Latest Issue

What it feels like to not be able to stop touching your face

I've prodded, poked and picked at my own skin for years. Now, my anxiety has become a matter of public health

By Eli Goldstone  

Before he died, my granddad, who had mostly been up to that point lying very quietly in his hospital bed, shouted at me for biting my fingers. “For a clever girl,” he bellowed, “That’s a bloody stupid habit.” He was right, of course. That willowy Lancashire man, who gave up smoking overnight by sheer will alone, wouldn’t…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect