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Trichotillomania

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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.

I've been telling myself that if I allow myself to cut my hair, I'm letting the "demon" get the best of me...and then "it" wins and "my happiness" loses. I think it's true that we have to change those tapes that play in our head telling us negative things- and it helps me as well to try and twist around the thoughts to work in my favor. It's reclaiming control over our thoughts, and making a difference in the outcome of our behaviours. My OCD is not gone either. I'm still very much an obsessive person, however, I've gained more control over what I obsess about and what I choose not to obsess about. Does that make sense?

Shanban

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I pull out my hair waaaay too much. I usually have to clean off my desk before I go home at night. How i'm not bald is beyond me. I've been doing it since i was little and have tried just about everything to stop, but it's not worth the stressed out feeling i get when i don't do it.

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Posted (edited)

I pull out my hair waaaay too much. I usually have to clean off my desk before I go home at night. How i'm not bald is beyond me. I've been doing it since i was little and have tried just about everything to stop, but it's not worth the stressed out feeling i get when i don't do it.

I understand. My problem is trichotemnomania (hair cutting) , so it's a little different.the compulsion is different but the obsession is the same - and the way it was explained to me is that it is a coping mechanism/habit that we have adopted to deal with stress or anxiety, and it's kind of ingrained (sp?) in our thought processes as an automatic reaction to stress. Without it our bodies' sort of freak out. - both mentally and even physiologicically (blood pressure, pulse, etc..). My CBT has been very helpful in getting me to understand more about the illness, but I'm still not completely cured yet. I'm so afraid to let go of that coping mechanism..I'm not sure what I will do now without it. I've been 3 days without cutting on my hair and I almost have this nervous feeling - like something is missing - or something bad is going to happen. I know logically that it's not - that it's all in my head but trying to re-train my thought processes are proving to be a challenge. So far so good, though. 3 days without cutting.

Shanban

Edited by shannabanana777

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Posted

do you just cut randomly or do you put thought into it? sometimes it takes me hours to find the right hair to pull, which is crazy. especially when you lose the hair you were just about to pull. >.<

when i smoked i didn't pull my hair that much, but it was just replacing one bad habit with a worse habit.

the thing i hate the most is when i go to get my hair cut because people always say something about it. I just tell them it's from medication that i take, blah, blah, blah,.....which could open another whole can of worms. lol.

Luckily i have pretty thick wavy hair that covers all the parts where there's hair missing.

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I put thought into it. I pull the hair and measure, check symmetry, find the area that looks like it needs to be cut to match the other side, and then I carefully cut, then check again....find another area that looks "off" in symmetry with the other side, then cut again. and again... Sometimes episodes can go on for hours and hours. The longest episode I've had was 12 hours straight of checking, re-checking, and cutting little by little.

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I pull my hair out too but I've never seen it as on OCD thing. It started about 10 years ago when I used to look for split ends. Most of the time I don't realise I'm doing it, till I look at the floor then see masses of hair lying there.

I tried to stop after I got some bald patches but it didn't really last that long. Now my hair is all thin & wispy so I get determined to pull those bits out too...I can't win. My therapist suggested hair extensions but I don't think it would be the same.

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I used to suck my hair, how gross was that! And look for split ends ........ but never cutting.

Hair extensions won't be the same - you will get the pulling sensation but hopefully not lots of your hair on the floor!

Are you able to share any of the stressors in your life?

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Okay. I was at an appt with my psychiatrist and another specialist. Talking about switching my medications. I said I had TTM, they barely (if at all) knew what it was. I wanted to switch from an SNRI to a high dose SSRI to combat OCD related TTM. I used to take high dose Paroxetine a while ago and noticed - not just placebo because believe you me I know! - a marked decrease in the compulsion to pull. Also, in Peter Kramer's "Listening to Prozac", one of his patients has Trichotillomania, a disorder related to OCD (sic) , and her pulling is remarkably cured when she goes on high dose Fluoxetine. However the two psychiatrists were at once arguing with me, that I "did not have" OCD. Aside from obsessive pulling compulsions, I turn a D*** light switch on and off 20 times at once just to check that it is working, even though I know it is. Tell me I don't have OCD, come on, tell me!

I am switching to Sertraline, going up to high doses, hopefully this TTM monster can go away and stay away, as well as my other more mild obsessive compulsions.

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Right now I'm having a similar bout to when I came off my first lot of anti-depressants. The question is "is my hair falling out?" It really isn't, I'm kinda pulling it thinking it's abnormal for one or two strands to come out. This is the first time I've had long hair so maybe I'm noticing my hair lying around in the bathroom a bit more than normal. Anyway I'm trying breathing exercises and they seem to work for some amount of time. I hate anxiety.

