Having a spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend who suffers from an anxiety disorder such as trichotillomania, nail biting, dermatillomania, compulsive finger picking, etc. — can be both heartbreaking and exasperating.
Watching your spouse/partner injure themselves or lose control from their picking habit puts a strain on your relationship. You coax, you cajole, you plead — you may even pester them to stop. But nagging doesn’t help compulsive pickers. What they need from you is:
- Love — it sounds trite but nothing spells “unconditional love” like caring for someone despite their picking disorder. If you can keep expressing affection for your spouse through all the skin and fingernail damage they cause — you’re sending a clear message of love and support that they won’t miss.
- Support — active support may be more than you would bargain for. Support could mean:
- Encouragement — celebrating small victories with your spouse is important:
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