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twilight_faerie
May 9th, 2008, 01:43 AM
So, I did a search on the forum for trichotillomania and only a few threads came up where the topic was thrown around in passing. I was just wondering how many people, if any, on the forum have suffered from trichotillomania. For those who aren't familiar with it, it's the mental disorder that causes some people to pull out their hair - head, facial or body hair - for any number of reasons.

I've had trich for quite a few years now, and I tend to focus on my eyebrows, eyelashes, and a spot on top of my head on the left side of my part. It's a constant struggle - some of you may have noticed the ticker in my signature that says how long it's been since I last pulled my hair. Well, folks - I fell off the bandwagon a while ago, and I'm having trouble getting back on. It's a habit that emerges when I'm stressed...particularly with schoolwork. It's so tough to beat for good.

So...can anyone else relate?

PatGear
May 9th, 2008, 01:57 AM
I've had it since 5th grade. I concentrate on my cowlick on the left side of my head. It got better and worse many times over the 27 years but I still haven't managed to kick it yet. I'm still pulling almost everyday but only a few strands a day. I used to have major episodes where I pull hundreds in one sitting. Since I've found LHC 1.5 yrs ago it's gotten a bit better: the spot is now a thin spot rather than a bald spot. I still wouldn't do a left part, though. Actually the spot is so close to the middle, I can't do a middle part either! This is one reason I never do double braids.

Stress and dirty scalp are the biggest triggers. This is tough because I want to stretch out my washing. But if I let it get greasy, I run a much higher chance of having a major episode. If I know I'll be doing something that might be stressful, I try to wash my hair just before!

ajr
May 9th, 2008, 02:01 AM
I used to pull chunks when I was younger, it related to stress and nervousness for me. Later I transfered over to biting the inside of my mouth and nail biting. I still have dentist ask about the scarring in my mouth. I stopped almost everything a long time ago but I still bite my cuticles sometimes.

Anje
May 9th, 2008, 07:26 AM
Never officially diagnosed, but I've got it. Started in 4th grade -- I had most of my eyebrows and eyelashes pulled out at one point. These days, it focuses mostly on my brows, and I pull primarily when I'm stressed and/or studying for a test. I'm still penciling in thin spots on my eyebrows from earlier last semester and I fear that one day it won't grow back and I'll have bald spots in my eyebrows.

What I need to do is find something -- ANYTHING -- else to do with my hands while I read to stop it. What I know actually sort of works is putting tape over my eyebrows to physically stop myself from pulling them out.

heidihug
May 9th, 2008, 07:34 AM
I didn't know this had a name! Though I should have realized - everything has a name, ha. I think that I do this - not with my head hair, but with my eyebrows or eyelashes. When I get stressed, I pull and play with my left eyebrow, and it gets all broken off, which makes me worry it even more because I can't stand the way the broken off hairs feel. When it gets really bad I pull at my eyelashes and they end up gettting sparse and the ones that are left get all bent and sticky-outy.

I've never pulled at my head hair, though I do fret with my ponytail tassle more than I should.

jojo
May 9th, 2008, 10:12 AM
me too started years ago, i still get the odd urge especially when under stress. My daughter recently admitted to me that she does this too but more on her body hair, wonder if theres some hereditary factors involved?

The worse i did it, involved all the hair behind both ears being pulled out, its hard to explain to those who have never experienced the urge, the satisfaction from not only pulling the hair, but looking at the bulb (root) and feeling the thickness, its a strange one for sure. I used to think it was only me and when i realized there was a name for it, i was gob smacked.

I dont think its something which ever goes completely, you just need to find distracting methods to keep you from pulling, for me I look at the peoples hair on here and the urge goes, i want long healthy hair rather than bald patches for the sake of a moments gratification.

Good luck to everyone affected, great post together we can beat it!

Anje
May 9th, 2008, 10:20 AM
Maybe I should just try to re-direct it to pulling out arm hair. Wouldn't be that noticeable (unless the area turns bright red).

Orchidee
May 9th, 2008, 10:43 AM
I've had this for many years too. I only just found out this has a name. Very happy when I found this out, it never occurred to me other people might do the same as I do (even though I remember seeing some tv-show where a woman didn't have eyebrows and eyelashes because of this). My mother did notice I pulled my eyebrows sometimes, and said it was horrible and I should stop it, which isn't very nice to hear when you don't even know why you do it yourself.

I've been pulling my eyelashes and eyebrows, barely any hair on my head, luckily.
Luckily I never had it in a very dramatic way, my eyelashes are just a bit thin and so are my eyebrows, though I still make them a bit darker with an eyepencil.

I still do it sometimes when I'm stressed. I usually try to do something to keep my hands busy, like writing or braiding my hair.

It's a disorder that's not known much about, while it seems to have the same evolutionary roots as biting nails (as a psychology student I'd like to find out where this disorder comes from).

Orchidee
May 9th, 2008, 10:45 AM
Oh and - sorry, couldn't find the edit button so fast - by 'not known much about' I mean by other people.
People have a lot less understanding for it than for habits like nailbiting.

Sorry for the extra post!

granitbaby
May 9th, 2008, 10:57 AM
I have had Trichotillomania since abut 4th grade but I haven't had any bald spots since my first out break.
Nowadays I have it under control but in stressful situations I tend to pull a strand or two. My focus spot is in the left side of my part but instead of pulling hair I keep touching it. Still annoying but better than pulling.

Amalthea
May 9th, 2008, 11:34 AM
I also have this, as does my Dad and my twin sister. My main target is my eyebrows, but I occasionally also do it to an area on the crown of my head where I have a slight cowlick. The habit grows much worse when I am stressed. My worst bout ever involved pulling out about an area of hair about 2 inches around from the back of my head when I was studying for winter exams. I don't only do it when I'm stressed though...I find it relaxing even in regular, everyday situations and will do it while I'm reading or watching a movie.

I find that much of the time I am able to limit myself to touching my eyebrows or hair, and not actually pulling them out. Unfortunately, this has still left some damaged sections in my hair.

Picking up knitting as a hobby has really helped me to control my trich- I seem to need to always be going something with my hands or I'm in trouble!

julya
May 9th, 2008, 11:42 AM
I don't ever pull hair from my head, just leg hair, near my ankles. I do find it to be soothing.

twilight_faerie
May 9th, 2008, 03:45 PM
I've had this for many years too. I only just found out this has a name. Very happy when I found this out, it never occurred to me other people might do the same as I do (even though I remember seeing some tv-show where a woman didn't have eyebrows and eyelashes because of this). My mother did notice I pulled my eyebrows sometimes, and said it was horrible and I should stop it, which isn't very nice to hear when you don't even know why you do it yourself.

Oh, I know the feeling. My mom's know about my trich pretty much since it started and it still completely boggles her mind. You have no idea how many times I've heard her say "Just STOP it!" At the beginning I was mostly just tugging at my lashes, and she told me to pull out my eyebrows instead because "at least they'll grow back". Well, I did, and soon found myself with NO eyebrows to speak of. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and being so disgusted with myself I wanted to cry. (This has happened a few times, actually.) It's a very on-and-off thing for me. Recently I've managed to grow my eyebrows back to their original fullness, but I know it's just a matter of time till I start pulling again. Not that I mean to be pessimistic, but, y'know, after a while you just kinda know.

Michiru
May 9th, 2008, 09:38 PM
I've had it since I was 6. I started pulling out my lashes then. I stopped and started for a while and started continuously in 6 grade. I began to pull by brows in 10 grade and my hair during my 2 year of college. Now that I'm back home my hair has been growing back. I'm worried about what will happen when I have to move out.

jojo
May 10th, 2008, 04:33 AM
I have had Trichotillomania since abut 4th grade but I haven't had any bald spots since my first out break.
Nowadays I have it under control but in stressful situations I tend to pull a strand or two. My focus spot is in the left side of my part but instead of pulling hair I keep touching it. Still annoying but better than pulling.

same here, im forever touching my hair, curling it round my fingers I drive my family mad, but i just cannot help it.

Rennie
May 10th, 2008, 05:01 AM
My problem is if I feel a hair that is abnormally coarse and bumpy..I pull it. It becomes some sort of pasttime lol. I sit watching tv and constantly running my fingers thru my hair looking for one. I once had pulled so many hairs out from one spot, about the size of a dime, and was horrified becuase it was right on top at my part line :(. I just couldn't stop. Fortunately since then I've just focused on the weird texture ones, which I have a ton of since my hair is very, very thick and coarse.

rhubarbarin
May 10th, 2008, 08:13 AM
I had it badly for about a year, when I was 10 or 11. I carefully pulled out each hair, follicle and all, and then bit the follicle off and ate it! No one noticed until my hair was pretty thinned out all over, with a couple almost bald patches. I hope I didn't permanenetly alter my thickness.

I didn't get any treatment but I was able to stop on my own.. I had an episode of eyelash pulling a couple years ago, but then I stopped wearing mascara and got over that too.

