Watercolor representation of a young elegant woman walking on a beach - vector illustration

The Things I Want You to See About Me as Someone With Dermatillomania


Does my dermatillomania scare you? Well, does it?

I only ask because I am sitting here packing makeup on my skin in an effort to be able to make connections with people. I truly believe if I don’t do this, others will not want to talk to me. So let’s remove the ambiguity and be straightforward with each other.

Does my dermatillomania scare you?

Does the idea of me locking myself in the bathroom for hours on end, searching for any imperfection make you feel uneasy? Does the possibility seeing me with red, splotchy colors all on my face make you want to turn around and run? Is it scary to imagine hundreds of scars peppering my back, chest, arms, face, legs and shoulders?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” I want you to know I am three for three.

My dermatillomania traumatizes me. I always wear makeup, even at night. If I have a longer than usual session, I lock myself in my room so my family cannot see the toll my BFRB has taken on me. I am scared for summer seasons when I will be lounging in the sun in a bathing suit. I have thrown out all my dresses that expose my back and shoulders.

My dermatillomania has taken the confidence I have gotten from being two and a half years clean from self-harm and thrown it out the window.

I am broken. I am trying to be better.

So please, do not feel bad about yourself for answering “yes” to these questions.

Hug me. Make me feel as if I am more than the casing that holds my soul, my heart and my brain. Try to look for those things when you see me, and I promise I will try to as well.

If you or a loved one is affected by body-focused repetitive behaviors, you can find resources at The TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors.

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Thinkstock photo via isaxar.

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