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I just recently found out about trich and I didn't know that it was a widespread thing. I want to go see a doc about it, because I haven't been diagnosed.

I pull out my hair on my head, one at a time, until I start to thin in an area, and then I move to another area. And it irritates me to the core if it doesn't come out root and all. If it just breaks, I want to scratch my head off, so I look for the one that broke and try to get it at the root. I pick my chin hair excessively with tweezers. I have tweezers all over my house. If I can't find tweezers, I try with my nails to get the hairs out, and it makes me crazy until I can get them. When I finally get it, I've been known to cheer out loud, "YES! Got you bugger!" I also pick the hair on my arms, so I tend to shave them. Most of the hair on my body below my neck drives me insane. I would so love to have all of my body hair permanently removed via laser treatment. My pubic hair disgusts me, I can't stand it. I pick my leg hairs with tweezers, even after I shave. I'll search my legs for hairs I missed shaving and they have to go.

I also chew my fingernails and cuticles really bad. And I HATE my toenails. They make me feel almost claustrophobic, so I tend to clip them until they're so short they bleed. I pick my skin, bad, any sores, they take forever to heal and I get scars, and then I pick the scars.

Does this sound like OCD to you guys?

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Posted

Oh, I also search for split ends and either bite them off, or pick them off.

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hello, this is my first post.

ive been pulling my hair for 9 years, i'm 20 now. i also suffer from depression and anxiety. im also a cutter. my left arm is just totally messed up. in the past ive suffered from anorexia and bulimia, i dont think it was very serious, but at times i would starve myself for weeks, i wouldnt eat ANYTHING, i drank only water in those weeks.

at first i didn't know what i had had a name until i read it in a medical book. i pull when im nervous. over the years ive had bald spots on the top of my head. my mother would ask me about them and i would say i comb my hair too often. in order to mask them, i would wear my hair differently or put on a bandana. i was hoping the bandana would help me stop. my family was puzzled by this. the longest i went without pulling was 3 months. unfortunately i havent stopped pulling. i am just so tired of it. a few months ago i chopped off my hair and the pulling toned down. now my hair has grown a few inches and now i cannot control it. i recently admitted my pulling to my mom. i think she feels powerless to do anything, besides i dont think she takes me seriously. my family situation is kind of difficult. i'm arab and muslim and even though my family isnt very religious, (not that islam doesn't acknowlegde mental health disorders), but being arab, i feel ashamed talking about it. i dont have many friends, my parents have always sheltered me from the outside world, i was never allowed to talk on the phone or visit friends so i cant really talk about this with anyone. somedays i feel like ending it all, im afraid it will someday come down to that. my mother is depressed on some level. my father is paranoid about everything and very controlling. he's threatened me on a few occasions- if i ever talked to boys or even looked in the direction of a boy. many people believe my sister is bipolar, she is also a neglectful mother and her marriage is falling apart. mental illness runs in my family btw, but none of them want to talk about it or even admit it.

i just came here to vent and share my story. sorry if it sounds f***ed up.

feel free to ask questions if you like thanks.

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Posted

I've been pulling out my eyelashes and at my worst I pulled out some of the hair on the top of my head. But I was put on 25mg of clomipramine and it seems to be helping with that.

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I don't think I fit the exact description but I do compulsively run my fingers through my hair until I no longer pull out any loose ones then I roll it into a ball. I do this several times a day, and don't stop unless I finally pull my hand away and there is no hair. I also pull on my eyebrows and eyelashes to see if I get any loose hairs.

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i found out about this condition by watching that show obsessed on A&E. if you go on the website, they have a video of a girl with this condition trying to go thru therapy. they show you the steps she takes to get thru it.

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I've been a trichster since I was about 8 years old. I thought I was weird and felt very alone about it until I found my birthmother when I was in my 30's. Turns out that several of the women on her side of the family (including herself) are also trichsters.

Suddenly, I was no longer "weird". And I read that about 1 in 200 women suffer from it.

Shortly thereafter, psychiatrists began to realize that it was inheritable. Previous to that, they believed it was a learned behavior.

I'm the perfect case study for that. I didn't meet another trichster until I was in my 30's, and it was my birthmom. Go figure. Nature vs Nurture FTW!

I only occasionally pull hair from the top of my head. I tend more to find "extra long" eyebrow hairs and pull them (that whole "wrong hair" thing) and the hair on my legs. I used to pull the gray hairs on my head, until they got to be so plentiful, I'd have been bald (or very nearly so) if I'd continued to do so.

