A couple of months ago when my therapist began talking about dermatillomania with me, everything clicked into place.
It all made so much sense. Why I find it near impossible to just leave my skin alone, and why I’m constantly running my hands down my limbs, face and scalp, searching for any imperfections to remove, regardless of if they are real or not.
Dermatillomania causes arguments in my relationship with my husband, because for him it’s painful to see somebody he loves and cares for, hurting themselves. And for me, what it really comes down to is that it’s an impulse control disorder, so it can be really tricky to mitigate and explain.
It makes me self-conscious. Right now, my face is a mess, not from acne, but because I remove anything I classify as “blemishes”. My legs also look rather bad, because I got a couple of mosquito bites while in the forest at the weekend. They would be fine, however dermatillomania mixed with insect bites does not go well. So what began as a few small bites have now turned into a nasty red, painful jungle, spreading over my legs and feet. I had to put plasters over all of them to try and preventing them being touched and to be given a chance to heal. But then all the plasters looked silly with the dress I wanted to wear, and I wanted to avoid questions from people I knew, so I had to wear jeans in this 27°C, 95% humidity weather. A weird little reminder to the many summers of having to hide self-harm scars. But different. Better, much, but still a bit of weird nostalgia.
I don’t know how to explain dermatillomania, other than all I feel is that I have to do it. Sometimes I’m aware of it, and sometimes I’m not. It can kind of be like a trance?
Anyway, all of this feels super whingy and complain-y, which doesn’t help anyone. I’m also not very good at explaining what dermatillomania is, why people with BFRBs do what we do, and what it all feels like.
So, I turned to tumblr for some help, and found some absolute gems which made me laugh, a lot!
I like laughing at how illogical and silly my brain can be. It helps me, and these follwing images describe perfectly what goes on inside my head.
I get worried that people will be offended that I can laugh about my mental illnesses or whatever, but I’m trying to push that aside. Mental illnesses aren’t funny and they aren’t meant to be the brunt of every joke, but it’s okay to find good, warm things in your own experiences. If laughing about your own mental illnesses helps, then by all means, go for it! Perhaps we could all use a little bit more silliness and light-heartedness sometimes. These following jokes help me cope with my experiences, and hopefully they will help somebody else out there too!
Therefore, instead of wallowing about in the I Don’t Know What To Do About Dermatillomania phase, I thought why not share what I found, because not only are they insightful (each one is literally how my brain works), but humorous too!
And I truly haven’t seen anything more apt than below (my favourite)!
The next ones are fabulous too!
And these are like my brain speaking into an internet microphone –
And to end with, here is a sweet, little bundle of hope.
I hope you got some light-heartedness out of this too! Let’s work on spreading flowers, on spreading hope, on spreading kindness. It begins with ourselves.