As I mentioned in my tag line, I carry around a few diagnoses with me daily. Having a name for each of my quirks makes me feel better about each. Like, no, I’m not the only one. One of the “side effects” of my obsessive compulsive disorder is Dermatillomania, or skin picking. It sounds so ridiculous, I know…. Like who in the world could become obsessed with something so utterly ridiculous. I don’t know. I struggle with an answer to that on the regular. Daily. As in, all of the time. You could say I’m obsessed with it. I am obsessed with why I am obsessed. And so on and so on. It’s a downward spiral, really.
I hated my picking so much that I finally spoke to my therapist, and then my psychiatrist, to find a solution to the picking problem. I had always responded well to prozac,with the exception of the picking. But at this point I was totally willing to switch up my meds to manage my OCD more effectively, so that’s what we did.
I was very hopeful when we started switching things around. I started a relatively new medicine called Trintellix, and I thought it was smooth sailing. I felt better, I stopped picking, and things were looking up. But suddenly, all of that dissipated and I was left feeling raw, and anxious, and completely depressed. I wasn’t picking, but I continued to be more and more miserable. Week after week, and med after med, I was still suffering. The anxiety was debilitating. I couldn’t function, I couldn’t do daily tasks. I couldn’t care for my children to the degree that I desired. And the guilt from that skyrocketed my depression until hospitalization was necessary.
Now, the experience I had during my hospitalization is a blog post all by itself, possibly 2. But for now, we’ll simply say it wasn’t as effective as my family and I had hoped. So a new year was rung in,and I was no better. I reported to my usual psychiatrist as soon as I was released from the hospital so I could continue the drug regiment that I received at the hospital. I spent a few more weeks trying to stay hopeful, but overall I was dying inside.
Seeing that I was no longer responding to any medication, including Prozac which had worked wonders in the past, my psychiatrist set me up with an Intensive Outpatient Program, which includes Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatments and intensive daily cognitive behavioral therapy sessions.
Finally I’m feeling the relief that i have longed for since November 2017. I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.I am ecstatic to say the least, but I am also trying to remain cautious so I can identify my triggers without swirling out of control again.
So that’s my story. Which brings me back to the original subject: Dermatillomania and Me. I currently pick my skin from time to time. Often times, more than I wish to admit. I am also obsessed with any whiskers on my chin. They. Must. Come.Out. But I’m not (severely) anxious, and I’m not miserably depressed. I would trade one for the other any day. I vow to never, ever fuck with my meds again to relieve something so petty. You couldn’t have told me that 9 months ago though. And it has taken just that long to feel like myself again. So I have accepted it. I will continue to try not to pick as often, however if this is the worst it gets, I’ll take it over hospitalization any day. 😉

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