Skin Picking on stimulants, What’s the deal?

So, I wish I could tell you this was not a real phenomenon but It totally is.  I wish I could tell you I did not know anything about this, but the picture above is a real picture from my life years ago that I took.  I used to joke, “If you see me going int he bathroom with a knife in my face or tweezers in my hand —STOP ME”, the problem is it is hard to stop me.  I will lie, tell you I’m fine, I’m not fucking with my face….but the second i can sneak away  would be trying to sneak off and pick some more……Like all “geeks” they tend to get worse over time until they are way crazy and out of control.  A night or two of picking at your face can leave you in a total mess.

I lived with this problem for about a year until I got in some major pain with it.  Tired of waking up to a scabbed up face.  Tired of not being able to look anyone in the eye for weeks after the episode.  I was at a loss, every time I did uppers it would start almost immediately.   My solution:  Harm Reduction.

First I made an assessment of what the problem was:  I was doing stimulants and once I got high I would immediately start feeling my scalp, my face, find a zit, pick the scab off it get the tweezers out and start picking out black heads and off I would go… destroying my face.  I realized that when I first started using drugs I would have an activity to do and then use drugs to make the activity I was going to do more fun….but that had long ago stopped.  Now I was doing drugs in lui of an activity.  My activity had become doing drugs…..this is how the GEEK begins I think, boredom while high, and then you begin to get destructive, looking out windows, picking your face, searching for lost drugs (treasure trolling) all of that weird shit.

Harm Reduction helped me work this situation out.  Once I realized that my drug uses had become my hobby, my activity, my life….it was the beginning of me realizing that my drug use needed to change.  If I was going to use drugs I needed to have something to do, something to focus on, drugs were originally intended to enhance whatever it was I was doing….i needed to get back to that.  One of the biggest misconceptions about drug use is that you can’t move backwards, that once you get to a certain place you are doomed and you can’t go backwards.  Example, once you shoot drugs you can’t go back to snorting them.  THIS IS NOT TRUE>  It takes work, It takes commitment but, it can be done.  It must be done, if you have any hopes of improving life.  This was just my experience here is what the experts say:

skub oucSpeed pic

Chronic Skin Picking

CSP is now thought of as one of many Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs) in which a person can cause harm or damage to themselves or their appearance. Other BFRBs include chronic hair pulling (trichotillomania), biting the insides of the cheeks, and severe nail biting. Skin picking or other BFRBs can occur when a person experiences feelings such as anxiety, fear, excitement or boredom. Some people report that the act of repetitively picking at their skin is pleasurable. Many hours can be spent picking the skin, and this repetitive behavior can negatively impact a person’s social, work and family relationships. Though skin picking often occurs on its own—unconnected to other physical or mental disorders—it is important to identify whether or not skin picking is a symptom of another problem that needs treatment. For example, skin picking could be a symptom of illnesses such as dermatological disorders, autoimmune problems, body dysmorphic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance abuse disorders (such as opiate withdrawal), developmental disorders (like autism) and psychosis. Establishing whether skin picking is an independent problem or a symptom of another disorder is an important first step in creating an appropriate treatment plan. Am I the only one who picks my skin? No, most people pick their skin to some degree. Occasional picking at cuticles, acne blemishes, scabs, calluses or other skin irregularities is a very common human behavior. It also is not unusual for skin picking to actually become a problem, whether temporary or chronic. In fact, studies indicate that 2% of all dermatology patients and 4% of college students pick their skin to the point where it causes noticeable tissue damage and marked distress or impairment in daily functioning. It is important to remember that you are not alone with this problem. When is skin picking a serious problem? There is no universally agreed-upon standard as to when skin picking becomes a serious problem. In more serious cases, though, the picking is generally time-consuming, results in noticeable tissue damage, and causes emotional distress. When it is even more severe, people often suffer impairment in social, occupational and physical functioning. This can include avoiding social activities such as going to the pool, gym or beach; being late for work or other events because of the time it takes to cover up the picking; and avoiding contact with anyone who may notice bleeding, scars or sores. What causes chronic skin picking? The cause of this disorder remains a mystery. However, research shows that some animals also pick or chew at their bodies, causing great damage. Because of this similarity, and the fact that in some women skin picking can fluctuate with the menstrual cycle, many believe that skin picking has an underlying genetic or biological cause. Skin picking may also serve as an emotional outlet for some people. Repetitive skin picking appears to be a way for some people to increase their activity levels when they are bored, or to control their emotions when they are feeling anxious, tense or upset. The fact that some individuals can actually regulate their emotions by picking their skin may be why they develop this problem in the first place. Skin picking may cause a person to “numb” or “zone” out as a way of dealing with feelings that seem overwhelming. However, this has not been scientifically proven. Is skin-picking a self-injurious behavior, like cutting or burning yourself? No. Chronic skin picking can sometimes be confused with self-injurious and self-mutilating behaviors like cutting or burning of the skin because of the appearance of skin wounds and the fact that skin picking is self-inflicted. However, it is very important to distinguish between these two types of behaviors. People with CSP do not wish to cause themselves pain in order to relieve a sense of numbness or to assert a level of control over their bodies like those who cut or burn themselves. While people who pick their skin may find picking to be a pleasurable act, the aftermath is actually one of distress and remorse. How does chronic skin picking start? Skin picking can begin in a number of ways, but two in particular are quite common. First, a person may experience an injury to or disease of the skin. When the wound starts to heal, a scab forms and sometimes starts to itch. This may lead the person to pick or scratch at the scab. Unfortunately, with further trauma, the skin never completely heals. This can result in repeated scabbing and itching, which is then relieved with further picking.

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