Monday, April 18, 2016

Introduction - The onset of the issues (Age 11-12)

My feelings of extreme anxiety and social ineptness began around puberty time. I was always very shy, even at age 3 my mother's friends would always comment on how quiet I was, and I was never a social butterfly in any way. I always maintained straight A's and the teachers loved me. I never got in trouble for anything when I was young.

I was in 4th grade when I began obsessing over my hair. I pull it out strand by strand, which is called trichotillomania.  I will pull hair from the crown of my head, and this leads to bald/thinning spots. This disorder is seemingly more understood than the skin picking, or dermatillomania. Both conditions are in the class of BFRBs, or Body Focused Repetitive Behavior.

I noticed a dramatic change in the intensity of anxiety around the time I entered middle school (Age 11). I also had extremely oily skin, which resulted in breakouts. I began a habit that within a year I realized I was having extreme difficulties controlling myself from picking at my skin. A simple blackhead would be dug open until it bled, then I would continue picking the scab and they would seem to linger for up to a year before finally finding a way to heal.

To this day, at age 29, I have not worn a tank top or swim suit since I was 11. In my teen years, I did a lot of damage to my face due to the picking. I have giant pores as an adult and obvious scarring that I'd imagine perhaps years of microdermasion could possibly correct. I had no idea this condition had a name until around 20, and from there on out I considered seeing a doctor.

I'm taking the time out of my life to mainly inform people of how my personal experience with seeking answers has been going. I am currently still in the process of a real answer to this condition, however, I am hoping that as the blog continues I will have all of this figured out.

Others experiencing this - I know how embarrassing this can be, to actually go the doctor and show them what is going on. It's very embarrassing, and as many people with these problems experience anxiety, it makes this even harder.

This hasn't been an easy process so far. It's been a year an a half since I started to try to find help, and it looks like there might actually be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Feel free to comment. I am very interested in any others who are suffering, or have found an answer to their BFRBs. I hope those who have not found an answer can benefit from my full story.