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#ShareYourStory: Camilla

"Dermatillomania is defined as “a mental illness related to OCD. It is characterized by repeated picking at one's own skin which results in skin lesions and causes significant disruption in one's life.” It’s something I don’t talk about often (especially here on instagram), mostly because I feel really ashamed about it, and because it isn’t pretty.

When people work towards raising awareness about mental illnesses + mental health, many tend to gravitate towards the ones that are (for lack of a better word) *easier* to talk about. Ones that can be glamorized easily, because we like things that come in shiny, romantic packages.

My mental illnesses are not pretty, and although I do always try my best to describe my experiences in a way that’s truthful yet sensitive to others who suffer, this is the physical manifestation of what my anxiety does to me on the inside.

It’s been almost 5 months since I’ve stopped taking my birth control, and this is the most I’m willing to show you of what my natural skin currently looks like (yeah, there’s a filter here). Coming off of the pill has made my acne return in ways that I haven’t seen since puberty, and it’s created a playground for my Dermatillomania.

So here’s a reminder to myself (and whoever else needs this): this current struggle doesn’t make you less beautiful. Your scars will heal as they always do. Your anxiety will subside, and too shall pass. This doesn’t make you less of an artist. And most importantly, this struggle will never make you less loveable or loved. you are perfectly imperfect just as you are, and everything is going to be okay."

-Camilla, 22, LA County, @astoldbymila

Click here to read more #ShareYourStory's or to submit your own!