I’m Jess. This is my ongoing story of living with dermotillomania. I pick the skin on my face, back, bum and legs. I also pick my nails and the skin around them. I am not trying to romanticise dermotillomania, OCD or mental health problems, however I’d like to raise awareness, break down walls and start conversations.
I really hope this list will help people with derma, or people who know someone with the condition, to connect and help support each other through our struggles and also spread positivity during our good days! We definitely need some extra positivity to give us all a boost and inspire us to keep on trying every day. I promise it is possible to beat this and I’m living proof it does get better eventually. 👍
Also if I’ve missed anyone off the list or you want to be added just let me know. 😊
Here is the list I have made so far of the lovely people you can follow who are in the same position as you. 💕
so i have a question about my home life and my parents. sometimes i feel like they’re emotionally abusing me but i don’t want to say they are because they tell me they love me and they pay for things like going to theme parks with my brother and the cost for my meds and my psychologist for my excoriation disorder (skin picking). and they support me through my disorder and through my decisions i make and they make it clear that they love me a lot. but then sometimes they shout at me a lot like when i don’t get out of the shower fast enough or if i’m being slow or being “lazy”. and if i don’t go fast enough my dad will grab my arm and pull me (and it kinda hurts). and they keep making jokes like “you’re stupid” and “we had you so you could do our dishes/give us back massages/etc” but they say it in a voice that makes it like a joke and i think it IS a joke and maybe the yelling happens in every family i don’t know. i don’t know if i’m being too paranoid (for lack of a better word) or if they are being abusive but sometimes i can laugh it off (the jokes) and i can see the yelling as just them getting frustrated like all parents do. i don’t know if it’s just because i have a low self esteem (nothing to do with them) or something but sometimes i cant take it so i have to hide in my room and cry because if they yell at me and i cry they tell me that i’m overreacting and it’s my fault in the 1st place. so is this emotional abuse or do i just lack self esteem? because they do love me and they tell me all the time and a lot of the time anyone call tell that they love me but then they shout and it makes me cry and i really don’t like it but every parent shouts like that sometimes so i really don’t know if it’s a self esteem problem or an emotional abuse problem. what do you think? please help me out and please don’t be afraid to tell me that i just need to work on my self esteem because as i think about it right now i think i just need to feel better about myself and i don’t think they MEAN to put me down they just don’t understand how much i already hate myself.
Let me talk to you about how the situation would look with good parents:
Yes, even “good” parents loose it sometimes. Even good parents can occasionally yell at their children because they’re too frustrated. Good parents also make jokes with their children that could be perceived as hurtful by outsiders. You know what else good parents do? They admit their mistakes. They change their behaviour and look for a solution that works for everyone when they see that it’s having a detrimental effect on the child or when the child is telling them that directly and if they aren’t able to find solutions they look for help outside because the child’s wellbeing is important to them. They don’t dismiss the feelings of the child. They listen. If the teen is doing things they don’t like they talk with the teen, find out why, explain why they’d like it differently and brainstorm with the teen on solutions that work for all - and the teen can trust that they really listen and are open to discussions because they’ve been doing so since the teen was a young child. They back down on making certain jokes if they see that the child can’t handle them because if it’s not funny for everyone, if it doesn’t feel good for everyone, it’s not a joke anymore. If the parent sees that a child is easily hurt, the parent works with the child on raising the child’s self-esteem. Because, sure, it’s important that a child learns how not to get easily hurt but that doesn’t happen by putting him down in the hopes of toughening the child up. It happens by giving empathy and support and additionally providing strategies on how to deal with negative events.
That’s not what your parents do.
Also, one of the many reasons child emotional abuse is so hard to grasp for survivors is because not all but a lot of the parents do love the child in some way and tell the child so and also do lots of nice things for the child on a materialistic level and partly on the emotional level too. They still can be abusive. And sometimes, having several good parts can make the difference between abusive parenting and dysfunctional parenting but it still isn’t good parenting. What makes the whole thing even more complicated is that a lot of the parenting advice out there is not good. So parents can do a lot of damage because they’re trying to be really good parents and follow a certain detrimental parenting advice. Anyway, I’m deviating a bit: What I wanted to say is that loving your child and abusing your child or being a suboptimal parent is not mutually exclusive.
Here are three posts with more on building up self-esteem: 1, 2, 3
Feel free to give these lovely people a follow and ask
for advice & support whenever you need it. We all stick together in this
community and remember you are not alone with this condition and people are
always willing to help you out and be there for you. xXxXx
I know one of the worst things for Derma sufferers is having dry skin. My main target area is my lip, so chapped lips are a HUGE concern. But I recently found this super neat oil called Jojoba oil. It’s used a lot for stretching ears and conditioning hair. I have a small bottle and recently started using it on my lip whenever it’s cracked or blistery after a relapse and it softens it right up!
You can order it online (I get mine from Body Art Forms, it’s a jewelry website, but it has very reasonably priced jojoba oil) and it comes in little bottles like this:
A little bit goes a long way, so you don’t need a very large bottle. Just put a little dab on the tip of a cotton swab or finger and massage it into your skin. It’s not like mineral oil that constantly needs to be reapplied. Just once in the morning and once at night should be enough.