Skin Picking (Excoriation Disorder) and other Habit Disorders

Compulsive habits, like excessive skin picking (i.e., excoriation disorder or dermatillomania), can cause significant distress (e.g., shame) or problems for the sufferer and loved ones. Many individuals report a need to complete the habit because of a sense of tension that builds up beforehand. Similarly, many cite a sense of relief or enjoyment upon performing the behavior. Boredom and stress tend to be common triggers.

Habits can be successfully treated using a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) approach called habit reversal training. This involves developing self-awareness of the habit and its environmental contingencies, as well as devising and practicing alternative behaviors to compete with the habit.  Habit reversal training is supplemented with adjunctive CBT techniques, such as emotion regulation skill development, as necessary.

Please note that the term “habit” is quite broad in lay terms. Obsessive-Compulsive Solutions of Chicago treats a limited set of habits and does not treat behaviors related to addiction (e.g., smoking, alcohol, drugs),  sexual behavior (e.g., fetishes, excessive use of pornography), eating (e.g., bingeing), and thrills (e.g., gambling, stealing, fire-setting).

If you are unsure if Obsessive-Compulsive Solutions of Chicago will treat a specific habit, please call today for further information.