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jessiwrites
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27 Jan 2014, 1:06 pm

For as long as I can remember, I have picked at my skin - especially my cuticles. I have tried to stop many times in the past, but it is a compulsion that I can't seem to kick. I find that if I take klonopin, I am mellowed out enough that I don't do it, but I don't have a prescription and can't get one any time soon. I also have TMJ, and sadly, if I am successful in ignoring my urge to stim, I end up clenching my jaw until I have headaches and it hurts to chew anything.

I would love some suggestions from others on how I can control this urge a bit better, or find another stim that might relax me in the same way, but without tearing up my fingertips.


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Last edited by jessiwrites on 27 Jan 2014, 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

daydreamer84
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27 Jan 2014, 1:27 pm

I've been trying unsuccessfully to quit picking my scalp , face and back for years. :(



btbnnyr
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27 Jan 2014, 2:14 pm

Put bandaids over the areas and get lots of other things to do with your hands, like typing, so your hands are not free to pick.


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LupaLuna
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27 Jan 2014, 2:49 pm

It's important to remember that stimming for an autistic person is like a river flowing. You can stop the flow by damming it but you can divert it into in other direction. The same rule also goes for stimming. you need migrate your harmful stim into another harmless stim. For example. When I need to stim in public, I do it in the form of yoga exercises and that way I can stim and nobody around me is aware of what I am really doing.



corvuscorax
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27 Jan 2014, 3:50 pm

You should try to convert your stims into something more passive. Not sure how well this would work but an example of a really negative stim of mine is sucking/chewing on wires. I got around this by using/chewing a binky which has a smooth texture like a wire. This is MUCH cheaper and a lot less damaging to equipment, also there's no risk of electric shock. I think the bandaid is a good idea but make sure it's big enough where you don't just pick at the sides >.>


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InnaLucia
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27 Jan 2014, 4:17 pm

Try to keep your hands busy? I have a Tangle toy which I like fiddling with.



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27 Jan 2014, 6:11 pm

I pick at skin also, and also have TMJ. In the middle of waiting for a hospital appointment to see about getting a mouth guard for sleeping at night because I can't deal with the pain any more and the constant migraines



LtlPinkCoupe
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27 Jan 2014, 9:08 pm

jessiwrites wrote:
For as long as I can remember, I have picked at my skin - especially my cuticles. I have tried to stop many times in the past, but it is a compulsion that I can't seem to kick. I find that if I take klonopin, I am mellowed out enough that I don't do it, but I don't have a prescription and can't get one any time soon. I also have TMJ, and sadly, if I am successful in ignoring my urge to stim, I end up clenching my jaw until I have headaches and it hurts to chew anything.

I would love some suggestions from others on how I can control this urge a bit better, or find another stim that might relax me in the same way, but without tearing up my fingertips.


I do this very thing - the biting/picking at my fingernails and cuticles to the point that they bleed. *HUGS* :heart: Something that helps me a little bit is stroking a plushie....I have a small stuffed dolphin for this purpose. I also keep my plushie in the front pocket of my hoodie, so I can reach in and stroke her without anybody knowing. Anybody who sees the bulge in my front pocket just assumes it's mittens or a phone or something. :D I wish there were more helpful advice I could offer. Even with Dory (my dolphin plushie) I still end up picking at my nails all the time.

Just wondering, but what does TMJ stand for, if you don't mind my asking?


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jessiwrites
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28 Jan 2014, 11:56 am

Thanks for the suggestions! I have tried to keep my hands busy - I've used Silly Putty, balloons filled with flour, even learning how to knit. It works for a while, but it's like my brain knows I'm trying to distract myself from my 'real' stim, if that makes sense. I'll keep working at it. I don't want my fingers hurting all the time, and it looks disgusting.

And I'm sorry I wasn't clear... TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint dysfunction. I've had this since I was young, and finally when I was around 11 it really started to be a problem for me holding my jaw correctly to play my clarinet in band class. I saw both a doctor and dentist, but no one really did anything to help me. They advised me to take muscle relaxants when it got bad, which is why klonopin helps so much.

It is definitely nice to know I'm not the only one who struggles with this. Everyone I know thinks it should be easy for me to just not do it, but it's really not like that at all. It seems impossible.


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Your Aspie score: 164 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 42 of 200
You are very likely an Aspie.