My struggle with obsessive compulsive picking

I have been living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) for most of my life. However, it wasn’t until recently that I had ever heard of something called ‘picking’, a common symptom of OCD. It’s easy to overlook this form of OCD because the physical manifestation of it is not as obvious like other forms such as hoarding or repetitive rituals. For me, picking usually starts out as a harmless spot on my skin that I feel needs removing in order to feel relief from the obsessive urges. However, it inevitably spirals out of control and overwhelms me with disgust and guilt afterwards.

However, despite trying to stop this vicious cycle, I am finding it difficult to seek help due to the feeling of shame that comes with publicly admitting this behavior. It is disheartening and lonely knowing that many are unaware or do not understand how symptoms like these can be so difficult to overcome alone. There are days where I just want somebody else to tell me that I’m not alone - that my struggles are valid and should be taken seriously.

Despite how much discouragement I encounter along the way, I will never give up fighting back against these intrusive thoughts and behaviours. Everyday is an opportunity to start again and try different strategies until one day when my OCD no longer controls me - but until then all I can do is take one day at a time in hopes that one day soon, life becomes less of a struggle for me than it has been in the past.