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#ShareYourStory: Breanna

"M e n t a l h e a l t h a w a r e n e s s : I never post pictures of my face on instagram and there are a few reasons why. The main one is because Dermatillomania has affected me in a way that has left me pretty unsure with how I feel about my appearance. Mostly all that i have is self criticism. For years I have chosen to forego sharing pictures of happy moments because of my skin. I actually think people are straight up lying to my face if they compliment it. And I honestly can’t remember a time when I wasn’t constantly biting my nails or picking ruthlessly at my skin. I sometimes sit on the bathroom counter until 2am, scraping into every pore until they bleed. I have scratched away at every bump and imperfection on my arms and legs. I fall asleep with ice packs on my face so that I wake up with less swelling. I’ve missed meetups with friends, fun parties and even stayed home from classes in college. I honestly would have gotten looks for the redness and welts and scabs I developed. The strange thing is that just by looking at me now, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell. My skin looks fine at the moment, thanks to a period of healing and dealing with the things that give me the urge to pick. But that is always subject to change. You would also think that picking at your skin would be something easy to control...but for me it isn’t. I have dealt with Dermatillomania since i was very young and I am not sure if i’ll ever be able to shake it. Maybe i will finally gain the confidence to speak to a professional about it. Right now, the only things that have helped me improve are the support from kevin and my family as well as /r/ compulsiveskinpicking on reddit. I honestly thought I was a weirdo my entire life until I read other stories on online forums and blogs. my main point here is that without sharing my experience and looking for a little help and support, things would have stayed the same. Please never think that everyone has it together 100%. We all struggle with things silently. Social media is especially toxic with all of its filters and carefully curated posts. Since it is mental health awareness month, I just wanted to share a little bit of my own struggle. No matter what you are going through, you aren’t alone. Do not be afraid to speak up. It is okay to struggle as long as you know that there are options and resources to help you find ways to feel better. As for me, I am going to try my best to take care of my face and I will no longer be afraid of posting pictures. I love myself too much for that." -Breanna Little @breedesu

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