Anyway.. I've been there but it is possible to stop. I think it stems from anxiety, it was a compulsive behavior for me but very comforting also. I recommend counseling for anyone with these type of issues. Meds never worked for my mental issues but talk therapy did me a world of good.

I am a compulsive hair toucher still, but I am working on stopped because I have really damaged my hair. :( I just never stop fidgeting in general.

Morag
May 10th, 2008, 09:44 AM
It's a disorder that's not known much about, while it seems to have the same evolutionary roots as biting nails (as a psychology student I'd like to find out where this disorder comes from).


Orchidee, when you do find out more, I'd love to know about it. I was a nail biter for most of my life. When I was young, my fingers were nearly always painful, and often bleeding, because of being chewed to the quick. I still keep my nails quite short. If they get long, eventually one will develop a rough edge from some normal activity, and that can set me off again. If I chew one, I chew them all.

Here's what I know (which is not much). When I was in high school we trapped some wild kangaroo rats (like gerbils) for a science fair experiment in which I compared the hair scale patterns of different species. Most of the rats adjusted to being caged and handled with amazing ease, but a few began biting at their claws and the ends of their tails (like my nail biting, I thought). Some of the chewers did it only mildly, but others chewed so obsessively that their paws and tails bled. There were also a couple of rats that didn't chew, but instead ate so much food that it killed them overnight.

Also, stressed parrots in captivity over-preen and damage their feathers. Some birds chew the ends of the feathers and gradually work their way down until the feathers are all chewed off (a la nailbiting). Others simply pull the feathers out at the root (a la trichotillomania). Some captive parrots obsessively clean and sharpen their nails, although I've never seen one chew its nails all the way down.

I think these responses to environmental stress correlate remarkably well with with similar behaviors in humans, and it makes me think the response is hard wired. I can help wondering what the survival utility of behaviors like this might originally have been.

[end hijack]

The only helpful suggestion I can make for people who are struggling with urges like this is to try to reduce unnecessary environmental stress, and I know we've all heard that before. :o

pepperedmoth
May 10th, 2008, 12:33 PM
Oh, goodness. It's such a relief to find other people; I'm usually FAR too embarrassed to talk about it.

I pull out my eyelashes horribly, and also a spot near my right temple, and a little on my eyebrows.

It's stress-triggered, related to my GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder).

Nevermore
May 10th, 2008, 12:57 PM
I used to pull out my eyebrows and lashes, for more than a year, I had no lashes. It was terrible and I got dust and stuff in my eyes constantly. The operative term here is "used to" because I've stopped entirely, mostly by staying aware of what I'm doing and not plucking my brows for cosmetic purposes when I'm worried I might go overboard.

Katurday
May 10th, 2008, 01:46 PM
This fascinates me because for me, any kind of hair removal is a nightmare.
A monthly visit to the eyebrow waxer makes me cry, and plucking makes me weep.

My sister develops compulsive behaviors when she is stressed.
Once during exam week she pulled out her eyelashes. Other times she doesn't eat and loses 10 pounds.

My bird plucks his feathers when stressed, but we stop this by spraying him with bitter tasting but safe liquid that makes his feathers gross tasting.

Nynaeve
May 10th, 2008, 02:48 PM
I think I might have a very very mild case. I have known plenty of people with really bad cases though. There was one guy in elementary school. I always was amazed at how he still had hair to pull out on his eyelashes, because he had a VERY bad case. I mean, that's all he would do. People used to make fun of him for it. :( I knew it was a mental disorder, but didn't share because you know how elementary school kids are. The guy was one of the smartest people I knew growing up, so people always got confused when they made fun of him about it, too.

MissHair
May 10th, 2008, 03:08 PM
I wouldnt call it a mental disorder even if thats what others say it is. I dont see ourselves as mental or crazy. I think trichotillimania is like a nervousness and OCD like disorder. I have OCD in a way that I skinpick til I bleed or pick my scalp til it bleeds or pull out the fine new hairs that have just started growing on my scalp. I know its related to stress, nervousness to cope with something. I wish I could stop. Ive tried everything from taping my fingers together to clipping my nails really short. Nothing works.

twilight_faerie
May 10th, 2008, 11:21 PM
I wouldnt call it a mental disorder even if thats what others say it is. I dont see ourselves as mental or crazy. I think trichotillimania is like a nervousness and OCD like disorder. I have OCD in a way that I skinpick til I bleed or pick my scalp til it bleeds or pull out the fine new hairs that have just started growing on my scalp. I know its related to stress, nervousness to cope with something. I wish I could stop. Ive tried everything from taping my fingers together to clipping my nails really short. Nothing works.

