimate [not only sexual, but friendship] relationship? What does picking your fingers do for you? How does it make you feel/what body sensation[s] do you have when you have finished picking? Then also ask yourself, what are to downfalls or costs to you because you pick your nails to extreme rawness? the answer lies somewhere within you.

    And once you have figured out what the issue may be [even if not totally positive] seek help from someone who works well with people who have tendencies toward self-harmful coping techniques with some obsessiveness about your ritual. Also, someone who is both a therapist who is comfortable in using EFT or other energy techniques in the course of the therapeutic alliance might be of great benefit to you.

    Best of luck. Connie

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