Trichotillomania

Re: Trichotillomania

Postby anymomentinthewoods » October 2nd, 2014, 7:41 am

This whole thread makes me feel not alone in dealing with this. Everybody has their own story and their own struggle with it and I'm glad to see that. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

It took me years to get trichotillomania added to my diagnosis. I'm not sure why that happened as hair pulling was a part of my struggle with bipolar disorder and anxiety from the beginning. When I was little, it wasn't hair but it was my nails when I got nervous. But I never really had any agency when it came to my hair, as I said in a thread in the Body Issues forum. I remember being a teenager and experimenting by shaving my eyebrows or below the belt and whenever my mom found out, she freaked and yelled at me instead of talking to me about it. So hair and me never had a good relationship.

When I was first getting diagnosed/treatment, I had a roommate who used to use tweezers to take off the hair on her legs. I used to watch her and one day, I got curious and plucked a hair from under my arm. The feeling was just this rush of relief. I never felt anything like it. Soon, whenever I felt too stressed out by my day, I would pluck a few just to get that feeling. Before I knew it, I had a whole system with tweezers, a desk lamp (so I could see better), and a towel. I would bend the light near the area I wanted to pluck and just get started. Sometimes, it was a few minutes and other times, I would feel like I was in this odd trance, where I couldn't feel what was going on and all I focused on was plucking. I guess I was dissociating but I didn't know what it was then and didn't realize how long I could go, hunched over and pulling. When I couldn't get that time alone, I started pulling on my hair on my head while talking to people. I didn't even notice that I was doing it until a friend pointed out that it looked like it hurt. It got to the point where huge patches of my body were hairless and there were sores and ingrown hairs everywhere. It started with me just needing a release and ended up to the point where I would draw blood and be fascinated by that.

Now, I don't allow tweezers anywhere near me. In fact, it's been hard because there is a pair of tweezers that my husband got with a sewing kit and I've been trying to avoid those like the plague. I haven't pulled really badly in months but I sort of swapped to my fingers. I know that it waxes and wanes but I'm really worried that it will start again because I've been really stressed lately. Reading everybody else's experiences has given me hope though.
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Issues: bipolar disorder II, OCD, anxiety, depression, loneliness
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Re: Trichotillomania

Postby Geoff » December 10th, 2014, 5:37 pm

Ahh, it's been too long since I've logged in!

I'm still dealing with Trich. It's become one of my main issues, along with the depression, which certainly as hell doesn't help.

I won't be shaving my head again. It drove me berserk while it was slowly growing back in and I had to wait for it to reach a length at which I could actually start pulling again. It was definitely not a fun few weeks.

Lately I've been trying to take care of my hair as best I can, amidst all the pulling I still do. There's some shampoo and conditioner from a store called Lush that is really good; my friend that I'm open with about Trich said, having seen me before and after using it, that it made it look like I hadn't been pulling afterward. Besides, it feels really good on my scalp. (For those interested, I got samples of "Fairly Traded Honey" shampoo and "Happy Happy Joy Joy" conditioner--I'm going to get a "New!" shampoo bar next time, as I've read some reviews of it by people with Trich and they all love it)

Anyway, that's what's happening in my Trichy life.
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Re: Trichotillomania

Postby Cheesehead » March 10th, 2015, 7:10 am

Love this thread because I have suffered from this for years. It started in 6th grade and I have been doing it ever since...in my later 40's now. When I was younger I started to pull the hair on my head after I had a haircut. I don't know what triggered it in me to start doing it at that time, but I would mainly do it at night to relieve anxiety and fall asleep. I had a nice big patch gone on the top of my head and pulled out all of my eyelashes as well. It sure was hard to explain when peers noticed and I didn't really have a good answer for it. It was always such an embarrassment for me. Just by sheer white knuckling it, in my 20's I let my eyelashes grow back in, but continued to pull my head hair. It is so hard to describe the great feeling it is to pull a hair, complete with root and all. It's almost like I won a prize or something...but then I am quickly back on the hunt for the next perfect hair. I also can be talking to someone and if I see a hair that looks like a good one to pull, it can be very hard to keep up the conversation while I am wishing I could pull the hair on the other person. I don't know if I will ever get rid of the urge to pull because I find it such an anxiety reliever...but the compulsion is always there and certainly drives me crazy a lot of the time.
Guess what? I got a fever! And the only prescription.. is more cowbell!
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Re: Trichotillomania

Postby EmeraldArcher » February 28th, 2017, 7:35 pm

I have a mild case of trich. I mostly pull hair when I'm stressed.

I should mention that I'm a guy. I don't know how many people on the thread are guys.

I have pretty thick hair that often itches. Sometimes messing with my hair distracts me from the itch.

Sometimes I break the skin when I pull. Sometimes it bleeds. I don't like that. Also, I leave hair in some places like my laptop.

Playing with a pen sometimes helps. I'm not sure why. Maybe it just occupies my hands.
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