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CSP Support Group's Journal
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Date:2014-02-02 01:08

My mother told me about this article in our local paper today, figured some folks here might like to read it.

Skin picking and hair pulling get an official disorder diagnosis in the DSM-5

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Date:2012-11-24 11:14
Subject:Angela Hartlin's Official Website Launched!
Mood: excited

Hey all,

After the Philippines Channel GMA News 7 news segment I took part in aired 2 and a half hours ago, I decided it was time to launch my new official website! This is extremely exciting for me, to be able to provide the best online support links and bring together the work I've done in advocating for awareness about Dermatillomania.

If there was ever a time I asked for people to "share", "like", "tweet" or any other fancy social network term for resposting a link, this is it! Even on the homepage of my new site there's a "like" button! Please spread this link around, even to online support forums you use that are related to mental health.

Thank you so much! I hope to hear feedback on my pages about your thoughts on the website. I have also linked back to this Livejournal community for others to join us in this journey! This was the first support group that ever helped me realize that I was not alone in my struggles. I had posted about my picking in self-harm groups and that ONE person referred me to this community. Now I'm paying it forward. xox

♥ Angie

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Date:2012-07-23 01:35
Subject:Spreading Love- You ARE Worthy!

This is from a photo shoot today that I finally got to do with my boyfriend, to show everyone that it doesn't matter how bad your scars are... you can still be happy and be accepted. Please "Like" and "Share" the original image. Let's make some noise! No one deserves to feel the way I did and I want everyone to know that we are capable and worthy of love!

Here it is!

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Date:2012-02-18 00:56

I think I posted back here awhile ago when I was like 16...

Sad to say, I'm 25 now and am still picking. Don't really know how to stop, and it seems to have gotten worse since my recent divorce.

Have any of you told yourselves "I'm just gonna pick this one area...for like a minute", and then you ended up picking for like 5 hours straight? I've seriously kept myself up nights obsessively doing it, just trying to get all the skin off. It never worked though, because the skin would grow back faster than I would pick.

So far I've given myself two bad staph infections on my face because of it. I told myself I'd stop after that, but it didn't happen.

Ugh, so frustrating. Though, I have had periods in my life where I stopped for like a year. It was amazing, because I actually looked really good. I wish I could just pick on places nobody saw. It sucks. I hate feeling ashamed and I hate people knowing about this. My whole family gives me hell about it.

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Date:2012-02-08 21:38
Subject:For people who hate moles, etc.

I don't usually post much here because my CSP tends to be limited to a few intense areas (unfortunately they're all on my face), but my latest discovery is definitely worth sharing. I've had a few really annoying moles for as long as I can remember, and I think they contributed to the general skin loathing that I've always had too. I found a way to get rid of them, however!

If you have those moles that protrude a bit from your skin (raised or kind of an overgrown skin tag, doesn't matter which), you may be able to get rid of them with apple cider vinegar. Here are the instructions:

1. Rough up as much surface area of the target mole as you can stand. It's good to use an emery board for this. Don't make it bleed, but make it feel a bit raw.

2. Put vaseline or antibiotic cream (like Neosporin) around the mole on the normal skin.

3. Take a small piece of cotton ball just slightly larger than the mole, and dip it in apple cider vinegar.

4. Put the cotton ball piece on the mole and tape it firmly in place with a band-aid.

It's best to do this right before bed so you can leave it in place overnight. Some people like to apply the ACV more frequently, but all my moles needed was overnight for 3-5 nights. The mole will develop a scab at first, and then go blackish or whitish and harden. Eventually, it will wither to a small scab that you can just pull off. When it's at the very hard stage, don't try and rough it up or use any more ACV. At this stage I just applied Neosporin at night, and I kept applying it for a while after the mole came off. It's insane, but my 2 most-hated moles have vanished quite literally without a trace! Another formerly prominent one is barely a tiny bump, and you can't see it at all. The other two are just slightly reddish areas where the moles used to be. I was shocked by how well this worked, since most of those "cures" you read about online are just shams.

Anyway, I feel so much better now! The mole on my neck that was so obvious is gone, and the one in my armpit is too. :) I can go necklace-free if I choose, and now when I'm lifting weights in the gym or high-fiving someone, I'm not self-conscious. :) I hope this helps some of you who have skin issues similar to my own!

