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Thread: Seeking advice on a Psychological issue.

  1. #1

    Default Seeking advice on a Psychological issue.

    Well I'm starting this topic because I am living with a Psychological condition known as Dermatillomania. I have lived with this issue for many years but always in secrecy. If you're wondering what Dermatillomania is here's the description taken directly from Wikipedia:

    Dermatillomania (also known as neurotic excoriation, pathologic skin picking (PSP), compulsive skin picking (CSP) or psychogenic excoriation) is an impulse control disorder characterized by the repeated urge to pick at one's own skin, often to the extent that damage is caused. Research has suggested that the urge to pick is similar to an obsessive compulsive disorder but others have argued that for some the condition is more akin to substance abuse disorder. The two main strategies for treating this condition are pharmacological and behavioral intervention.

    Now that you know what it is I'm living with I'll get straight to the point. My parent's don't know about this disorder of mine, I've managed to keep it a secret from them for many years but I'm tired of running from the problem. In short I have no idea how the hell I'm supposed to tell them I'm obsessively picking at my skin.

    What I am looking for is advice on how to explain this issue to my parents without them thinking I'm nuts.

    My apologies if this is the wrong place for this topic.

  2. #2


    I know dat feel I have scitsofrenita and insomnia they go hand in hand now don't they the best way to do this is a third party get a doctors appointment and tell the doctor everything then get the doctor to tell your parents be aware they will put you on some sort of med but this thread isn't about solving your problem it is breaking it to your family either way good luck and stay pony my friend

  3. #3


    just come clean

    Start off by telling them one morning, that later that night, you'd like to talk about something serious. This gives you the day to work up your speech.

    Start off by telling them it has nothing to do with drugs, and isnt illegal by anymeans. Simply state, that you believe you have an issue which you have been hiding from them for years (you dont know why, unless you really do) and that you have checked out websites and that you wanted to come clean with them. They wont suddenly hate you, or call you a nut job. Once they see that its real, they will offer to get you help.

  4. #4


    Quite honestly, I think you're blowing this out of proportion. I understand you may be nervous about this whole thing but I'd talk to your parents (either together or one at a time depending on your relationship with them) and start off by letting them knoww that you are WORRIED that you MIGHT have a problem. If you use those two words it will guarantee that they will listen intently to try and help you understand what's going on and when you explain the situation to them as you've explained it to us and show them links to info about the disorder, then they would have to help you out. But how you react to it determines how they react to it.

    If you treat this like some horrible thing that you have to hide and that you want to persist doing in secret then they will see it as a drug like addiction. If you are legitimately seeking help from your parents and a medical professional, then they will view it as an OCD that you need help with.

  5. #5


    I have something similar although I do not worry about it or even call it a problem. In my case I chew my fingers/paws and sometimes if I am stressed I keep chewing untill they bleed. A good friend puts nasty tasting cream on them, that puts me off as the cream tastes nasty, or he will give my butt a good whack with the crevice tool from the vaccuum cleaner. I am a lot better now than I used to be.

  6. #6


    Thank you everyone for your kind responses. I'm going to write my mom a letter explaining the issue, I'm not very good at talking with people face to face with my problems so I've decided to take the indirect approach.

  7. #7


    My wife has dermatillomania and my twin brother has trichotillilomania (hair picking). I don't have any advice whatsoever I just wanted to say that I feel for you. Best of luck.

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by cr5311 View Post
    My wife has dermatillomania and my twin brother has trichotillilomania (hair picking). I don't have any advice whatsoever I just wanted to say that I feel for you. Best of luck.

    Thanks. That actually means a lot.

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