Having a mental disorder doesn't automatically make you crazy. Trich (just like OCD) is a mental disorder, but it's not psychopathy. Check out the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichotillomania

(I have to cringe at the part where they mention pulling out pubic hair. I can't even pull my leg hair without freaking out.)

zelah
May 10th, 2008, 11:40 PM
I used to do this a lot with the wispies in the front, and then move onto other areas of my scalp. I'd usually scratch the area a lot first and then pull out a bunch of hair. I've managed to tone it down a bit, so if anything it's just the wispies that get attacked now. Oh, and my eyebrows, which basically have a constant assault on them each day, mostly the left one. This usually happens mostly when I'm stressed. I'll start rubbing the eyebrow and then after it feels strange enough I'll start pulling out the hairs. I find myself doing this and I've had no idea I've been doing it, such as when I'm taking a test or driving or even just trying to read a book. And when I realize I'm doing it, the urge is too great to just stop. Ugh.

kissedbyfyre
May 11th, 2008, 12:32 AM
Here here, sadly. I started pulling when I was about 6, continued until I was about 15. I started with lashes, then eyebrows, eventually moved to the hair on my head. It became so bad that I was mostly bald the majority of my youth. I'd wear wigs and hats to hide the problem.

My parents tried everything to help me overcome the issue. Drugs, biofeedback, therapy, hypnotherapy was what finally worked. I've been free from that condition for about 10 years now. I have occasional slip ups when things get super stressful, now I tend to target my eyelashes and eyebrows. I have finally figured out how to combat that issue by wearing a mask at night as I tend to do it in my sleep. I'm super stressed right now but I've managed to grow my lashes back in and my eyebrows are still on the path to recovery.

I'm very OCD (and I MEAN OCD) about body hair now due to this condition. I panic about slipping back into old habits and will do anything to prevent this. I shave off ALL of my body hair, refuse to wax and try not to tweeze when possible. I can't stand it if I don't shave on a daily basis. I can't stand the feeling of stubble even though no one else can feel what I'm fixating over. Any time I hit a very stressful period of my life my hair is kept up 95% of the time.

For me it seemed to be a grooming issue. Now I tend to pick at things. If my nails aren't ideal I'll pick at them, if my skin bothers me I'll pick at it, I'm known to scratch to the point of bleeding if I'm not aware of what I'm doing. I'm just glad I seem safe from Trich. Suffering from that was complete hell. This is why I'm so fixated over long, beautiful, healthy hair. To me it's a HUGE sign of accomplishment.

chrissy-b
May 12th, 2008, 05:56 PM
It is so nice to see this post. I wanted to start a post regarding trich when I first joined (one of the reasons I joined this community was in an effort to curb my problem) but I didn't because I was afraid/ashamed/embarrassed etc. This is actually the first time I've mentioned it to anyone besides the numerous therapist who've tried to help me in the past (therapy never did help btw). I'm happy that there are others on here that have had this problem, especially those who've pulled from their scalps, and now have beautiful heads of hair.

I've had trich since I was about 6 (I'm now 31) and while it started with my eyelashes, it's now most prevalent on my scalp. It was at its worst in September 2007 and I'm just now getting to the point where I rarely do it anymore and all my bald patches have filled in.

I've read so much about this disorder and the one thing that I've read over and over again is to stay away from your hair, cut it short, etc. I think the opposite is true. Since joining THLC, I'm definitely more fixated on my hair and because of that I've been doing A LOT to help it grow back. The MN treatments have been a godsend in particular, and all the support and good advice from everyone on this site have truly helped me. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! :)

Once I reach my final goal, I was thinking about posting photos from back in September to show others that they too can get passed this and have long beautiful hair, but I wonder if anyone would want to see that (it is kind of startling, even for myself, to see the damage I did back then). What do you guys think?

jojo
May 12th, 2008, 07:21 PM
i think thats a wonderful idea and would be inspirational to others.

reading through these posts i can totally relate to everyone of you, in fact i could have wrote anyone of them.

LadyPolaris
June 10th, 2008, 11:31 AM
I'm so relieved that I'm not alone in this. I've had it since I was 13 (or 11? I cannot remember right now) - it began in a very stressful period in my life, basically it was when I learned my mother wasn't a friend after all. She's schizophrenic and she was dealing with the loss of her own mother, so she acted particularly cold and distant at that time. I was left with my relatives and had a very tough time living with them. (Schizophrenia runs in her family, and they have always treated me as an outsider because of the odd relationship I was a result of. My father was married when my mother came along, they had a long relationship but he never lived with us - my family thinks I 'ruined' my mother's life, even though I was a planned baby, conceived a good 15 years into the relationship). I'm an only child and I felt very neglected and hated, so it wasn't easy. It was when I 'discovered' trich as a form of relief. (I wish I hadn't!!)