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I don't think I fit the exact description but I do compulsively run my fingers through my hair until I no longer pull out any loose ones then I roll it into a ball. I do this several times a day, and don't stop unless I finally pull my hand away and there is no hair. I also pull on my eyebrows and eyelashes to see if I get any loose hairs.

I've done the same thing (checking for "loose" hairs) for years. I especially do it before I wash my hair (my hair is very VERY long, so it also helps to keep it from tangling and knotting up while it's wet).

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Hi Miip

Thanks for sharing your story. Interesting about the connection to your birthmother. I'm glad that you found that out. I'm sure it helps to put some pieces of the puzzle together.

When I was a teenager, I used to pull my eyelashes until I almost had none. That was my first OCD symptom well before I had any idea what was going on.

Tim

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I pull on my hair most days, its always in one area and I like to twist it up and then pull on the strands and like to feel the little knots through my fingers, then I generally pull the strand out or leave it there and come back to it later, it gives me some kind of relief/satisfaction. I seem to do it more when I'm wound up about something and driving, just got to when I'm driving even though its irritating at times. I don't pull at any other hairs on my body just this one spot. I do suffer from depression,/anxiety so I guess this is a symptom of it.

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I think this is the only symptom I have of OCD 'cause I don't wash my hands impulsively or do some cleaning or whatever. But I've developed this habit of pulling my hair that I just can't seem to stop. It's so embarrassing though 'cause now my hair could use some volume because it's so flat and there are a few patches that need to be covered. Today I've pulled at least 10 hairs on my scalp in the last 5 hours, which is not too bad 'cause it usually gets to be more than that. I've been suffering through this for the past 3 years now and I'm not getting treated nor have spoken to anyone else about it except to family. It's so annoying especially when I'm on the computer and I'm reading something, I start touching my hair and then I start to pull anything to feels strange to me. So the only way for me to keep my hands busy is when I'm doing other things and my hands are totally preoccupied, as long as I can keep my hands off my hair, I'm fine.

Thanks for sharing this. I'm not sure what other methods I can think of to prevent myself from pulling at least one hair. Everyday is a struggle to just not pull anything. My hair is already so thin that if I pull some more on that same spot, I'm definitely gonna be bald and it'll be really obvious.

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Ahhhhh finally I'm home.....

Lets see I pluck my eyelashes and eyebrows sometimes to complete baldness, and any other facial hair that shouldnt be there. And until I read those post about the pubic hairs I never even connected it. But I dont pull the hair on my head (not that im aware of) I used to look for the split ends then split till a piece came off. I will pull the gray ones though. And it also irritates me when I dont get the root out.

But with the eyelashes and eyebrows I get into a trance when I'm pulling and yes while typing this I was pulling

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I understand completely, Grits Girl.

With the stress I'm under right now, I'm surprised I have any pubic hairs left. As for eyebrows, I run my fingers through them and pull any one that is actually grabbable. If I find a gray one, though, it's GONE, no matter what it's length. I've only found about 2 gray hairs in my brows in my 47 years, however.

From everything I've read, trichsters tend to look for "wrong" hairs. Each of our definition of "wrong" may be different, though. I'd still pull my gray hairs, but it seems that I have gray roots all over, so that'd just make me bald. "Heavy" hairs have been a victim in the past, as well as hairs that feel "flat" or that aren't smooth when I run my fingers over them.

As for facial hair, I usually have a pair of heavy-duty tweezers handy nearby to get rid of hairs that show up on my chin or in my "mustache" area. I'll worry at them until I get rid of them. I've seen women who have to shave, and (to me) it's just gross to see a woman with what amounts to five o'clock shadow. Pulling makes them stay away a bit longer, and you usually don't end up with bristly whiskers for "everyone" to see.

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LMAO, I used to pull at my "beard & mustache" area but it got too time consuming so I said screw it and started shaving, but I still pull once in a while. Oh and the few dark chest hairs I have too. whistling.gif

But I have PCOS, and Hypothyroid (I've just always blame the dark hairs on my screwed up hormone system)

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LMAO, I used to pull at my "beard & mustache" area but it got too time consuming so I said screw it and started shaving, but I still pull once in a while. Oh and the few dark chest hairs I have too. whistling.gif

But I have PCOS, and Hypothyroid (I've just always blame the dark hairs on my screwed up hormone system)

I also have PCOS, which I know contributes to the whisker hairs.

Have any other trichsters noticed that their fingers seem especially sensitive to textures?

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