picking trance?

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Postby gerg » Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:30 pm

Me too, Ill be fine until I start, once I do, I can tell myself to stop multiple times but it won't do anything, finally I will, and THAT feeling will come over me. So I will rinse my face and then dry it, once I do this, I can't look at the mirror, if I do then I'll be "sucked" back into doing it.

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Postby lib24 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:11 pm

Wow, yes. The trance is my life (which is horribly sad when you think about it...). I have no concept of the passage of time anyway, and I have negligible time-management skills, so this is just par for the course, only I come out of it with sores all over me and don't even know how I ended up doing that AGAIN. I even say, look, your face is healing, we're not going to touch it, and then I go into automatic pilot and check over the sink, or in the bathroom, and I "come to" 2 hours later (on an average day) and see I've screwed up again. It's an awful feeling. I relate so much to everything people here have said about it. Unfortunately, there's no argument that I can give myself to make it stop. And often, when I come out of it and realize what I've done, I can't face stopping, because then I'll have to face reality/my body/my responsibilities/etc., and I just go off on it again for another 2 hours or so, just to avoid dealing with it.

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Postby Cherry Berry » Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:35 pm

I truly hate trance. it happens to me a lot. remember sometime ago, when I used to work on a cruise ship (that's a long story) and lived in a small room together with some other girls, I sometimes spent all night in this trance like condition, until it was morning and others woke up. they thought that I gotten up first, but they had no clue I spent all night in the bathroom...

lately I've managed to avoid trance by firmly making myself say STOP (in a loud voice). that is one of the good things my therapist taught me.

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Postby splendid » Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:02 pm

lib24 wrote:I have no concept of the passage of time anyway, and I have negligible time-management skills, so this is just par for the course,

Me too. I wonder if this has anything to do with picking trances, or if it just enables them more/makes them worse. I hate having to try to fit into a culture (US mainstream) where people schedule things to the minute and where you're expected to be on time. It's the bane of my existence (or one of them, anyway...).

I hate schedules, deadlines, and other time-related expectations. Especially when they're foisted upon me by others, but even when they're not. Why couldn't I be born into a culture where people are always late?
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Postby justagirl » Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:14 pm

I think I can honestly say that I am over trances.
I used to trance out bad for over an hour, often more, but I cant remember the last one, and it's all thanks to just a few months of intensive journalling (IJ) on SPOM :)

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Postby beautifulsomeday » Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:39 am

I've been trance free for two full weeks. Before that it was pretty much every night.
I am floating away, lost in a silent ballet...

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Postby Caterpillar » Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:57 pm

I agree, Beautiful and Jinxed. Cant remember the last time I tranced.

About two and a half years ago I picked for eight hours straight; stayed up all night. Face took over a month to heal.

Feels like those days are far behind me, thanks to SPOM. 8-)
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Postby Drowning Ophelia » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:08 pm

Strangely enough, I also can't recall the last time I "tranced." I am certainly no stranger to it since I am now 34 and have been picking off and on since I was 13. I honestly have SPOM to thank for so much of my progress. My engulfment in this on-line community has only enriched and strengthened my commitment to therapy and self-care in all other areas of my life. Of course I also wonder/worry if it is all due to dermatological interventions: to my topical creams and antibiotics working. It is a strange thing: I pick less because my skin has mostly cleared up, but in the act of my skin clearing up, I don't get sucked into trances and don't end up picking unnecessarily or excessively...evidently, a more complicated question...
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Postby Visual Eyez » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:04 am

Wow, the trance-state, one of the reasons why I figured I was truely alone with this problem. It is so strange, going from spot to spot for lengthy periods picking, not really feeling the physical pain. There have been times when I've even drooled while picking in trance. Usually if I start to drool it snaps me out of it (and so it should!). I know thinking negative thoughts is part of it, but to be so focused on my pores that I don't even swallow?! Anyhow, this site has already helped me immensely. I plan to start a journal soon, then hopefully I can be cured. It feels good to be able to be social with better skin (still terrible skin in someone else's eyes?) I am so grateful to have found a community like this one. Going to go wash my face now then exit the bathroom!
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Postby justagirl » Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:13 pm

There have been times when I've even drooled while picking in trance. Usually if I start to drool it snaps me out of it (and so it should!). I know thinking negative thoughts is part of it, but to be so focused on my pores that I don't even swallow?!