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Date:2012-01-17 01:02

Hi, I'm new to the community so I guess I'll just explain my situation. 
I started picking a couple of years ago, when I started high school. I don't really have an acne problem but my skin isn't flawless or anything. I usually pick at imperfections that don't exist or aren't visible. I make them ten times bigger in my mind and I can't help but pick at them. I think it is triggered by stress, and also just idleness. I have tried a million things to stop, including therapy, gloves, getting rid of mirrors in the house, distractions, finger toys, etc. I am still resisting medication for health reasons but my problem is getting worse and it seems like I'm the only one despite there being an obvious group right here. It's especially hard because I am so much happier when I'm not in the picking cycle, but I fall back into it with every coming exam or trigger so easily and I have no way of stopping. Anyway if anyone has other suggestions than what I listed, I will give it an honest effort. Thanks!

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Date:2011-12-13 19:07
Subject:Dominant Hand?

Greetings, Comrades! 

Do any of you notice anything weird about the hand they typically pick with versus their dominant hand?

It recently came to my attention that I only pick with my left hand, and mostly on areas on the right side of my body, however I am right handed. Wouldn't it be more logical that if I were to have a mostly unconscious habit such as CSP that my body would use my dominant hand for it's dexterity and ease of use? This could be an interesting clue to the disorder if I'm not the only one. 

Love and Light,


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Date:2011-11-25 00:00
Subject:Hi :)
Mood: stressed

Hi, I'm Nikki. 

I've struggled with CSP as long as I can remember, most notably when I was a young child with the chicken pox. I am now 20 and the condition has gotten gradually worse, I have severe scarring on my back, neck, shoulders, arms, face, and chest. Despite being pretty attractive and fascinating otherwise, this condition is ruining my social life and romantic relationships. I constantly feel shame over the appearance of my skin; I hate picking, but I can't make myself stop.

I only recently realized this was an actual condition with a name and am now seeking support as I have a number of inflamed or infected areas that I can't leave alone. Have any of you found anything that helps??? 

Love and Light

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Date:2011-11-21 01:31
Mood: blah

New to the community, my name is Julia, I'm 19 years old and I've been struggling with CSP for as long as I can remember. Despite seeing a psychologist and a psychiatrist, I'm having a hard time in recovering because my mother doesn't feel it is a legitimate problem. Its almost like she thinks I scratch and peel the skin on my face on purpose.

I know her acknowledgement wont make it go away, but has anyone else had a family member react like this?

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Date:2011-10-24 18:28

Hi guys, I feel a little silly for posting this but I was hoping someone would take a look at this http://justalilstar.tumblr.com/post/11865790312 please? I've been biting the skin on my fingers since I was a kid but the past few months I have been biting my thumb joint and it looks set to scar. Sometimes I also pick at my scalp, I even did the same with my daughters cradle cap =( is this a problem? I jusy never thought of it like that before xxxxxxx

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Date:2011-06-28 18:06
Subject:Challenge - join me!

Hi again!
These pics are taken few min ago.. I would like to start non picking challenge, so if anyone want to join me, feel free. My max challenge was 4 days :((( I'm posting these pics here so that I don't forget about my decision and I want to make it public (I hope that that will give me some kind of obligation).
Anyway, haven't been picking for 2 days, but only because I've destroyed my face..and when I see my face destroyed I can control myself....how interesting :( in a few days my face will be better and God help me!

So if you want to join me, like I said feel free. You can also post some pics, so after few days, weeks, hope months we can see our progress (I hope) :D





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Date:2011-06-26 18:11
Subject:my scars

Here are my scars, after summer, few years ago...my both arms are like that, whole back and face..looks like my body's freckled, but is not...:((

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Date:2011-06-03 15:26
Subject:Recognized by Fox News!

     I highly recommend the Trichotillomania Learning Center's annual conference for any skin-picker or hair-puller who wants to meet people with this disorder and the top specialists around the world who work in treatments for these disorders. Not only that, but you learn about so many facets surrounding what it’s like to have these disorders, in an open forum with those who understand and do not judge! Please visit www.trich.org for more information; every year they hold a retreat too so if you missed out on the conference, the retreat is in September! I will admit that it is a bit pricey to attend these events… but if you have the money and wonder if it’s worth spending it on a trip to these, it is worth that and so much more! It is one thing to talk to other sufferers online but meeting them, talking about the disorder, and not having to explain… having that and professionals who actually study Body- Focused Repetitive Behaviors is something every sufferer should experience at least once in a lifetime.

After returning from the conference in San Francisco, I received a message from Fox 11 News LA because they wanted to interview me via Skype about what it’s like to have Dermatillomania, the struggles I’ve faced, the progress of the documentary, and how “FOREVER MARKED: A Dermatillomania Diary” has helped with raising awareness about it. Although I do not approve of the term “Skinarexia” that was used in the news segment (Aired May 25th to residents of LA), it was done well and is another positive step with helping to get the word out. You can watch the news segment here on my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gvWozAdDWQ

A sneak peak of what wasn’t aired on Fox has been uploaded to my channel as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSTxXl4Nuzw&feature=related . It talks about the help we need with documentary and how you can help (with even being included in the credits or special features section of the finished product!).

