I mentioned in my last journal how I've been doing a lot of stuff elsewhere on the internet, and a lot of it has fallen to awareness and advocacy writing for the disorder I have, which I also mentioned, called dermatillomania. Dermatillomania, now officially called Excoriation Disorder (however inaccurate) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
, fifth edition, is a disorder characterized by the impulsive/compulsive need to pick at one's skin. Sometimes it's scabs, sometimes it's the tiniest of little imperfections that no one else would even notice, but to a picker, it must be gone. This is all very general, but in any case, it's a very silent, lonely, and shaming disorder because people barely know what it is, or they stigmatize and judge it so that no one wants to talk about it. Which is why I think it's important to talk about it.
I've been doing so on my blog reality just hit.
, submitting guest blogs/articles to various sites and I've even been working on a book about it with other skin pickers from around the world. If you're at all interested in checking out any of these things, here's a list for you.
reality just hit.
-- I started this blog as a general sort of mental health blog, but after an offensive article posted by TIME Magazine back in December 2012 referring to my disorder as nothing more than a "reality-show problem," I took to my blog to fire back. To this day, I have never received any response from TIME, its editors, or the author of the article, despite numerous attempts to contact them via e-mail, twitter and facebook. From there, my blog was taken over by talking about dermatillomania, and I post about things from my own experiences, to articles I find online, to scams I find online and pretty much anything in between. I still talk about my other mental health issues too, such as anxiety, depression and an eating disorder, but dermatillomania is definitely my main objective on there now.
Hope, Healing and Home
-- a guest blog post that I did with the CBSN, which talks about how the online community plays an important role in recovery, and how it's played a role specifically in mine.
In addition to these, I'm an official Online Peer Support agent (agent seems like the wrong word, but oh well) with the CBSN and I also post some items on their tumblr page. I'm also dead set on helping them to awesomeness, because they're just a start up non-profit at the moment and they're learning the ropes and building themselves up. They're now the second organization world wide that deals with body-focused repetitive behaviours.
I have an upcoming piece with the Trichotillomania Learning Center that should be published soon, and another piece that's in the editing stages with another organization that I'm keeping a secret (I don't want to jinx it!).
If you're interested in finding out about the disorder, or think you may have it (or even trichotillomania -- hair pulling disorder), feel free to send me a message, or check out the TLC, CBSN, or another great resource, run by a fellow advocate and friend of mine, Angela Hartlin, is Skinpickingsupport.com
So yeah, that's what I've mostly been up to. Working of some creative pieces to submit to literary journals and magazines as well, but my focus has been on awareness and advocacy, and I'm starting to feel like this is what I should be doing with my life and that this is where I belong. It's pretty exciting.