A JOURNEY TO AUTHENTICITY: An Autoethnography of Compulsive Excoriation (Skin Picking) Disorder

Title: A JOURNEY TO AUTHENTICITY: An Autoethnography of Compulsive Excoriation (Skin Picking) Disorder
Authors: Grodinsky, Allison Morin
Date: 2022
Abstract: Compulsive excoriation (skin picking) disorder (CSPD) is an underrecognized mental illness that affects 2-5% of the population. This autoethnography aims to bridge the gap in qualitative research pertaining to CSPD. The research question asks: How can a deeper understanding of compulsive excoriation (skin picking) disorder be achieved through the exploration of a lived experience? The objectives were 1) to raise awareness, consolidate knowledge and disprove misconceptions about CSPD; 2) to embark on an emancipatory journey to authenticity; 3) to critically analyze the sociopolitical dynamics inherent in the experience of living with a mental illness in modern-day Western society. These objectives were achieved through the writing and subsequent analyzing of a chronological multilayered autoethnographic account of my lived experience with CSPD. The autoethnographic methodology provides unique access to a deeper understanding of the complexity and paradoxes intrinsic to the day-to-day circumstances of those with CSPD. Based on my analysis, two tables were created with a vision of generating awareness and contributing strategies. The first table can serve as a tool for those living with CSPD. The second table presents strategies for health professionals, loved ones and the public on how to support those living with CSPD. The sociopolitical influence of an immense pressure to succeed, beauty standards, the stigma of mental illness and the intricacies of obtaining mental health diagnoses were discussed in relation to their impact on individuals’ lived experience of CSPD. Keywords: compulsive excoriation (skin picking) disorder, dermatillomania, authenticity, bio-psycho-sociocultural, autoethnography, wounded healer
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/43325
CollectionL’École de service social - Mémoires // School of Social Work - Research Papers
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