Saturday, February 20, 2010

BuckyBalls Are Saving My Life

As a skin picker, one of the best tools you can use are fidget toys. In therapy, I learned that my hands need an immediate response to replace picking. Keeping my hands busy is important to avoiding picking.

So, I tried a number of different fidget toys. But my favorite by far are Bucky Balls. They are tiny little magnetic balls, that you can do anything with.

You can make them into a big string, a square, or just squish them together. It sort of feels like putty, except they are tiny balls.

You just can't put them down. I hold on to them at night, when watching TV.

If you're a skin picker and need a good fidget toy, I can't recommend Bucky Balls enough.

Buy them at local stores, for about $29, or at their website,

Here's a video of some fancy Bucky Ball handiwork:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

TV Interview on Chronic Skin Picking

I just found this TV news piece concerning dermatillomania and wanted to post it here. It's the story of a woman who speaks publicly about her chronic skin picking and even has the courage to show off the scars on her legs.

I remember when I was younger, I used to pick my legs all the time. I would spend many days indoors and not wearing shorts, even in summer, to hide my scars and scabs.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Overcoming Worry and Anxiety

In my behavioral/cognitive therapy, I'm learning that anxiety and worry is behind a lot of my skin picking. My mom is a big worrier. My wife is a worrier. And I'm a worrier, although I don't always show it publicly.

I guess that's why I'm a compulsive skin picker.

I use skin picking as a way to alleviate my worry. And I keep it hidden so no one knows about my external worry.

My anxiety and worry is something I'm learning to control. I'm learning relaxation, and meditation techniques. I've downloaded meditation tracks on iTunes and bought the "Meditation for Dummies" book last year.

But I'm finding I still worry.

The antidote to worry, I find, is being in the present. Being mindful about what's going on in your life now, instead of the future. Because worry and anxiety is all about the unknown, and the future--the possibility of something happening in the future.

Like worrying about bills, or work. It's ok to think about them, but when it turns to worry, then I find that skin picking happens.

I use skin picking as a way to deal with my anxiety. I use it as a way to relax--it must be some sort of comfort.

So I'm being more mindful and in the present.

Bonus: Here's a good article on ways to help with overcoming worry.