You may be wondering why there is a need for this blog post. The truth is that Excoriation Disorder can be misunderstood and people who suffer from it are often misjudged, which leads to misconceptions about the disorder and the people who have it. This blog post will go over some of the most common myths about this disorder and dispel them one by one.
1) Skin picking is just a bad habit.
The first myth we want to address is that Excoriation Disorder doesn’t exist or sufferers can just stop picking on their skin if they wanted to. While this might seem like an easy fix, research has shown that those with Excoriation Disorder experience urges they cannot control when faced with stressors such as seeing blood or feeling anxious or depressed; in other words, it’s not a choice for them. These urges are extremely similar to the urges of patients who suffer from addiction. Also, research has shown that this disorder is not something someone can just “grow out of” like some people might think. The disorder often manifests in early adolescence and follows sufferers into adulthood where it becomes even more problematic due to its chronic nature.
2) Excoriation is a type of self-harm.
The next myth we want to cover is that this disorder is the same thing as self-harm or suicidal thoughts/actions. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! While some may scratch themselves until they bleed, others would never dream of hurting themselves intentionally. Instead, they’ll do everything in their power to resist scratching or picking, but it’s an instinctive behavior that’s driven by mental illness, not by choice. Those with this disorder are more likely to hurt themselves unintentionally as a result of their compulsive picking and scratching.
3) People with this disorder are neurotic perfectionists.
Another misconception about people who have this disorder is that they are perfectionists or neurotics. While some may appear this way on the outside, these traits usually only apply to a small subset of those with skin picking disorder and not all sufferers. Many people with this disorder tend to be very easygoing and calm when you get to know them better. The reason for this myth likely comes from the behavior displayed by some sufferers–they will often focus intensely on something until it’s just right in their eyes before moving onto the next task without giving it much thought after that–but there’s nothing inherently wrong or dangerous about having such behaviors unless the picking and scratching become excessive to the point where it interferes with everyday life.
4) This Disorder is contagious.
This myth is probably one of the most absurd ones out there, but we still hear it from time to time. People with this Disorder are not any more likely to spread the disorder to others than those without the disorder. Skin picking is not even classified as an infectious disease! So don’t worry, you’re not going to catch this disorder from your friend or family member who suffers from it–it’s simply not possible.
5) Only women suffer from this disorder.
Sadly, this myth exists mainly because this Disorder has been relatively unknown until recent years. However, the disorder does not discriminate based on gender and both men and women can suffer from it. It’s been estimated that about equal numbers of men and women are affected by the disorder.
6) This Disorder is a mental illness that only affects people with OCD.
While OCD and this Disorder often occur together, they are two separate disorders. Not everyone who has this disorder will also have OCD, and vice versa. The majority of people who have one of these disorders will not have the other.
7) People with this disorder are just lazy and need to get their act together.
This last myth is probably the most frustrating one for those who suffer from this Disorder. The disorder can indeed be difficult to manage at times, but these thoughts and actions are driven by mental illness, not by laziness or a lack of motivation. People who suffer from this Disorder may appear lazy due to their tendency to spend countless hours grooming themselves each day, but this is just what the disorder tells them to do and it has nothing to do with actual laziness. So next time you come across someone who seems lazy and unmotivated, remember that they may be suffering from a mental illness that makes it tough for them to live their lives like everyone else does!
So there you have it! Seven of the most common myths about Excoriation Disorder debunked. If you or someone you know suffers from this disorder, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There is hope and support available and you are not alone.