I’ve decided that in order to stop I first need to be aware that I am picking. So, tommorow I’m gonna buy a bracelet to wear on my wrist constantly that makes a lot of noise when I move. This way I can be aware of when I’m moving my hand towards my scalp and stop myself before I do. 9 months ago
Get rewarded for your shopping skills on Shop for Fun
Shop for Fun is an online fashion game where you build a dream wardrobe and create outfits to win Amazon gift certificates.
www.yestocarrots.com/scalp_relief Stimulating relief for your scalp! Perfect for those with dry scalp.
www.wyzyr.com/ Try our free online assessment. Wyzyr tells you what _you_ think.
People doing thisSee everyone
It’s such a gross habit. I know this and yet I still do it.
I think the first thing I need to do is get rid of anything to pick off my scalp. So the first step to completing this goal is to find an effective anti dandruff shampoo. 9 months ago
I spontaneously picked this goal while going through How I Did Its and saw someone who was successful. I have been doing this a while, now, but I didn’t realize just how bad I have gotten about it.
It’s been a short while since I clicked I Want to Do This and I have come to realize that this will not be simple at all. I’ve had to grit my teeth and even sit on my hands to keep from picking. It’s terrible how much it bothers me not to do it. It’s become automatic and I hate that.
I’ve asked friends and family to keep a look out and let me know when I’m doing it. I’ve already caught myself a couple of times picking without even thinking about it and I shudder to think how many times I didn’t notice at all.
But it’s a disgusting habit and one I am determined to overcome. 11 months ago
Im not sure when it started really but it has been going on for years. I am only 18 years old and my scalp in entirely covered in little scabs and bumps that my fingers cant seem to get enough of. Nevermind I pull out my hair half the time and that touching it so often makes it greasy but it becomes painful seeing as I just make new scabs whenever I can!
The only times I recall stopping since I started is when I had acyrlic nails because they do make it pretty much impossible to pick anything. but working in a daycare they are bound to break nevermind make simple tasks more difficult. they are also pricey and my obsession with nailpolish just doesnt let me keep my nails the same color for 3 weeks! (what helped me stop biting my nails might I add…)
I have came to the conclusion that I have restlessness of the hands because if im not picking at my head im picking at my nails or paint on a bench. I smoke and it really is just for something to do. my willpower is fading quickly and my scalp aches! its unbelievable how hard it is to stop because once you let them go for a day or two, the scabs get larger and its almost impossible to resist! WHYYYY DOESSSS THIS EXISTTT. what helps OCD besides medication? 14 months ago
I’ve been doing this forever. I tried everything to stop!
The only things that helped me were wearing gloves and putting my hair in a bun so that it will be to tight to scratch easily.
This only works for woman but what I do when I can’t stop is I go get my nails done. I get the nail tips because they’re thicker. I just get them short and make sure they’re THICK, gel tips help. When I have nails like these it is impossible for ne to pick any scabs. I will try and try and give up. The nails are too thick and dull to scratch anything! It’s the only thing that helps me stop.
Hope it helps someone :) 17 months ago
ive been doing this for about three years now and it really grosses me out. i hate doing it and i now even do it in public. i don’t have a history of depression or OCD but i’ve never really gotten it checked out. i don’t think im at the point where i zone out and go on for hours but i think i am pretty close. one thing that i realized is that if i keep my hands busy then they can’t pick my scalp. so i take clay (the kind that doesn’t dry out) and i just “cube” it. i don’t know if that makes sense but it’s really just like a stress ball. i just find that distracting my fingers really helps. also i’ve decided that by taking it one day at a time, progress could be alot easier. so if you record “today i did/didn’t pick today” then it’s easier to keep track of your progress and goal. 17 months ago
I have been compulsively picking and scratching my scalp since doing intense research on trichotillomania. Its almost as if by doing the research and finding out more about it, I manifested it as my own all-consuming habit over which I have no power. I have several times for prime picking:
1) When Im tyring to not look at my hands to avoid nail biting
2) Right before I go to bed checking my facebook
3) When a stressful event is about ensue, such as talking with my mom, or getting ready for work.
