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Advice Needed Please.

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Okay so...it's not often that I'm on here to ask for advice, but this time I really do need some.

When I get upset, I self-harm. This is apparently a part of my ADHD and Autism, but it's not often that I do it now. I prefer to doodle on myself. However, when things get really bad, I have cut myself on my wrist, my hands, my leg and my ankle. I do also have Eczema, and there are times when I get itches that just won't go away, so I scratch and scratch and scratch until I hurt myself.

But this isn't what I'm asking for advice about. A few years ago, I started to pick at my toenails. Now it's not the picking that would just take the top of the nail off to keep the nail short, what I do is so much worse. When I let my mind wander, I pick and pick and pick at my toenails until I pull chunks of nail off and make myself bleed. But it doesn't stop there, I will keep going until I have actually pulled my entire nail off. At the time, it doesn't register as pain, but afterwards, like the next day or something, it hurts so bad that I can hardly walk. Usually, it's just my little toenail, but now it's all of my nails apart from my big toenail.

I've been to the doctor about this, but the only advice she gave me was nothing short of putting socks on to try and stop myself from picking at my feet. However, I have a dilemma...

I cannot stand hot feet. I can wear shoes and socks when I'm out, but while I'm indoors, I simply can't have hot feet. Socks are not an option for me because of this. If my feet get too hot at night, I put them out of bed. If my feet get too hot during the day when I'm wearing my slippers, I take my slippers off. And the problem is, that as soon as the slippers or socks are off and I am either engrossed in the TV, or reading something, I start picking. I just don't know what I'm going to do. I can't wear gloves 24/7, neither can I wear socks 24/7.

I believe I may have something called Compulsive Self-Mutilation, or Compulsive Toenail Picking as part of an OCD type thing.

Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks

Auto-Cons Rule.

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6 answers to this question

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you have been to a doctor, but what about psychological help? A psychologist may be able to do more than a regular doctor 

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I would definitely seek treatment from a professional, as what you're doing can lead to infection.  Have you tried keeping something in your hand during idle times?  Like a pen, lighter, pet rock?  I pick, too, not my nails, but scabs and whatnot, and having something in my hand cuts down on that.

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I have thought about psychological help, but my mum simply wouldn't understand. She thinks that I can stop myself from doing it if I have socks on my feet. And I have also tried having something in my hands, but it only takes one hand to rip a toenail off, and most things these days I can actually do with one hand. 

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Try exercising when you feel like picking. Not only is it healthy in general, it stimulates endorphin production, which may be the root of your problem (the lack of pain when picking sounds like it's stimulating endorphin production, which can be addictive)

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As someone with a form of Autism myself, I would recommend finding another alternative tick, I myself spin heavy objects* around which increases focus and is calming.

If this seems to be going beyond the effects your mental attributes and is thus incurable by the above solution, then it is more serious and needs medical attention most likely. Visit your local NHS clinic or your country's equivalent, regardless of whether your mother fully understands all the details or not.

(*Excuse the video plug, but although in-video I discuss fighting, you see what I mean in action.)

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Thanks for the help guys. My sister recently gave me her PSP, so now I'm using both hands to play that and therefore have no time to pick at my toenails. 

This is now resolved, thanks all!!

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