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Habits/tics/self-harm/picking?

Hurt&Hopeful

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This is one I hate to bring up, but I think it's worth some discussion, so here goes... One thing I struggle with when I'm very anxious is little nervous habits like picking at scabs, biting nails and pulling cuticles, picking at myself in general. Sometimes I'll have a minor cut or something that won't heal because I just can't leave it alone. It feels kind of childish - it's certainly much worse in periods of heightened anxiety. I know there are a lot of people that also do this on different scales - I'd be curious to hear others' stories. Not to get morbid or anything. :) This is just one part of the anxiety that I've never really understood or focused on specifically in treatment. Does anyone else do this? Or has anyone overcome it?
 

triceps

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This is one I hate to bring up, but I think it's worth some discussion, so here goes... One thing I struggle with when I'm very anxious is little nervous habits like picking at scabs, biting nails and pulling cuticles, picking at myself in general. Sometimes I'll have a minor cut or something that won't heal because I just can't leave it alone. It feels kind of childish - it's certainly much worse in periods of heightened anxiety. I know there are a lot of people that also do this on different scales - I'd be curious to hear others' stories. Not to get morbid or anything. :) This is just one part of the anxiety that I've never really understood or focused on specifically in treatment. Does anyone else do this? Or has anyone overcome it?
Hi Hurt. Great topic which I hope gets many responses. I'm assuming the discussion of self-harm includes cutting, a symptom that is much more prevalent than is generally addressed.. My experience has been limited to some picking and clenching of my teeth unknowingly. When I was on Xanax I always chewed my fingernails and messed with my cuticles. After I switched to Klonopin, I no longer bit my nails and have had to to clip my nails like regular folk. Otherwise except for the destructiveness of still smoking, I'm doing ok with the rest.
 

Rosy

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I can relate to some of that. I don't chew my nails but I do pull my cuticles. Sometimes I make them sore. lol And I pick at dry patches. I think we do that to think of something other than how we feel. I really never thought of it much. So you aren't the only one. lol lol
 

Hurt&Hopeful

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Hi Hurt. Great topic which I hope gets many responses. I'm assuming the discussion of self-harm includes cutting, a symptom that is much more prevalent than is generally addressed.. My experience has been limited to some picking and clenching of my teeth unknowingly. When I was on Xanax I always chewed my fingernails and messed with my cuticles. After I switched to Klonopin, I no longer bit my nails and have had to to clip my nails like regular folk. Otherwise except for the destructiveness of still smoking, I'm doing ok with the rest.
Yes, it would definitely include cutting! I personally have never struggled with that, but I know that it's much more common than people think. But in a way, picking at sores and making cuticles bleed is a lesser extreme version of the same thing. And yes - teeth grinding for sure. Right now, since I'm pretty high anxiety tonight, I keep picking at a couple of sores that I have, and I have been biting at my nails...my husband has commented on it a couple of times and asked why I do it, and I realized that I don't know. But it's something I'd like to overcome...I also hope lots of people chime in, because folks are generally afraid to talk about this stuff, unless it's in the "cry for help" capacity. I'd genuinely like to just understand it better, why we do it, and how we can maybe stop...

What you said about Xanax is interesting - are you saying you think Xanax made you do that, or that Klonopin just helps more with it?
 

Hurt&Hopeful

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I can relate to some of that. I don't chew my nails but I do pull my cuticles. Sometimes I make them sore. lol And I pick at dry patches. I think we do that to think of something other than how we feel. I really never thought of it much. So you aren't the only one. lol lol
Thanks, Rosy - that's comforting (not that I want you to hurt your cuticles, of course! :) )Maybe you're right - maybe it's just a distraction or redirection of the bad feelings. I make my cuticles bleed a lot, and YES, the dry skin patches. I've been kind of clawing at myself all week like a caged animal. lol
 

Rosy

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Now that I think about it I do that when I don't feel good enough to do anything but a little edgy just sitting. It must be a distraction. It will be interesting to see what people come up with.
 

Kelculator

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Well, as much as I hate to admit that, when it gets really bad, I do self harm. One good thing I've done to help is to not let any cutters, razors, or even scissors be near myself. I resorted to cut open my hand with a pen one time, but at least it is less damaging. I konw this is a bad habit and we shouldn't do that, but know that you aren't alone.
 

Hurt&Hopeful

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Well, as much as I hate to admit that, when it gets really bad, I do self harm. One good thing I've done to help is to not let any cutters, razors, or even scissors be near myself. I resorted to cut open my hand with a pen one time, but at least it is less damaging. I konw this is a bad habit and we shouldn't do that, but know that you aren't alone.
Thanks for sharing with us, @Kelculator - I'm sorry that you deal with that. Sounds like you are really dedicated to making good decisions for yourself, so good for you! This is something I really want to learn more about. I had a close friend that was a cutter, but for very different reasons. I'm curious as to what the treatment options are, etc.
 

Hurt&Hopeful

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Confession time - I'm really struggling with this right now. Something about being stuck in the bed or on the sofa so much, maybe, but I'm like a caged dog chewing on his tail. I keep picking at my face and neck, of all places - it's not good. I need some accountability here, maybe...it's never been this bad. I just kind of feel like I'm crawling out of my skin.
 

triceps

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Confession time - I'm really struggling with this right now. Something about being stuck in the bed or on the sofa so much, maybe, but I'm like a caged dog chewing on his tail. I keep picking at my face and neck, of all places - it's not good. I need some accountability here, maybe...it's never been this bad. I just kind of feel like I'm crawling out of my skin.
Hi Hurt. Aren't you proud of yourself for opening up about this? Maybe just writing about it will ease some of the compulsion. I really have no advice for you except the standard get eight of those rubber thimbles for your finger tips. Wishing you the very best on this and all of your current challenges.
 

Hurt&Hopeful

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Hi Hurt. Aren't you proud of yourself for opening up about this? Maybe just writing about it will ease some of the compulsion. I really have no advice for you except the standard get eight of those rubber thimbles for your finger tips. Wishing you the very best on this and all of your current challenges.
Hey there - Yeah, I guess? It's just bizarre. I never heard of the rubber thimbles, but sounds like it might make typing hard. ha! I don't know what to do about it either, except trust that once I'm back to normal life it will ease...
 

triceps

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Hey there - Yeah, I guess? It's just bizarre. I never heard of the rubber thimbles, but sounds like it might make typing hard. ha! I don't know what to do about it either, except trust that once I'm back to normal life it will ease...
Rubber thimbles are very common in the world of sewing. It's too bad you haven't heard of them as they were going to be an integral part of my best/worst jokes response. As always, wishing you the best.
 

Hurt&Hopeful

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Rubber thimbles are very common in the world of sewing. It's too bad you haven't heard of them as they were going to be an integral part of my best/worst jokes response. As always, wishing you the best.
Hahaha I have always just had the old-fashioned metal ones! I need to get with the times. I still need that joke, man - I have a feeling you're a deep pool of terrible/great jokes (because aren't they one and the same?).

The things that seems to help me most is to put on makeup. I don't normally wear a lot of makeup, but when I put it on, I don't want to mess it up. hahahahaha
 

triceps

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That's a good solution. I'm not one of those guys that remembers good or bad jokes. I've met people who can rattle off joke after joke for hours and I might remember their best one for perhaps one day.
 
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