I am 60yrs old, a female, married 26yrs and I have never told a living soul about my problem. I am going (semi-public) this way to try and talk to other human beings who have this particular disorder. As long as I can remember, even into my childhood, I have had this disorder. It's only been 2yrs since I realized it was an actual psychiatric disorder. After open heart surgery 3yrs ago, my skin had been virtually free from any blemishes. After all, my teen years of breakouts were long gone and my skin even in those days never got as bad as acne. Just a couple of spots on the oily parts of my face e.g., chin,nose, etc.
All of a sudden I had open sores on both legs, both arms. Then they healed and I started an outbreak on my lower and upper abdomen which continues today. They won't heal because I keep picking and eating the scabs about every 3rd day or when I can't stand how they feel on my body or look on my body.
I have had manic-depression since the age of thirty. Along with 30 years of seeing, psychiatrists, psychologists, and licensed social workers. I have been most fortunate in that I have always had good medical insurance.
Two years ago, not even haved tried to look up my problem in the computer, decided to go see a good dermatologist. I live in a section of the country that boasts excellecnt medical care. People come from all over the world to see our pediatric and adult practioners. So all my doctors are out of one medical center/teaching hosp/university center with an excellent medical school. I go into its website to find a dermatologist. I in my 60 yrs have also worked in the medical field and with my experience knew from practice that 9 times out of 10 some of the best doctors I have had were either Jewish or Aisan. I chose to pick a jewish dermatologist associated with the medical center. Well, after seeing this man only twice. He wrote his instructions for me and also his diagnoses. It was neurotic excoriations. I saw it on the paper, but , I was also intelligent enough to know what neurotic meant and what excoriations meant. This was believe it or not my first inklings of what I had been unknowingly doing to myself. The dermatologist never spoke with me about what neur excoriations meant. When I got home, I realized, unbeknownst to me, he somehow in his vast knowledge and experience and without even questioning me, came to this diagnosis. Was he a genius? Certainly, no, but was he kind and gentle, yes. I came to the realization that I had been found out for who or what I was. A very troubled scab eating picker.
Needless to say, I never went back to him, for I was so ashamed of myself for how vile I thought I was.
Now this brings me to why I am reaching out to others who have this problem.
My sick body caught up to one of the worst side effects from doing this picking and eating. Last October I just happened to be at one of the medical center hospitals to get a kidney scan. I had been told I had kidney failure between level 2-3, whereas 5 is the worst. So I saw a kidney doctor and he ordered the scan. I got up on the day of the appt, and felt fine. Drove 1hr to the hosp and sat down in the waiting room for my appt. It was 2:50 and my appt was for 3pm. By 3:30 I had to use the ladies room. I went up to the receptionist and told her I had passed the 24oz of fluid I needed to consume before the test, so she brought me more. As I sat there I started to feel like I needed to go back to the ladies room to move my bowels. Well, I started to defacate and didn't stop for 30 minutes. I swayed to my feet when I felt I was done, washed my hands and opened the door. I felt as thought I was going to pass out. Luckily, as I opened the door a radiologist was standing across from me reading some xrays. I asked him if he would check my pulse because it felt like it was very slow. He checked it and said it was ok, but then turned to his assistant and asked her to take me to the emergency room. I must have looked like death warmed over, because all of a sudden people were swarmimg all over me. I heard them say her blood pressure is 8o over 40. Next thing I know a doctor is shouting orders like bullets for the nurses to do to me. Well, when they got me stablized they put me in their critical care unit. Guess what I had from doing all that picking and eating? I almost died from SEPTIC SHOCK. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks and in a rehab for 1 more to complete 4 weeks of IV antibiotic therapy. They even gave me a special line into my body called a pick line so the medicine is delivered directly through the pumping of you heart.
Please share even a part of your story as I have. Needless to say, my life is a huge novel. This is but only one small chapter in it.
If you can't talk about your problem, I totally understand, but I am hoping by reaching out this way, I can stop doing this awful harm that I am doing to myself.
Believe it or not, I have been in a psych hosp over 7 times for suicide, but now I realize that this is yet another form of suicide, where I almost died.