Can't stop picking!

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    • #121016

      I have a picking problem. I’ll pick at the acne on my face and pores of my chest. I chew and pick at my lips. And my latest – tweezing my legs.

      I’ve started taking n-acetyl-l-cystene, which can sometimes help with these behaviors, but I’ve seen no difference. I think it’s mostly an emotional thing. It either starts as avoidance of a task I don’t want to do, and then I get lost. Or I don’t notice I’m doing it all – it’s happening as I work, as I watch TV.

      So I do it most when I’m procrastinating or generally stressed. And I don’t know what to do. Most my life, I’ve been able to manage – found strategies to avoid these behaviors that worked well enough. But I’m in a job where I’m really struggling to thrive. And I work from home. So I sit in front of my desk and pick at my legs instead of working for 2 hours.

      When I’m picking all else fades away. I don’t think about my emotions, I don’t notice the passage of time. I don’t think about the consequences of what I’m doing. It’s like a pause and I like the quietness and satisfaction. I need to fix this. Anyone have similar trouble? Any advice? Every time I try a fidget spinner I lose it…

    • #121187
      Penny Williams

      There are insights on picking in this blog post:

      Skin Picking: What Causes It, Can You Prevent It?

      I think it’s definitely related to anxiety and maybe sensory.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

      • #121424

        I have the same problem! Glad I’m not alone. I actually have the hair pulling problem on top of the picking problem. I feel ya! It’s been a problem since I was diagnosed at 10 years old. Good thing I have a lot of hair.

    • #177859

      i have the same issue! Im in the process of getting a mental health evaluation and i thought that all of this was due to anxiety but none of my friends, who also have anxiety, do it.

      I used to pick out my eyelashes as a child while i was watching tv and now as an adult i’ve started pulling hair out of my scalp while driving or even at work, and i cant stop myself most times i start without realising.

      i also pick at my skin like crazy and go insane if my partner doesn’t let me pop his pimples

      not sure if for me its ADHD or Anxiety but you’re not alone!

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