cinzbenz

Trichotillomania

128 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Yes, I've had trich for 2 decades - (I'm 26 now).

I'm bald and wear a wig, which I hate although I should be used to it by now. I often ponder what life would be like if I had (or when I'll have) long, poofy hair. I've gone through so many wigs... I can't possibly count.

The last time I walked the world without a wig was in '94... and even then, I did weird things to cover the bald patches on my head (including using permanent marker to colour them in!!!!!) Gosh, how crazy is that. I learned how to be so creative with the little hair I had, so meticulous... which I think became the catalyst for my healthy obsession with cosmetics.

Before '91, I wore an absolutely horrible wig. It was horrible. I looked awful and I realize now that I can still get angry at my mother for allowing such atrocity!!!!! Yet, I can only recall 3 people making fun of me: 1) a mean vice-principal when I was in Grade 5, 2) a mean classmate who was a loser anyway, and 3) my cousin (although it wasn't about my ugly wig... it was years later with my favourite long-haired wig).

I fit the criteria for hairpuller to the tee... nowadays, hairpulling the "right" hair can even feel better than an orgasm. I'm not trying to be vulgar... it's just true! I've kind of given up on trying to overcome it... I hate thinking that it's just a "bad habit" I have to correct. Maybe I'll get back to working on treatment... until then, I ignore it and know that it's not the root of all my problems.

Edited by unending

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Posted

Hi there Un-ending! Why do you persist in pulling? What is the worst that will happen if you stop? What are you trying to prove?

Love your sense of 'humour' ........ "until then, I ignore it and know that it's not the root of all my problems. ....... " ;-)

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Posted

I've had trichotillomania for decades.

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Posted

I have been pulling my hair for years. From all parts of my body. My Doctor says it is part of my OCD problem. A trick he told me about helps! Not all the time but, Hey it might help you. Take a rubberband that fits loosely around your wrist. When you catch yourself pulling your hair, or even thinking about it, Snap the rubberband on your wrist. Yes after awhile it hurts a bit but it gets your mind onto other things. Good luck.

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Posted

Hi there Un-ending! Why do you persist in pulling? What is the worst that will happen if you stop? What are you trying to prove?

Love your sense of 'humour' ........ "until then, I ignore it and know that it's not the root of all my problems. ....... " ;-)

"Why do you persist in pulling?"

--> The answers vary... but ultimately, I do not know. In terms of treatment, behavioural modification, through therapy, and a combination of medications could prove successful. They haven't so far, not that I believe they couldn't. It's often a subconscious, compulsive need to pull... a physical drive to pull - like an addiction, I would imagine. There's an unbelievably deep sense of gratification when I pull, but a deep regret afterwards. You know little about this disorder if you presume that willpower is the only ingredient in this recipe for treatment. Willpower does not exist by itself. And if you can sit there and judge me, you obviously have no idea what you're talking about.

"What is the worst that will happen if you stop?"

--> Only good things would result if somehow I had control over my condition. I've tried several treatments and intend on returning to them and trying again... things such as health care coverage and improved support network are factors that have hindered progress in my treatment. Decades of disappointment with therapists and psychiatrists is also a factor. Again, I find this question presumptuous and perhaps I myself am presuming your intent, but your questions contain a sense of ignorance.

"What are you trying to prove?"

--> What kind of question is this? Perhaps you don't know any better, or simply are not an artist of words. I guess I'm lucky that I know how to ask questions in a way that doesn't hurt people. Whatever the case, I found this question patronizing, rude, offensive, and provocative. There are many implications contained in your question. I won't entertain you any further... perhaps you know little about my disorder. If this is the case, you should speak less.

RE: my sense of humour - there was none contained in my entry, and certainly not in that statement in which I state that I am choosing to ignore it for now. Having a bald head is not something that is easy to live with. My entry was ENTIRELY heartfelt, sincere, honest, and not easy to write.

It's easy to judge people... thinking you have the answers that they don't, or that they don't want to see. I've done it; heck, I do it - we're human and can't help it sometimes. But just because it's easy to judge, doesn't mean it's right. Just because we judge doesn't mean we know what we're talking about. Sometimes we don't know... sometimes we don't know that the people we judge have walked 200 more miles than we have.

Yours Truly & Without Humour,

-unending.

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Posted

Do any of you believe that your hair is falling out and you are testing? My problem is I fried some hair on straighteners and some hair started falling out. Now I am obsessed with checking to see if my hair comes out, I am pulling it out and thinking I will lose my hair. I have had OCD in the past and I guess the straightener incident triggered it.

