2013 Shows

(Original Air Date: 01/23/13) April is a drop-dead gorgeous 21-year-old, but says she sees a hideous monster in the mirror. April says she believes her face is so ugly, that she sometimes thinks the only escape might be to end her life. For the last 11 years, April says she's spent countless hours with her worst enemy, the mirror. April compulsively picks at her skin -- so much so that she believes she’s developed scoliosis from sitting hunched forward on her bathroom sink. Beautiful April thinks she is so incredibly grotesque, she is ashamed to show her face in public. Will Dr. Phil be able to convince April to remove the layers of makeup she has hidden behind for more than a decade? And. can he help her see how beautiful she truly is? Then, adorable Meghan, 15, says she hates how she looks so much, she often wishes she had never been born. Meghan’s mother, Christine, says her daughter’s intense self-hatred and daily violent breakdowns are ripping their family apart. What's at the root of Meghan's pain? And what is Dr. Phil’s tough message for Christine? Plus, Rebecca, 25, says she suffered from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) for more than 10 years before she sought help two years ago. Don’t miss her message of hope for both girls.

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: strine on Nov 28, 2013, 10:17PM
This show is on AGAIN in Australia and I changed the channel after recalling the last time I wasted my time watching April pretend to be a face picker. April who has more selfies than most teenagers I know, April who sat confidently with a camera in her face and smiled when hearing the makeup was coming off. April who had a multitude of sympathisers on here in regards to the terrible picking she had done to her face- that coincidentally left no scars. My sister was a face picker as a teenager and April's charade for attention makes me so sick I don't want to watch her again. Has she got a modelling or acting contract yet? She could be a mediocre actress yet since she fooled so many people who watched. I prefer acors who are convincing and really sell a part (with scars to prove it in dramatic sad pieces).
Replied By: hds1974 on Aug 16, 2013, 1:44PM
Dear all,

I just saw this episode and felt compelled to write.  I watch Dr. Phil regularly, but I have never felt the need to post to the site before now.  I completely identify with April.  I have been picking at my arms and legs and to some extent my face since I was seventeen.  I also have melasma on my face.  I'm now 39.  As you can imagine, I've done a lot of damage to my skin in 21 years, and it has taken its toll on my life.  I was extremely unhappy. I felt ugly, disgusting, and freakish.  I couldn't have relationships, and couldn't do normal things link wear shorts (or even capri pants) or short-sleeved shirts.  I couldn't talk to my friends or anyone but my mother about the situation and had to constantly make up exuses for not doing things like going to the beach.  I also had to make up stories about why I always wore long pants and shirts in the heat of summer. 

The picking had nothing to do with itching or eczema.  I appreciate the input from those who have posted possible solutions for itching/eczema and the like, but a lot of skin picking has nothing to do with actual itching. I've been to dozens of dermatologists and used dozens of skin products over the last 21 years, but nothing has helped.  I was at the point that I wanted to kill myself just to get rid of the pain of my unhappy existence.

I wanted to post here not to to share my misery, but to let those of you out there dealing with the same problem know that there is light at the end of the tunnel!  

I finally realized after years of suffering that dermatologists and skin products were not going to help if I could not get the picking itself under control.  For that reason, I sought out psychological help. Since January 2012 I have been seeing a neuropyschologist once a week.  She has been doing a specific kind of therapy with me called Schema Therapy.  Schema Therapy helps you identify your thought patterns (schemas) and work on them.  She also worked with a pyschiatrist in the practice to get me on anti-depressants.  I was orignally against the anti-depressants, but she said it would help me receive and respond to the schema therapy better, and she was right.  The schema therapy has helped me identify why I pick by identifying the thought and behavior patterns that trigger the picking.  The therapy includes finding evidence to dispute my thought patterns (such as I am ugly, fat, and disgusting). It also gives me tools to help stop myself from picking by helping me to become aware of the thought patterns that trigger the picking. Dr. Phil alluded to this when he talked to Meghan toward the end of the episode.  He didn't use the term schema therapy, but I believe that's what he was talking about.

It's been a long road - 1.5 years of weekly sessions plus anti-depressants. I'm not there yet, but have definetly made progress.  I am much happier. My sking looks better because I pick MUCH less, and this summer for the first time in 21 years I have been going outside in public wearing capri pants and a tank top -- even once on a date!  

I hope this brings hope to those of you out there who are suffering.  I too once thought that there was no hope and that I would rather die.  I had even planned how I would kill myself.  It will take work on your part.  You'll have to make the effort, but it IS worth it.


Replied By: beaner237 on Jul 1, 2013, 5:14PM
I watched the show when it aired on June 28th, 2013. I have just graduated from high school and grew up in a divorced situation. Since I was young, about 4th grade, things in my family became more clear and more worrisome. Both of my parents were remarried and I was starting to see it wasn't going to work. My step-mom didnt want me at my father's house and i was about to start middle school. Not only was I isolated at home but I was different from my peers. I was the ugly one, the nerd, the loser, the geek. I was flat and fat, had terribly  acne, frizzly hair and braces. Definitely not the popular one. As the situation at home got worse with parents saying this and that about the other, I felt like I shouldnt have been born. They wouldnt be fighting if I wasn't. They wouldnt even have to speak to one another. And the only person suffering through any of this was me. It seemed hopeless. I had a bad relationship in 8th grade and it didn't help my cause. I constantly felt like i would die alone. That if my family didn't want me and my peers didnt want me, then what use was there? I resorted to cutting to rid my self hate, as a distraction. I didnt do it much, maybe 5 times at most, and then my mother caught me. She flipped out and cried. I questioned why she cared because she wasnt one to listen to me anyways. Those were the moments where i can sympathize wih Meghan. My mother once said to me "I'll give you something to cry about" Funny thing was I watched this episode with my mother. She said that Meghan was crazy and all i thought was mom, if you only knew... I began to reflect on my past which is why i wrote this post. I felt it was important to me to say that even today those thoughts don't always disappear. The boyfriend, who I have been with since 2009, still gets upset when my judgemental thoughts get the best of me. In the worst years, I felt like for anyone to love me, I needed to be perfect. I tried and failed so many times and luckily I met my boyfriend. He cried when I finally told him what was going on in my life and how I felt. He couldnt believe that my family would  put me through so much and how I could feel that way about myself. Despite his help, I still fell victim to an eating disorder in 9th grade. I lost 18 pounds and was unreasonable. I still felt that I wouldnt be perfect. I eventually overcame that with the help of my track coach but the thoughts never really go away. I am proud of who I am today. I'm off to a good school to major in biology and premed with dreams of being and OB/GYN (the eating disorder messed up my hormones and I cannot have children without some help, so I would also like to help some others who may be struggling). my family isnt perfect but I will deal with it as much as I can and jsut try to avoid intense conversations with them. I have the support of my boyfriend and friends who wont argue my emotions like my family does. There are still times though, I look in the mirror and think how can anybody love me. Its not as frequent as it used to be, but to rid one of these types of thoughts, seems like you would need to rewire their entire brain.
Replied By: kellyann1968 on Jun 30, 2013, 2:29PM
I have read the comments and I feel better that I am not alone but in the bathroom cursing the mirror I am alone very alone.   My family doesn't understand.  I have gone to therapisst and it didn't help.  I have spent close to 10,000 on plastic surgery just to ruin it because I can not leave my face alone. 

Dr Phil mentioned something about a neurological connection does anyone have the information on the doctors he was referring to?  I believe I have Dermatilomania (sorry spelling?)

I also, feel this is an addiction.  I feel like a cocaine addict who is trying to stop but the pile of coke is right in front of me on my face every day, every second even in my nightmares.

I am in Michigan - if anyone knows of a doctor that can help please let me know.  I will do anything to help others like me too.  This is no way to live.
Replied By: namedeclin on Jun 30, 2013, 8:27AM
I remembered a few more ways to prevent the deep stabs of pain causing an urge to itch.  Some of these have become so second nature that I didn't think of them before.

Every night you are sleeping with sheets, a pillow and blankets.  Do not use any detergent with scents or perfume or any powdered laundry detergent.  Even having powdered laundry detergent or cleanser in the house can set off an allergy or trigger skin sensitivity.  I am using liquid detergent from the health food store with no scent.  Also, I have the comforter laundered at the organic dry cleaner.   

If your gums are not cleaned by a dentist or you have other problems in your teeh, when you sleep, the moise air from your mouth can spread these problems to your face.  Careful brushing and flossing and having the dentist clean the gums every few years will alleviate this kind of problem.

Strong household cleaning products or paint should not be used with the window closed.  Even after the window is closed again  such products, even from a few feet away, can hamage the skin.  The ink in magic markers can trigger the sensitivity.  In the winter when you can't open the windows, you can clean linoleum floors and bathroom surfaces with unscented shampoo.

Another very important thing that dermatologists say: do not use hot water to wash your face or hair.  Only use lukewarm or slightly cooler water to wash your hair.

Cotton and dampness at a room temperature above 70 degrees cause dust mites.  This means that if you sleep with cotton sheets, your face is exposed to a dust mite problem.  I have my mattresses covered with the protective covers that protect against dust mites.  I did not buy the expensive ones.  The major discount chain stores sell these covers.  I could not find sheets that are 100% polyester, but I do have sheets that are a mix with polyester.  Every week the cotton laundry has to be washed with the hottest water setting on the washing machine. I do not use feather bedding.

If your family owns a home they should have vent cleaning done every year.  The living environment feels completely different and refreshed after vent cleaning.   

There things sound really extreme, but the urge to pick or scratch is a possible sign of unusually sensitive skin and unfortunately that means taking care of your house or apartment in a way that prevents allergies.
Replied By: namedeclin on Jun 30, 2013, 6:03AM
Extreme skin sensitivity and itching can be caused by your skin being allergic to your own hair or to a hair product, such as color.  You want skin/hair products that are paraben-free.  Dermatologists can provide lists of chemicals to avoid.  You can have the urge to itch from even having one strand of hair touching your face.  If you have this, even one hair touching your skin can cause deep sensations of pain and a very deep urge to itch to the point of wanting to cut with your nails.  The medicine desoximetasone petroleum gel can product the skin from feelings of itching due to your own hair.  A dermatologist would have to advise on how that medicine could be used with regard to the face.  For someone having extreme eczema, getting the hair off the face for a while is important while the skin heals.  This can be done by wearing a headband, having the hair in a knot or pony tail, or having a short haircut.  Tweezing out the sideburns that put hair on the cheek will also help if there is an eczema problem.
Replied By: elissac on Jun 30, 2013, 12:34AM
I know Body Dysmorphia is more than something people can just "get over" if they stop worrying about their looks. There is a psychological component with Depression and Anxiety, there may be hormonal components, not to mention other body chemistry and environmental factors. I just wanted to add a spiritual component for anyone who could use it. God creates each and everyone one of us and knows us before we are even conceived and He always creates beauty, He knows your name before you're even born. He even knows how many hairs there are on your head. 

He takes what you call as your scars and turns them into art, your blemishes into blessings. You are loved just as you are. Beautiful.

I have SLE and have had 30 surgeries in my 43 years. I've learned to live with the scars and keep on going. If you don't have a few "battle scars" then you haven't been living!
Replied By: jford72182 on Jun 29, 2013, 10:35PM
After seeing the show, I felt absolutely compelled to write this with the hope that both April and Meghan would read my words. TO APRIL: The bravery you showed by facing your fears is incredibly inspiring....I hope you are as proud of yourself as I am for you! It's a big step, and just by coming forward, I truly believe you have helped other young women, and that you are a hero in their eyes! You are a beautiful young lady, inside and out...I don't need to have met you to know that. I wish you all the best, and have the utmost faith that your life, with Dr. Phil's help, will become as beautiful as you are! You can do it, girl!!! :)  TO MEGHAN: From the bottom of my heart, I want you to know that I firmly believe that the girl you see in the mirror is not the girl I saw on the television screen. You are NOT fat; you are NOT ugly; you are NOT unlovable! What I saw was a stunning, sweet, and lovely young lady who will one day have the world at her feet! The thing about bullies is that they prey on others because they feel bad about themselves so they have to knock others down so they can feel good about themselves. They aren't worth listening to, sweetie! You DESERVE so much better, and with Dr. Phil's help, I know you will have the happiness you deserve! I see so much potential in you, and I know that soon you will see it in yourself too! Be proud of yourself for going on the show...I have no doubt that your courage has helped many girls in similar situations to implives their own lives. You're a hero to them! Best of luck in life and happiness, Hun! Remember, YOU DESERVE IT!!!! :)
Replied By: luccia on Jun 29, 2013, 5:55AM - In reply to annals1
I have Dermatillomania too. Severe. I can't wear shorts or go to the beach. Swim, wear a dress. I can't even wear capri's or get a pedicure that is how bad the scars are on my legs. And that is just my legs. I pick just abput everywhere but my legs are the worst. I also have bipolar, depression and generalized anxiety disorder. No amount of treatment has ever stopped the picking. I really don't think it is treatable.
Replied By: luccia on Jun 29, 2013, 5:46AM
I also pick my skin and have since childhood. I was told it was OCD and it wasn't until recently when I saw previews of the documentary "Scars of Shame" that I realized that it was Dermatillomania. I never realized there was a name for it. I can't wear shorts or go to the beach. My legs are beyond hideous. Personally, I don't believe that a skin picker can ever stop. I am 40 and have never been able to. maybe this girl has a chance because she is young and will be able to afford phototherapy. I cannot so I just live with it. Best wishes to her.
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