ahahahaha too funny - I did the exact same thing!
the trances were also what made me feel like a total freak, alone in the world. Thank goodness for this onlince connection
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The "Trance"

Postby csp_angie » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:34 pm

I've been working on a documentary about skin picking with a couple of film makers (not sure if it'll come together or not), but while I sit in the bathroom with the video camera and pick I noticed that it's hard to talk. Most of us pick alone when we go into the trance-like states, but I noticed while trying to talk into the camera that my words become disjointed because my focus is on that relief/ false sense of accomplishment that makes us continue to pick.
Last edited by csp_angie on Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Nectarine » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:10 am

Wow, the trance thing pretty much described everything for me. I wish we could really get a good look into the chemical cause and reaction of what happens when we do this. Nothing I have ever experienced can even remotely compare. I wonder what the heck causes it? I definitely know what you mean about 'waking up', and the waves of shame and self-hate that follow.

Anyone ever find anything that explains this 'trance' thing? I still am baffled by it.

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Postby aedrys » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:01 am

I totally go into a trance state when I picked. I'll find myself making up stories in my head so it's like I'm picking but not paying attention to it, like I'm covering what I'm doing. Or I'll get so focused that I can't think anything else until it's over. So weird, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who does this!

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Postby raj » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:50 pm

the things most of you are saying are soo close to the things that i feel. i never knew that other people had the same deep feelings as me. I find that i can usually make it for about 15-20 days without going into a trance but after that many days have passed it catches me off guard, usually when im high on weed and its late at night and my defenses are really down it hits me. i made it past this 20 day hump once in recent history and that was because i didnt smoke weed for 40 days. im gonna stop smoking again because everythings fine when im high but once i come down i am really prone to stress. one thing that i have noticed about these relapses is that every time it happens i feel like im back at square 1 and that really hurts because i can put in weeks of hard work and then its all gone after a few dozen minutes. i feel like i got the formula down for getting through 2 or 3 weeks but i dont know how to not get caught off guard.

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Re: Trance

Postby Lana » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:50 pm

Visual Eyez wrote:I am so grateful to have found a community like this one. Going to go wash my face now then exit the bathroom!

@Visual Eyez omgg wow the most amazing/creepy thing just happened..!! so i'm sitting here, reading through this topic but i should have been asleep hours ago so while i read, i keep thinking that i have to go wash my face and get to bed asap but i worry that i might pick while i'm in the bathroom, so i keep on reading instead, until KABOOM! you say the exact same thing i have to do and the exact same thing i shouldn't do! (wash face/no picking). but wait there's more! check the date of your post...you posted that EXACTLY one year ago! Feb 3rd!! isn't that super weird and awsome?!
(i know she's probably never going to see this but i blab like that when i'm tired lol)
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how to get out of the trance

Postby Makdessi » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:07 pm

Like many of you, I'm both relieved and a little surprised to hear I am not the only one who loses hours to a trance state in the bathroom. I think yes, it is a safe place, or a place to be alone for many of us. A place to be with ourselves and go deep inside.

I notice my eyes actually have to re-adjust to the light when my body starts to ache and I come back.

The one thing I was doing that was helping before I found this site was when I would lean forward to the mirror to "check" my skin, I would look myself in the eyes first and say "I love you." It helped, it actually stopped me a few times.

The thing I need to work on is the immense backlog of pent-up urges. I literally itch.

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Postby neverenough » Sat May 19, 2012 6:03 am

Reading these I can only be grateful that my trances usually only last 20 minutes or so!
The trance like state is the worst though, because you have no control over the amount you pick while you're in it. It's usually the pain when I go too far that snaps me out of it.

Being completely honest though, I don't often go into trances anymore. Now I am a 'regular picker' I do it completely consciously but still have no power to stop my fingers. I'll have an argument with myself in my head about how I need to stop, that I promised myself and that there's no reason for me to continue right now.
I swear, my fingers just shout 'LOL JK' at my brain, because they're completely out of my control. And the fingers part of my brain tells me that it wants to pick, and that I can't stop it so I might as well shut up.

I come out of my picking sessions feeling confused with who I am sometimes, me or my fingers?

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Postby sskatx » Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:22 pm

I also get "the trance." Also the wandering thoughts that occur the whole time. weird, but good to know i am not alone.
It sure stinks to pull away from the mirror to finally walk away and BAM! Feet or legs have gone numb!!! So after a clumsy shuffle out of the bath I can sit in my shame and worry about what horror I may wake up to in the morning.

