I completely get it. Did your condition improve with a reduction in stress or have you transferred that picking to other areas? Somehow our brain gets the message that this thing we are “messing with” here is a coping, happy-thought, relieving distraction from “fill in the blank.” My worst time is mental boredom! Or avoiding bedtime. Or driving.
Anyway, I know how that felt and what you were going through 100%.
I hope you’ve been able to put it behind you!