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Posted

Wow, I was surprised to read all of these posts. I don't have OCD but I also pull my eyebrows and eyelashes out whenever I am stressed or anxious. I have been doing this since I was a kid and it was always just soothing for me to pull them out. The after effect is what I didn't like. I would get strange looks from other kids because most of my eyelashes or eyebrows would be missing. I still do it now but not as much. I felt more self conscious about it after my husband began to notice it. Now I don't pull as much but I am so tempted because my eyelashes are even longer now from the eyedrops I use for glaucoma. Unfortunately, it hurts more when I mess with it, so I guess that's a good thing.

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Posted

Do any of you believe that your hair is falling out and you are testing? My problem is I fried some hair on straighteners and some hair started falling out. Now I am obsessed with checking to see if my hair comes out, I am pulling it out and thinking I will lose my hair. I have had OCD in the past and I guess the straightener incident triggered it.

This sounds like me :hearts:! Although I don't think I will lose my hair, I'm pulling at the ends to test if it breaks... Is that trichotillomania??

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Posted

Lynx I wouldn't try to catagorise it as anything other than OCD for now. As for my hair it is absolutely fine and I was fixating on what was normal hair loss. I was very, very freaked out and scared for a while though. So hopefully this is a sign that this time will pass if you are strong.

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Posted

Lynx I wouldn't try to catagorise it as anything other than OCD for now. As for my hair it is absolutely fine and I was fixating on what was normal hair loss. I was very, very freaked out and scared for a while though. So hopefully this is a sign that this time will pass if you are strong.

Thank you for your reply kirkwuk :bump:.

Glad your hair is fine! :shocked: It really must have been scary :hearts:.

My hair is better now. Still not 100% ok, but improving. I still can't help but "test it" for breakage every day...

:shocked:

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Posted

[color="#2E8B57"]I identify with Woefulshy. I too bite my nails and twist my hair. I twist it into knots all over my head while I am watching TV. I am not sure what is subconsciously going on. I really get anxious around the holidays. I start to get real emotional and have a really hard time coping around my grown sons. I did well this last weekend when all three of them were together for my husband's 63rd birthday. I started to twist my hair at my oldest son's house. I 'm not sure why he didn't fuss at me about it. I had a counselor and did mention to her about the hypnosis therapy since she does it, but she didn't set up a time . I guess I will have to find someone else and specifically ask them for a time to have a session.

I definitely believe it all has something to do with anxiety and maybe depression also. It feels lots better to know other people have the same problem also.

Flame 60

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Posted

[i pull my eyelashes out on the side, and my boyfriend pulls his eyebrow all the time.

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Posted

I have Trich as well, and I have found the one and only thing that helps me stop. Hair gel! I don't know about the rest of you but I run my fingers through my hair and feel all the little textural inconsistancies, split ends, and knots and pull them. By putting in hair gel the texture changes entirely and when I feel my hair, there's no desire to pull.

Something to try anyway.

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Posted

I have this as well.It started around my teens with me plucking the hairs from my legs with tweezers,then gravitated to me pulling my hair.I twist and knot it sometimes all over and even pull it out!I dont do it all the time but lately its gotten bad where one side of my hair is definately thinning out.I have found that if I cut my hair shorter it helps but I want my hair long now as I dont want to go back to looking like a "beachball"on a body.I have also bitten my nails since childhood as well.I have even tried hairgel but I get past that too.I am wanting to ask my doc next time about hypnotherapy for it.

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Posted

Does anyone cut their hair when they get upset? I do this all the time, even when I am wearing a wig.

:hearts:

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Posted

The posts on this topic seem to be few and far between, but I would like to share anyway.

I have been tying knots in my hair and breaking them off for over a decade now. It started when I was maybe 12 or 13 and I would do it constantly. I always part my hair down the middle so after a while the length of the right side versus the left was noticeably different. My mother did not understand that it was a disorder and I could not help what I was doing so I was constantly yelled at and disciplined for my hair pulling.

Going to the hair dresser for hair cuts was very embarrassing because she would tell that hairdresser that my hair looked so awful because of my pulling. She would also mention it to her friends and our relatives in front of me, I think she was trying to embarrass me so I would stop. Of course all this stress made me pull even more, and I felt like something was horribly wrong with me.

I would pull out the knots for hours late at night and throw them behind the couch to hide them. One day my mother found the pile of hair on the carpet behind the couch and got very upset with me. From then on I would get out the dustbuster while she was asleep or at work and make sure to remove all the evidence every few days.

When I was 16 or 17 I got my hair cut very short to keep me from pulling it out. I hated how it looked but at least it was too short to tie knots in. A couple years later I got it buzzed to a mohawk which I did like and couldn't pull on as well :hearts:

Around that time I also started taking Luvox, which I am still on now. It has helped a lot and I only pull occasionally when I am very anxious. My hair has grown out past my shoulders and it the longest it has been in years.

I also pick at any skin imperfections (scabs, pimples, bumps, etc.). Some of my close friends have helped me with this because they let me pick out their blackheads (gross, I know, but its beneficial to both of us and they don't think its gross).

As far as advice to stop or slow down the pulling I found that putting my hair up up in a bun or ponytail would help sometimes. Keeping your hands busy helps too, I do cross stitch, latch hook and sewing. If you have a SO or good friend, hold hands :bump:

I have an old blanket that has lots of fuzzies and pills on it. I find that twisting them off instead of my hair helps also. I would rather ruin a blanket instead of my hair. Some one should invent something for people like us that we can pull and rip up that give us the same good feeling that Trich does. :shocked:

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Posted

The posts on this topic seem to be few and far between, but I would like to share anyway.

I have been tying knots in my hair and breaking them off for over a decade now. It started when I was maybe 12 or 13 and I would do it constantly. I always part my hair down the middle so after a while the length of the right side versus the left was noticeably different. My mother did not understand that it was a disorder and I could not help what I was doing so I was constantly yelled at and disciplined for my hair pulling.

Going to the hair dresser for hair cuts was very embarrassing because she would tell that hairdresser that my hair looked so awful because of my pulling. She would also mention it to her friends and our relatives in front of me, I think she was trying to embarrass me so I would stop. Of course all this stress made me pull even more, and I felt like something was horribly wrong with me.

I would pull out the knots for hours late at night and throw them behind the couch to hide them. One day my mother found the pile of hair on the carpet behind the couch and got very upset with me. From then on I would get out the dustbuster while she was asleep or at work and make sure to remove all the evidence every few days.

When I was 16 or 17 I got my hair cut very short to keep me from pulling it out. I hated how it looked but at least it was too short to tie knots in. A couple years later I got it buzzed to a mohawk which I did like and couldn't pull on as well :hearts:

Around that time I also started taking Luvox, which I am still on now. It has helped a lot and I only pull occasionally when I am very anxious. My hair has grown out past my shoulders and it the longest it has been in years.

I also pick at any skin imperfections (scabs, pimples, bumps, etc.). Some of my close friends have helped me with this because they let me pick out their blackheads (gross, I know, but its beneficial to both of us and they don't think its gross).

As far as advice to stop or slow down the pulling I found that putting my hair up up in a bun or ponytail would help sometimes. Keeping your hands busy helps too, I do cross stitch, latch hook and sewing. If you have a SO or good friend, hold hands :flowers:

I have an old blanket that has lots of fuzzies and pills on it. I find that twisting them off instead of my hair helps also. I would rather ruin a blanket instead of my hair. Some one should invent something for people like us that we can pull and rip up that give us the same good feeling that Trich does. :hearts:

Thanks for the tip on the fuzzy blanket and pulling the pills of it.

My first appt at the hairdresser here she knew straight away I was a puller.

She said I wasnt the only one she had come across here that did the same.

That made me feel good & she was really nice about it and when I go in for cuts she does her best to even things up for me. :hearts:

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Posted

Haven't picked at my eyebrows in 3 days...WOOHOO!

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Posted

I looked at my face properly yesterday to see that my eyebrows are disappearing .......... :hearts:

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Posted

Wow are you serious? Someone like me! YAY! I don't even notice when I bring my fingers up to my face...then when I notice is when I have a hair stuck between my fingers or fingernails...Then I'm like Oh crap.

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Posted

Hi, I'm new here and I'm a lash puller, have done so for the past 18 years, which is half my life. Right now I'm probably missing about 1/3 of my lashes, maybe closer to half. Just wanted to say that I feel your pain, and it is painful, isn't it? :hearts:

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Posted

Bleh. I don't even have to think about it and I pull at my hair. Thank goodness I have rather full eyelashes or they would be completely gone! But my poor eyebrows are suffering... No hair on my body is safe! Sometimes in my free time I will just sit in my room with tweezers and pull out every hair I can see.

Generally I leave the hair on my head alone, but if I'm having a panic attack I will completely tear out my hair by the handful. =/

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Posted

I've had trichotillomania for decades.

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Posted

iv been pulling my hair out since i was ten.my hair has only just started to grow back thankfully even though i still do it from time 2 time.i tell myself that a womans hair is the most important asset and its a feature that everyone sees.i tell myself that im making myself look worse by pulling it.ocd is an awfull thing to have.we constantly tell ourselvs that if e.g [the ritual isnt performed] something bad will happen.i switched it around n basically thought if i keep pulling my hair sumthing bad will happen.it mite sound weird but i can never get rid of ocd but it did help my hair to growback.

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