It has got to stop because not oly is it distracting, self perpetuating and time consuming.. Im losing my fucking hair over it. I too a picture of myself in a car with my hair back in a bun and I could see all the little damaged hairs on the edge of hairline that are fighting the daily abuse I give them.
I want to grow all this out, and find a more porductive habit to soothe my urge to pick and scratch by the beginning of next year.. hopefully, theres something out there for me and everyone else with this problem. 17 months ago
knock on wood.
or rather: some things.
I’ll try to list them in order, from most obviously effective to least obviously effective.
1) talking about it. i’ve roped my (poor) wife into this initiative, and she has been immensely supportive and helpful. she lets me know gently when i’m scratching my head, and often i haven’t even realized i’ve started.
2) vaseline, or neosporin, or chap-stick, or aquaphor, really anything i can put on the places on my scalp that i’m inclined to pick at. not having a dry place, or a brittle scab, helps a lot in resisting temptation.
3)worry beads. i always wear these on my wrist anyway. (they’re really prayer beads, but i usually just use them as a fidget.) when i feel the impulse to scratch, i try to take them off my wrist and fidget with them instead of my scalp.
4) toothpicks! actually stimudents, on account of the mintiness, and somewhat softer wood. these have been great. more on this below.
5) vitamin supplements. who knows about this one. but i’ve been taking a bunch of fish oil, and an amino acid called NAC, which I heard somewhere helps with impulse based problems. even if there’s just a beneficial placebo effect, i’m for it.
so, in short, i’m finding that my present policy is to throw everything i can at this issue. and i’ve been making progress. i have no sores on my head, and places that had been raw on and off for years seem to have healed over completely. it’s still a huge effort not to go hunting around on my scalp for something
- anything - to pick at, but even with this preliminary stage, i’ve noticed a lot of improvement. it is amazing how tenacious this sort of thing can be!
one last thought, about the toothpicks i mentioned above.
my (latest) theory is that the impulse or compulsion is really an oral one, like smoking, or nail-biting (all former pastimes of mine!) it seems like a restlessness of the hands, and it is that, as well as a general assault on the scalp, but the origin of the urge, i am increasingly convinced, is in the mouth.
why do i think this? well, first of all, there is the fact, revolting to me (but thanks to everyone who has admitted to this!), that i usually eat whatever i scrape off my head. so there’s that. but more than that, i’m thinking that this compulsion is an attempt at a radically basic and fundamental appeasement of elemental desires. by elemental desire, i mean, one or several of the basic drives, for sustenance, warmth, predictability, and stimulus regulation. these are infantile drives, but only because they represent needs that infants can’t meet for themselves. they need the help of a mother in order to satisfy them, and without that help, they won’t develop as they optimally would have.
unmet, these needs persist and mutate, fixing upon inappropriate objects, in a sincere but misguided attempt to accomplish for themselves what, by definition, they can’t accomplish. and if unmet needs always result in intense frustration, it makes sense that these needs would seek out increasingly extreme or violent forms of expression.
So, the need says, in effect: thank you scalp, for providing me with delicious crusty things for me to hunt down and devour, and thank you also for letting me attack and disfigure you at the same time. you are too generous! i would like to thank you for that, while gashing you and mauling you at the same time! scalp, you disgusting bane of my existence, you are the best!
so in short, i find it helpful to think of the impulse not merely as a failure of willpower or a repulsive species of self-gratification, but as a kind of uncorrected developmental glitch, a kink that like all kinks, wants to be shaken out. it wants that. beneath the compulsion to pick and gouge, there is an even deeper desire, a desire for a greater peace and stability than any violent and tormenting form of self-soothing could provide. i’m trying to learn more about that deeper desire, and to let it have its say. at the moment, though, it feels like a mystery.
so, on the way-off chance that these public ruminations might be helpful to others, i’ll check in later about how this all evolves. so far, though, so good. 19 months ago
i’ve been struggling with this for years. i don’t really know how long, but off and on for more than half my life (i’m 42). there are times when i feel i am making progress, and then times where i feel all my resolve desert me.