If you watched it, you will have noted the website reference www.ipickmyskin.com . It is a web portal designed to compile all of the links we have as resources to have in one place. The link to buy my book, to help out with the documentary “Scars of Shame”, to TLC, my Facebook Fan Page, Facebook Causes, Facebook Dermatillomania Awareness Group, my YouTube channel, and Twitter are all included! Instead of having to surf the net to find these sites, they are all conveniently located on this site.

This is a very exciting time for all of us. We are finally making the world aware of our suffering from this disorder. My goals in working with the media are always going to be to raise awareness using honesty instead of sensationalizing the disorder or using it as a “shock factor”. This disorder is real, serious, and affects many people despite age or gender. I would like to ask that you share a YouTube video or two of mine on your wall if you’re comfortable with sharing something that hits close to home for you, or my channel in general. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your continued support and for watching my journey with raising awareness.

Love: Angie

***PS: I am going to ask the owner of www.ipickmyskin.com to include this group under the "links" section so we can bring all of our resources together!

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Date:2011-02-02 18:05
Subject:Dermatillomania Documentary!
Mood: excited

After working on the dermatillomania (compulsive skin picking) documentary for over a year and a half, a trailer for it can now be seen on my YouTube channel! Please share this in other online communities you are involved in, and to anyone. I want this video to go viral for the people who need to see it. Thank you!


♥ Angie

PS- If you haven't joined my facebook page yet, please visit: http://www.facebook.com/pages/FOREVER-MARKED-A-Dermatillomania-Diary-by-Nova-Scotian-author-A-Hartlin/177738602694

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Date:2011-01-15 08:24
Subject:My review of Dermablend for Facial OCD Scars

I don't know if this has been discussed before, but I just recently was able to try out Dermablend ( http://www.dermablend.com ) at my local Macy's. With my Social Anxiety, it was a difficult proposition to even talk to a stranger at the makeup counter, but I was persuaded by my mother (more like dragged) to the Dermablend makeup display. There was a very nice lady who asked what I wanted to cover (ocd scratching scars on my face) and she asked if she coukd clean the makeup off one of my scars (embarrassing, but she was very sympathetic) and she matched my skin tone very quickly.

I bought the 16-hour setting powder along with with the actual jar of coverage cream, and I am extremely happy with the results. The cream is "professional coverage" and quickly virtually erases both dark and pink scars. The setting powder is a must if you have oily skin or sweat a lot, though, because it can dissolve a bit over the day if you leave off the powder. I have my own cosmetic brushes at home, so I didn't need to buy any, so my total cost for both cream & powder was around $60, which is a bargain for peace of mind, in my opinion, since I'm sensitive about how my face looks.

Just FYI, they also sell a special cream for body scars, and with the setting powder on, they say you can even swim with it on, without smearing. I haven't tried it, but am a little skeptical. Anyone else have Dermablend products?

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Date:2010-12-01 14:13
Subject:Still recruiting participants for study on self-harm

Hi there,

I know some members from this group have participated in our research, so I wanted to send along a quick update and to let you know that we are still recruiting participants for our research on self-harm.  The Characteristics Associated with Self-Injury Study began in March 2009. Since we began, over 350 people from 18 different countries have participated in this study. 83 people are currently participating in the longitudinal portion of the study, completing questionnaires every three months. This part will help us understand patterns of self-injury over time, as well as what motivates people to recover or stop from self-injuring. 

Below is some more information about the study. Please email us at perl@sfu.ca if you have any questions or if you are interested in participating!

Best wishes!
The Personality and Emotion Research Lab


Hello again from the Personality and Emotion Research Laboratory (PERL)!

Would you like to help us understand how to help people who self-harm? We are currently recruiting participants for the second phase of our research on self-harm, and we want your help! Participating in the study takes 2 hours, and you will receive an online gift certificate worth $10 CAD for each time point you complete, plus a chance for a $25 bonus if you complete all the follow-ups for a total of $75.

If you are interested in participating, please email us at perl@sfu.ca. All your information will be kept confidential, and no identifying information is linked to your responses.


Background Information:

Self-injury (sometimes called “self-harm”) involves harming yourself on purpose. Some examples include cutting or burning yourself, taking an overdose of pills, or banging your head. Right now, very little is known about why people start or stop self-harming. The Personality and Emotion Research Lab (PERL), a research team from Simon Fraser University in Canada, is conducting a study to learn more about the experiences of people who self-harm, and we want your help! We are interested in how emotions, life experiences, stress and coping styles affect self-harm. We hope that this research will help other people understand more about why people self-harm and what they can do to help.

What you can do:

If you want to participate in this study, you will fill out online questionnaires on self-harm, emotions, coping, symptoms, and life events. These questionnaires will take approximately 2 hour to complete. Later, you’ll have a chance to complete follow-up questionnaires over a 12 month period. Although the first session is long, the follow-up questionnaires are shorter, and usually take on 30 to 90 minutes to complete.

Who can participate:

We are looking for people who currently self-harm (whether you are trying to stop or not), AND those who have self-harmed in the past and quit.You must be at least 16 years old to participate.

What’s in it for you:

Participants who complete the questionnaires will receive a $10 (Canadian currency) gift certificate each time you complete the questionnaires (from amazon.com or PayPal). In addition, you will receive a $25 bonus if you complete all five follow-ups in the first year! Telling us about your experiences will give us important information on how self-harm changes over time, and could help develop and improve treatments for people who want to stop self-harming.

Important Information:

This study is the second phase of this line of research, and builds on the previous study. If you have already participated in our research (in a study called “Characteristics Associated with Self-Injury”), you are still eligible to complete this study.

Please contact us at perl@sfu.ca if you are interested in participating or if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Personality and Emotion Research Laboratory (PERL)
Simon Fraser University
Department of Psychology
RCB5246, 8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1S6

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Date:2010-10-09 15:13
Mood: sad

Have you ever gone to therapy for this?

Did it help?

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Date:2010-08-16 01:45
Subject:My head hurts...

 Hi. I googled CSP support groups and this is what came up. Thank God I have a livejournal account.
I skimmed through a few of the posts before I decided to share and I just want to say that I know I'm not as bad as some people on here, but I'm really starting to get worried- and I need somewhere to dump my thoughts. 

So, I just got done with a little masterpiece on my forehead. Right now it feels as if my head is swollen, and I can't really move my eyebrows. I don't know how long I was in front of the mirror. Its like, once I start- I just can't stop. I go into this trance, and all I'm focused on is getting whatever is in there to come out- even if theres nothing there. 
I stood there and just squeezed, and sqeezed. Then I got the tweezers and scraped and poked. And when I finally forced myself to stop, I put some toner on it- and then some toothpaste cause I couldn't bare to look at what I had done. 

I pick at my face, my nails, my toenails, my skin around my toenails, and my ingrown hairs on my legs. When I wear shorts in public, I actually pick my ingrown hairs out in the open. Say if I'm hanging out with a few friends and were watching tv or something- if theres enough light- my leg will be covered in multiple little welts in no time.

I do have anxiety, but I'm not so sure about depression. I get panic attacks- and when I pick my face like i just did, I realized it ususally happens during a stressful time. 

How do I stop?

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Date:2010-08-09 20:52

Seriously, I'm almost in tears over finding this LJ community. I'm a wreck. My skin looks bad, probably not too terrible but enough scars on my arms and face to show that something is wrong. I'm 35. I've been picking at my skin ever since I was a child. It got worse when I hit puberty and had constant acne. I have OCD, I know that. Thursday I have an appointment with my psychiatrist. How do I talk to him about my picking? My really wonderful therapist took a position in another city too far away from me to go see her. She had suggested that maybe I talk to him about the picking, but at the time it wasn't so bad. Then the stress ramps up and I'm in heaven picking and feeling so much better (although in pain) picking the skin.

God help me, i love it, but I hate how I look and how sad it makes my husband whenever he catches me and brings me out of my picking trance. Finger and fidget toys don't work. I've tried. Knitting and crocheting helps, but if I put them down to read I'm right back at whatever scab is reachable. And if there aren't any, it seems like I make scabs too. The OCD wants everything to be smooth and not bumpy or rough.

I'm on meds for generalized anxiety disorder and depression but they do nothing to stop the picking.

What methods are you all using to help stop? I've read somewhere that even using the 12-steps would help.

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Date:2010-08-05 09:52
Subject:Picking while asleep?

Does anyone pick just before they go to sleep? During sleep? Do you wake up and pick while you're half-asleep?

I do all of these things and I was wondering how many people do the same thing. I hate it, but I've been doing it for years now and it's a hard thing to break. It's so embarrassing to wake up in the morning to see that I've torn scabs off or picked at a zit and then have my husband ask what happened to me.

Any ideas as to why this happens? For me, I think I subconsciously pick before I sleep because it's soothing, and then I pick in my sleep because of my OCD, and pick while I'm half-asleep because it's an excuse to keep picking ("I was sleepy! I didn't know what I was doing!")

I take meds for OCD and I've had sleeping pills prescribed to try and knock me out without the picking, but so far it's still a struggle.

Does anyone have any similar stories?

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