Depression and Weight Issues Have you been diagnosed with depression, are possibly on depression medication, and find it affects your weight loss efforts? Post here for support!

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Old 07-08-2006, 04:24 AM   #1  
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Default Self Mutilation? (warning, kinda gross)

There is this issue that Iíve been dealing with from the time I was around 14. This was also the time I started hating myself because I was fat, and no longer hating the kids that teased me.

I have this habit, I pick at my skin. My Father said I was starting to look like a heroin addict. I guess because they pick at their skin too. I donít know what it is that makes me do this. And Iíve never really seen a doctor about it. Everything I see a bump, like from a pimple or a rash or anything, I have to pick at it till it is gone. I have this image of something under my skin that isnít suppose to be there.

Iíve turned something a tiny as an ingrown hair into a quarter sized scar. I can no longer wear tank tops or even anything with sleeves shorter than the elbow because my upper arms and shoulders are covered in scars. My thighs are the worst, with many large dark scars spotting them.

Thankfully though Iíve, for the most part, left my face alone.

Iíve caught myself scratching at scabs, for no reason at all. Iíll be reading a book, or watching tv and realize that Iím bleeding because Iíve been picking or scratching. Iíve even done it in my sleep. Iíve thought that perhaps it was just something I do when Iím stressed or nervous. I recently read a article on the internet about a girl who was doing almost the same thing I was, she was told it was a form of self-mutilationÖ much like cutting.

I do have bouts of low self esteem and time when I really hate myself. I wonder if this could be a form of self mutilation, and if I need help for it, or if there even is help for it.

Iím just a bit confused, but most of all Iím tired of this habit that I canít seen to break.
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Old 07-08-2006, 06:21 AM   #2  
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I self-injured for a good decade before I began to recover from it. Therapy was helpful and there's also a community online called Bodies Under Siege that may be helpful to you. There is a web board like this one for support, an email group, IRC room and a website with plenty of information.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-08-2006, 08:02 AM   #3  
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Sakai the best thing you can do for yourself is to get diagnosed by a professional. I know your probably saying NO WAY, its to embarassing or what ever... but believe me, once you get it off your chest and the doctor can either give you meds or direction, your gonna feel 100000 times better. Life is to short to go thru it feeling low and hating yourself. Don't drive yourself nuts trying to "figure it out" alone. Also remember doctors are plentyful, if you don't get the proper help from one, move on and find another. One size does NOT fit all. You deserve to be happy don'tcha think? yes of course you do.

Good Luck, we are all rooting for you
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Old 07-08-2006, 11:36 AM   #4  
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I would like to echo Leenie's sentiments. You are a wonderful and beautiful person, you just have a small problem that you need taken care of. Go see someone and get some help, it will make all the difference in the world.

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Old 07-09-2006, 01:53 PM   #5  
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There are people out there that can help you, and if you don't like the first doctor you see, go to another, there are people who care,
we care too

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Old 07-09-2006, 02:35 PM   #6  
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OCD obsessive compulsive disorder, look into that. and yes you should seek treatment, it's dangerous. self mutilation is done on purpose, if you say you even do this in your sleep, and you can't control it, it goes beyond that.
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Old 07-09-2006, 11:41 PM   #7  
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Thanks for the link madscientist. I really learned a bunch from it. I Haven't talked about it to my family much. I tell them I think I need to see someone to talk to ( I'm very sure I have depression.) But it seems as though no one really belives me.
I'm a bit afraid to get up and do such on my own, but I'm really thinking about swallowing my fear and looking into it with or without help. Thanks for all your help everyone.
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:05 PM   #8  
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i was in therapy for cutting as a teen. thankfully the scars are only noticable if you know that they are there. i do pick at my face when nervous. but that is a nervous habit and nothing like what i did to my arms and thighs as a teen. GL with this. Therapy was my best recovery tool
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Old 07-12-2006, 03:03 PM   #9  
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I am a therapist and I would highly recommend you get professional therapy along with a psychiatric consult for some meds. Both can be very helpful! You are not alone in this, and there is amazing support if you seek it. Good luck to you.
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Old 07-29-2006, 06:06 PM   #10  
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I'm a bachelor's level social worker and i agree with angela. Wether or not something is self-harm lies in the intent of the act. In your case, it's difficult to tell what your intent is because it's almost and unconscious act. A therpist will be able to help talk to you about your self esteem and maybe help you get to the bottom of why you pick at your scabs.
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Old 07-30-2006, 01:19 PM   #11  
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I self mutilate too. It's hard to find help. There are some good boards. the BUS board mentioned and also there is Gabrielle's Safe Haven board which has some good people.

You can PM me too if you like, since we're both going through similar things with weight and SI.
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Old 08-05-2006, 08:29 PM   #12  
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I was a cutter for most of my teen years. It started when I was 14 after my dad died and I became severly depressed. I still am depressed, but instead of cutting, I write in journals, go for a walk, or talk to someone I trust. I learned to deal with my internal stress in more positive ways, instead of scarring myself. The first step you need to take is going and seeking professional help. When you talk to someone who knows what they are doing, they will get you put on medication (if neccessary) and they will refer you to support groups, and even other doctors who specialize in self mutilation and OCD. We are here on this site to help you if you need to talk, dont be shy, because we all have our own flaws and problems to share, support and talk about
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Old 08-08-2006, 04:06 PM   #13  
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You are NOT alone. This is so much more common than you think. Do not be afraid to search for help. You will find it.

Cutting and weight are just symptoms of the real problem. You need to find a good therapist to get to the core of the issue.

But, you have to be willing to search for the "right" therapist. If you don't click, it won't work and it is NOT your fault.

Find someone who makes you feel like you're with a loving parent, someone who cares for you and guides you and makes you feel safe.

Only then can you trust enough to get to the core.


There IS hope. And by starting this thread, you've taken the first step. Good for you.
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Old 08-08-2006, 08:58 PM   #14  
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While I'm on disability now, I was also a counselor. I have a master's degree in psychology, so have some understanding and experience with problems like this.

Talk to your doctor, but don't worry that it means you are necessarily "crazy" or self-distructive in any way. There are alot of things that can cause unconscious stress-related behaviors like scratching at yourself, or pulling out strands of hair (I used to do this in class out of boredom - luckily not to the point of bald spots, but I later read of people doing it until they had no hair or for some people eyebrows or eyelashes. I got my "start" with the habit because of a few very premature gray hairs that I pulled to get rid of them, then I started looking for the gray hairs to pull, and then started pulling some of the non-gray ones).

While your picking could be "deep seated," it's more likely to be just an ordinarily neutral action that becomes harmful because it becomes a nervous habit used to decrease stress. If the habit were harmless like twirling your hair around your fingers, or running your fingers through your hair, or tapping your fingers on the table, it might look really bizarre if you did it alot, but wouldn't be harmful. It can be the human equivalent of a dog that licks and bites an itchy spot until sores appear, and the bitting makes the itchy spot worse, which makes the licking and the biting worse, which makes the itchy spot worse.... and stress and boredom only feed the "natural" cycle. It becomes (or very close to OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).

Behavior therapy or OCD meds can help. Or, if it is an underlying allergy that is triggering the original "picking" treating that might break the cycle.
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