Day Seventy-Five (Dermatillomania)


I am not going to go in-depth about this disorder, because I am honestly not the person to discuss it. I just discovered that it was a real thing today. I always just thought I was a little neurotic and a lot crazy. But it seems as though this need to pick at one’s skin is actually a thing that other people deal with too. Although in other cases it can include the face, legs, arms, and almost any body part. For me, it just includes my fingers and toes. According to the research into this disorder, the cause is mostly anxiety. It’s a nervous habit. Considering that I’m a gigantic ball of anxiety, this could easily be the case with me as well.

Dermatillomania is not something I talk or think about this much, because the habit has honestly just become second nature to me. I pick at my fingers. Sometimes they bleed. I put pressure on them or suck on them till they stop bleeding. Rinse. Repeat. It’s just an ordinary part of my life, like eating or breathing. My hands need to be moving at all times and this is something they like to do. Why? Hell if I know. I’m anxious about almost everything, so that could easily be the reason. Could be ADD. Could be OCD. Could be depression. Who really knows? I really don’t think about it much anymore. Who is it really harming?

Well, evidently the answer is me. At my job, we all need to clock in using a fingerprint. At first, this was only a mild issue for me. But, over the past few weeks, it’s gotten harder and harder for my fingerprint to scan. Now it never scans. Much to both my own and my managers chagrin. I have no idea why this is. But a part of me suspects the finger picking might have a part to play in this struggle. I’ve been picking at them since I was in 1st grade. To be honest, my fingers are probably fucked up beyond repair by this point. And now it’s causing me legitimate issues, other than the bleeding occasionally thing.

The idea of openly admitting this to anyone scares the crap out of me. I know, personally, that it is just a nervous tic that I’ve had my entire life. But trying to explain it to someone else? “Oh yeah, I just pick at my skin till it bleeds when I’m anxious. Which is to say all the time. It’s no big deal. But, uh, probably not a thing a lot of people do. Also, no, I do not need extensive therapy and no this is not self-harm. Thank you for your understanding”. I recognize that this is a weird gross habit. I really don’t fancy the world finding out about it. Even writing it in this blog entry feels like a confession, almost. This isn’t to say that I plan on stopping any time soon. I’ve kinda given up hope on that. But it means a lot just to be able to admit that it’s a real issue and that it’s not something to be ashamed of. But mostly I just want to fix this fingerprint problem without convincing my entire workplace that I’m a ticking time bomb.


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