2 to 5 scabs are always operational, and sometimes i can manage to let a couple heal, but it doesn’t take much to open up a new one.
lately i’ve been trying to meet the 30-day-habit-change threshold, but it’s incredibly hard even to put together 2 days without picking at myself until i bleed.
the real kicker is that once i stop, i feel simply incapable of stopping. i can be thinking: stop this, you hate this, you hate that you do this, it’s liable to cause hair loss, scarring, infection etc—and yet, i’ll continue to pick, as though my hand were someone else’s, wholly beyond the influence of my will or resolve. whether this is weakness or compulsion or something else, it’s kicking my ass.
i’m going to try to keep one with a journal i started, as a way of anticipating those moments in the day when i am most likely to succumb to the temptation.
it’s worse for me when:
a) i’m tired. fatigue sends me into a stupor accompanied by scratching.
b) i’m doing something aimless or open-ended, like surfing the net, or reading the newspaper, or watching tv.
c) i feel daunted by some task. depending on how much energy i have, even small tasks (like washing the dishes) can send me into a stuporous picking trance.
d) i feel worried or preoccupied by something.
e) when i’m getting going in the morning, or after some downtime on the weekend or during the day.
what might work:
as i’ve said, i haven’t had much extended success. gloves, hats, vaseline on my sore spots, keeping a diary—all of these seem to hold some promise, even if i haven’t figured out the best way to use them.
lately i’ve been thinking that MINDFULNESS would be the solution to the problem, if i could just slow down enough, or focus enough, to begin to notice when the picking begins, and slowly even to anticipate when i am most vulnerable.
as i am a religious person, i am hoping that more concerted prayer and meditation will help. i am trying to accept that this problem is not a huge on on the global scale, and that i have been greatly blessed in so many ways, if only to keep everything in perspective. i am trying to learn the difference between praying for something and merely wishing things were different. I am trying to remind myself that this sort of behavior feels deeply hardwired or baked-in to my physical being, so changing it is in some sense the hardest thing i’ve ever done.
and honestly, quitting drinking and quitting smoking (now almost five years ago) were nothing compared to this.
sorry for the too-long entry. i am grateful to find so many fellow travelers here, and for the solidarity and support you all offer. i have faith that together we can beat this. 19 months ago
I’ve been compulsively picking my scalp since I was in the 6th grade. I will even do it in public. It’s embarrassing and I really want to stop. I do it less and less, but whenever I get stressed or frustrated or anxious, my hands twitch their way up to my head and just let loose. I’m using smelly medicated shampoo and It seems to be working. My mom thinks I might have psoriasis, but I doubt it. I thought I was alone here too. I’m glad this forum exists. 3 years ago
... there has been an improvement. Unfortunately, this is because another problem had appeared – dandruff. I have never had this kind of problem until I started picking my scalp intensively. First indications of the problem appeared a year and a half ago, but I didn’t see the connection with picking. I even enjoyed how much “material” I got to pick, so the day I was supposed to wash my hair, it looked as if I stood 5 minutes in heavy snow. Now that I look back, I was actually going through a rough patch at the time. But when it got so critical that my self-esteem was damaged with this dandruff problem, I tried to control myself. I took a few months util I got it back to the old level, and a few more until I got where I am now.
So, I do pick, but less frequently. I don’t have those “attacks” of picking for an hour until every scab is gone. Now I’m trying to get rid of dandruff, which I personally find very repellent. And every time I catch my nails near my head, I remember my “snowy hair” and stop immediately.
By the way, my dad is still doing it almost all the time. I guess it’s just a consequence of quitting smoking. Subconsciously, he’s giving me an example, so I will never be able to completely stop, until does so too. 23 months ago