Excoriation (Skin Picking) Disorder is an obsessive-compulsive spectrum condition in which sufferers repeatedly pick at their skin. Crystal Quater, MMFT, of the OCD Center of Los Angeles discusses her personal experience with, and recovery from, Excoriation Disorder, and how she treats clients struggling with this condition.
“I’m not going to do it, I’m not going to do it”, I repeatedly thought on my way home from work. Yet, once again, I found myself in front of my bathroom mirror, picking at those pesky bumps that wouldn’t seem to go away. When something came out, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief and accomplishment.
Next, I grabbed a needle that I had carefully hidden in a small bathroom drawer and went to town on the stubborn bumps that didn’t respond to mere picking. I thought I was being clever by creating smaller incisions and doing what I imagined my facialist did when my eyes were closed. But when I finished, all I saw were raw wounds and a face that looked worse than it did before. I was left wondering how I would ever face the outside world with my unmistakable marks of humiliation.
Unfortunately, it was often difficult to remind myself of these painful episodes the next time I had the urge to pick. That’s because I always thought “I can resist the urge this time”. Read More »