The approach I am using to self-treat the condition called dermatillomania is necessarily multi-dimensional. I have done research on the treatments available and I have seen that one type of therapy alone cannot be a cure, but can be a huge step forward towards treatment and cessation of this disorder. I am not making any kind of claim that I know better or know more, but what I know is me, and I am the reason, the cause, the source and the solution to myself. What I intend to do is look at the current existent research, and to ‘fill in the gaps’ in order to tailor the treatment to suit me the best way possible, and to document this in order that others may do the same for themselves.
- RELABEL – Recognize that the intrusive obsessive thoughts and urges are the result of OCD. For example, train yourself to say, "I don't think or feel that my hands are dirty. I'm having an obsession that my hands are dirty." Or, "I don't feel that I have the need to wash my hands. I'm having a compulsive urge to perform the compulsion of washing my hands."
- REATTRIBUTE – Realize that the intensity and intrusiveness of the thought or urge is caused by OCD; it is probably related to a biochemical imbalance in the brain. Tell yourself, "It's not me—it’s my OCD," to remind you that OCD thoughts and urges are not meaningful, but are false messages from the brain.
- REFOCUS – Work around the OCD thoughts by focusing your attention on something else, at least for a few minutes. Do another behavior. Say to yourself, "I'm experiencing a symptom of OCD. I need to do another behavior."
- REVALUE – Do not take the OCD thought at face value. It is not significant in itself. Tell yourself, "That's just my stupid obsession. It has no meaning. That's just my brain. There's no need to pay attention to it." Remember: You can't make the thought go away, but neither do you need to pay attention to it. You can learn to go on to the next behavior.