If you’ve ever watched the cable TV series Monk then you know what a person with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) looks like — fixated on repetitive behaviors (compulsions) or recurring, unwanted thoughts (obsessions).
On the TV show, the brilliant and lovably disturbed detective Monk works his quirks into the very fabric of his life — politely washing his hands down after touching any object outside his body, avoiding cracks in the sidewalk like a little boy trying not to break his mother’s back, etc. If only all those who suffer from real-life Obsessive Compulsive Disorder were so happy-go-lucky! In fact, there’s a long list of high-achievers and famous obsessive-compulsive celebrities.
Finger picking can easily rise to the level of an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder — especially if picking the fingers is involuntary and used as a stress-coping mechanism to ward off disturbing thoughts. The disorder like Impulse Control Disorder, which refers specifically to the aspect of OCD that drives those suffering from it to impulsively engage in the ritualistic behavior (compulsion) is perhaps the closest fit for compulsive finger pickers.
Powerful drugs such as antidepressants have been shown to help those with acute Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
i am obsessed with my obsession. Throughout my life I have plucked my hair. As a child i plucked my eyebrows and eyelashes and nosehairs out. As teenager i pulled my split ends and ruined my hair. Now i pluck the fine hairs on the back of the forth finger of the left hand.They are so few and not visuable to the eyes that I have to use very sharp tweezers.This would be painful to most but for me it gives me incredible pleasure. It gotten to the point where I have such cravings that I go into public restrooms to do it. I suffer from depression and anxiety and was just discharged from hospital for it. i am on medications. I dont want to stop but i want to know why i do this. IS THIS MENTAL ILLNESS?
It’s not mental illness… in the sense you’re referring to it… it’s just the way you ‘cope’ with all your nervous energy and anxiety. Some people grab (steal) objects, others turn the knob of their doors a specific number of times, we pick our fingers until they are destroyed and you pick and pull your hair.
There’s no reason to be ashamed or feel like you’re “mentally ill” in that negative sense of the word… yes, you may have a psych condition -but one that can be fixed.
This site is extremely helpful, and since your compulsion is so similar to the one this site is about, I’m sure you can definitely find useful info.
best of luck (: