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Singer Donna Missal Shares Selfie to Share She Struggles With Anxiety and Skin Picking

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If you’ve ever struggled with picking your skin due to anxiety, you’re not alone.

On Monday, singer Donna Missal posted a selfie on Instagram, showing noticeable red spots between her eyebrows. She captioned the photo:

got very anxious last night and picked my skin. feeling pretty depressed. 12th show in a row tonight in dallas but still gonna give everything i got because what else is there to do? forgive myself + get a coffee + keep it moving #tour

Though few of us have experienced the anxiety that comes from performing in multiple back-to-back shows on tour, the struggle of skin picking because of anxiety is something many may relate to.

According to WebMD, some people use repetitive actions like picking at a scab or the skin around their nails because it relieves stress. This might be especially true for folks with anxiety who may feel high levels of stress frequently.

It’s important to note that while some folks may occasionally turn to skin picking in moments of anxiety, for others, compulsive skin picking can be debilitating and disrupt their quality of life. According to Mental Health America, dermatillomania, or excoriation disorder, is characterized by chronic skin picking and is a mental illness related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

This is something Mighty contributor Rosie Forbes wrote about in her piece, “How I Discovered My Skin Picking Was Actually a Disorder.” She said:

I Googled it, finding out it was an actual thing recognized in the medical community as dermatillomania or excoriation disorder… It was so strange to me that my lifetime “habit” was considered a disorder, said to be triggered by anxiety.

Even though I knew that, I just viewed it as something I did, not that it would have a name. I now talk about it as part of my anxiety and how it affects me in a physical way, whereas I might not have before since I only saw it as a habit. This has been helpful, but I don’t do it any less. I do it when I am thinking, when I am anxious, when I am lonely and when I am trying to sleep, just to name a few times. I get nervous about social events, pick my skin, and then I am nervous that people will notice the scabs on my face so I do it even more. It is a horrible cycle.

If you struggle with skin picking, you’re not alone. You can find resources for coping with dermatillomania at The TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors. For more about skin picking, check out the following stories:

Can you relate?

Image via Wikimedia Commons/Justin Higuchi

Originally published: March 18, 2019
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