Anyone who’s had to look after small children can relate to this:
- You’re babysitting two small children at the park or at home
- Yeah, they’re cute — but you’re still bored out of your skull
- You pick your fingers to kill time
Boredom is perhaps the most benign and treatable form of compulsive skin picking. Though picking out of boredom normally starts as a conscious act, it can quickly become a totally unconscious habit that you slip into at the drop of a hat — whenever you’re bored.
Behavior Modification is the surest cure for the bored skin/finger picker. The problem is often lack of mental or sensory stimulation. Short of introducing some artificial form of stimulation to break the trance of apathy — simply choosing to ingrain a less destructive habit than finger picking — such as knitting, whistling, whatever — can end the problem.
The fact that the majority of compulsive nail biters — nail biting is a sister disorder to dermatillomania — are young males may explain the cause: youngsters are constantly bored out of their wits at school. Its only upon entering college or the work force that the day’s activities are filled to the point that little leisure remains. Boredom — and the opportunity to pick or bite — is often gone for good. Until the kids are born, that is
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