I have a secret that isn’t well hid. I have what is designated in the DSM-5 (the book psych doctors use to identify conditions) as excoriation disorder. It falls under the category of obsessive compulsive disorder (which if you follow this blog, know I live with). It is also known as dermatillomania. What it means is I have a problem scratching my hands and wrists ’til they are raw, raw enough to bleed or leave a scab.
I am not entirely sure why I do it. I can blame it on the OCD. I can blame it on anxiety because when you are causing yourself pain it is hard to focus on much else.
It is hard to explain. It hurts, it feels good, and there is a numbness – I guess all of those things are what subdue the anxiety.
I scar easily so all over the inside and outside of my hands are little dark patches of obsessive anxiety. Because they are not just my wrist scars I cannot hide them. I keep my fingernails cut short in an effort to prevent scratching, but the doesn’t always work.
It really sucks to have one more thing to deal with. Sometimes I am overwhelmed.
Martin, E. (2017). Excoriation Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 21, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/being-bipolar/2017/05/03/excoriation-disorder/