I agree with what others have posted above and believe the trance state/ release of brain chemicals is addictive (?) or a secondary addiction to the skin picking obsession.

My questions: what purpose does it serve based on the neurosis of an individual? What can be done in replacement of it? I am not a fidgety picker so keeping my hands busy doesn't help. I am very deliberate in my attacks, so anyone figure out another way to achieve, or not need, "the trance"????

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Postby HelpMeStopSkinPicking » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:38 pm

Again I end up crying while discovering something new on here. Like memories when I was little of my mum and dad fighting so violently I couldnt breathe from fear and anger and tears- and there being no escape, except places where there were locks- like the bathroom and my bedroom. Which is where I pick. I too go into a trance, I think my longest being about 2 hours, where I have imprints on my legs from the counter.
I relate to each and every one of you. Including the part about imagining stories, trying to force a positive ending to a situation where I once again ended up the victim. I think this is why its so hard for me to be strong at work, if someone doesnt respect me I feel violated beyond what a "normal" person would.

By the way, I recall my Mum used to go into these trances too- hers were worse I think because she could fall into it while in the room with family. Seems like a learned coping mechanism for trauma. How sad that we must hurt ourselves for relief. I thought I was doing better, and then remembered how I butchered my breasts earlier tonight to get the satisfaction of what comes out of the pores before I had to make a decision. I then realized how awful this must look to the new guy I am dating- THIS NEEDS TO STOP. I need more help than I thought possible.

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Re: picking trance?

Postby lonewolfrissy » Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:33 am

Yes!!!!! I'll end up spending an hour without realizing that I have until I get back to my husband. And then I feel guilty, like a scolded child, like I will get lectured...

I think I an a combination of things. It is stress relief (I have alone time, I don't have to think/feel/hear it) self esteem(it'S not okay, I can be at the same level) and probably a coping/defense mechanism.

Which is funny... I've learned about stress, healthy ways to manage it, how to help someone else (massage therapy), and yet, I have a hard time following through my lessons. I can't find me time in some way without feeling guilty or like I am pissing someone off (5 adults, one toddler in a 3bed home that's small) or it costing money I don't have, especially when something else is needed.

Right now, I just finished another episode and I don't want to even play with my husband because I don't like what I have done and I don't want to hear it. I couldn't even enjoy today with friends. All week, I have been getting to school late because my uncle'S car has an overheating issue. (I don't have a working vehicle, my dad works nights and not home when u have to leave. The city bus takes forever and I already don't get enough sleep). The fastest route (freeway) had two accidents minimum every day. Side streets, I can at least pull over to let the car cool off without fearing being involved in an accident myself. But I hit every red light possible. Twice , I have caught a train and overheated the car. I an scared of the car die on me because of the traffic or someone not paying attention. Yesterday was horrible because of the same reasons, one going to get away for a few hours, visit some friends. Now, I'm getting a new instructor Tuesday, after having two previous ones. (One quit and the other was a temp) To top off this weekend, my little girl isn't feeling well. I couldn't focus on anything else today because I was taking care of my beautiful little girl...and I'm ashamed of this obsession because she's starting to do the same thing because she sees mommy doing it. I'm a little okay because I have a chance and hope to prevent he r from carrying on with this because she's little and doesn't understand.

No, I haven't tried getting professional help. I don't want to have explain where I an going. I don't want to hear what isn't going to help me, or possibly some medication where the side effects are just bad if not worse.

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Re: picking trance?

Postby CCStopPicking! » Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:04 pm

This is all very interesting!
I am 25yo and I have just finished med school. I have been picking my skin for the past 10 years, and pulling out my hair for about the same amount of time. I completely recognise myself in the 'trance' state. I can 'lose myself' in the bathroom for countless minutes, and my hair pulling has become a ritual when I'm studying. Noone around me understands this. They don't understand why I can't stop.
It's exacerbated by stress and sleep deprivation for sure (I don't think of my skin on vacation), but I still have that sense of 'cleansing' while emptying my pores: I'm just cleaning my pores!
There must be some underlying chemical/neuronal circuit underlying this compulsion, which is enhanced/encouraged each time we pick, making it easier and easier to lose control. That would be really interesting to study!!

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Re: picking trance?

Postby buttercup » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:27 am

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More great info here...


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