So, you got invited to a sleepover at your friend’s house! Good news, right?
Well....it’s complicated. For sufferers of Dermatillomania, sleepovers aren’t as simple as chomping down on popcorn, watching the American Pie series praying your friend’s mom doesn’t come downstairs during the inappropriate parts, and giggling with your friends about which guys or girls in your class you think are cute.
Rather, a sleepover for a Dermatillomania sufferer goes more like this:
Obsessive worrying about keeping the areas of the skin affected by the Dermatillomania covered and out of sight. Fear that skin scabs, bumps, pimples, or lesions will begin bleeding leading to embarrassment. Fear that while you’re brushing your teeth, the sight of your face in the mirror will trigger your compulsive urge to pick at your skin, and you’ll begin picking right there in your friend’s bathroom. Scrambling in your head to formulate excuses for questions you pray never come if anyone looks too closely at your skin.
Not so much fun.
But, just because sleepovers are more complicated when you have Dermatillomania than they are for other people, that doesn’t mean they should be avoided. Here’s a checklist of items that Dermatillomania sufferers can bring with them to pick sleepover fun over their condition.
If something causes your skin to bleed, Band-Aids instantly become your best friend. They are also a proactive measure: use them to cover up areas of your skin that can’t be covered with clothes.
Dark Sheets/Sleeping Bags:
If bleeding occurs, it’ll be harder for people to pick up on staining if you are using a darker shade of sleeping bag as opposed to one that is white. If you have a Darth Vader sleeping bag, bring it.
Your best friends when you feel the urge to pick. Head over to PickingMe.org and check out the shop tab on the top right corner of the website to secure your fiddle pack for $25 plus shipping. For each fiddle pack sold, we donate one to a sufferer in need.
Cover up areas affected by Dermatillomania by wearing pajamas with long sleeves. Jackets, long-sleeve shirts, pants, etc. also do the trick.
Helps to control bleeding. Plus, if your friend insists on watching Dear John, you can wipe away the tears falling down your face before your friends notice and you have to make the “there was something in my eye” excuse for crying.
A simple ointment that promotes healing of the skin. Walgreens, CVS, and other drug stores should carry it.
Harness excess finger energy into productive activities. When everybody else is asleep but you can’t sleep, color even if you don’t stay in the lines.
Dim Bathroom Light:
It may feel awkward brushing your teeth in the dark, but if mirrors are a trigger for your Dermatillomania consider it a necessary evil. If a dimmer isn’t available, unscrewing a light bulb or turning away from the mirror as you brush your teeth are alternative options.
If you have urges to pick, redirect that negative finger energy by grabbing a pen and writing whatever is on your mind. It’s also a great way to rid your mind of that urge and remind yourself of your goals and why you are picking yourself over your skin picking.
Head over to PickingMe.org to learn more about dermatillomania and the Picking Me Foundation.
For more information on dermatillomania, click here.