It's an awful condition because it's not well known (specially not here in my country), and I have heard a lot of hurtful things from my mother because of it. She thought I did it on purpose to get attention, and that I could stop any time I wanted to. I asked her to take me to therapy but she thought it'd just mess with my head, so she denied it. It's a very long story with a few suicide attempts (which I'm not proud of) thrown in, but I'm glad I'm living far away from her now, with someone who appreciates me and who's not abusive. Trich never left me though. Mine is solely on the scalp, and I do get a few bald patches here and there from time to time. For some months it gets better, then it gets worse again. I cannot wait to try hypnotherapy, I have read a post from a member here (during old TLHC times) who said it worked great for her, so I'm keeping my hopes up. :)

rhubarbarin
June 10th, 2008, 12:43 PM
Good luck LadyPolaris! Its sounds like you have had a very tough time with your family situation, I'm sorry you did not feel loved and supported when you were young. :flower:

Try to keep a positive attitude, and keep on seeking help. I hope you achieve peace in your life and overcome your trich..

LynnM
June 10th, 2008, 01:07 PM
I wouldnt call it a mental disorder even if thats what others say it is. I dont see ourselves as mental or crazy. I think trichotillimania is like a nervousness and OCD like disorder. I have OCD in a way that I skinpick til I bleed or pick my scalp til it bleeds or pull out the fine new hairs that have just started growing on my scalp. I know its related to stress, nervousness to cope with something. I wish I could stop. Ive tried everything from taping my fingers together to clipping my nails really short. Nothing works.

I agree, it seems very much like an OCD thing, at least for me it is. (My DH has OCD.) Although for me, I only tweeze certain parts of my body - eyebrows, facial hair, dark body hair on my stomach or chest, etc. I shave everywhere else, though, including the light hairs on my face.

Does anyone else just seem to have an overall disgust for body hair - so much so that not shaving/plucking can cause anxiety?? That's what I have. :p If I could get rid of all my body hair (I have dark body hair but blond head hair) via some treatment, I would be very, very happy. I do pull my hair sometimes, usually if they get super fine and curly (ready to fall out - I'm pregnant and lose my hair when pregnant), and sometimes when I see a split end. It seems easier to pull the hair out then to go get scissors and cut the end. :rolleyes:

I also seem to have very little pain when it comes to pulling hair, whether the hair is on my scalp or on my face or wherever. I can spend an hour in front of the mirror looking for facial hair to pull. :/

LadyPolaris
June 10th, 2008, 01:10 PM
Good luck LadyPolaris! Its sounds like you have had a very tough time with your family situation, I'm sorry you did not feel loved and supported when you were young. :flower:

Try to keep a positive attitude, and keep on seeking help. I hope you achieve peace in your life and overcome your trich..

Thank you so much for the very kind thoughts, rhubarbarin! :flower: I've been feeling much better these past years, with my newly achieved financial independence and living with a caring hubby, in a fairly psychologically healthy environment. I'm glad to be finally 100% disconnected from my family - even though family is a big part of one's life, an abusive family does far more bad than good. Since I've learned there's nothing I can do to change them, the best I can do is stay far away, for everyone's sake. And I'm also very glad to still have enough sanity to be aware that I do have issues and that I do need treatment after what I've been through. My family hates therapy and anything related to it - they firmly believe they are all perfectly sane and get deeply offended when told otherwise. I'm relieved to think at least I am never too ill as long as I know I do need help and seek it. :)

LynnM
June 10th, 2008, 01:14 PM
I'm very OCD (and I MEAN OCD) about body hair now due to this condition. I panic about slipping back into old habits and will do anything to prevent this. I shave off ALL of my body hair, refuse to wax and try not to tweeze when possible. I can't stand it if I don't shave on a daily basis. I can't stand the feeling of stubble even though no one else can feel what I'm fixating over. Any time I hit a very stressful period of my life my hair is kept up 95% of the time.

I'm glad I'm not alone! I nearly freak out over body hair... I have to shave everywhere, every day, or I freak. I don't care if the hair is light - it still bothers me. Stubble is especially annoying to me, so much so that I have to wear pants when I sleep to avoid feeling "scritchy" legs.

Of course, it didn't help that I once had a boyfriend that would freak if he saw any body hair on me (enough to refuse to be intimate with me). Nope, that didn't help. :(

I am only annoyed that I have to spend so much time grooming myself via tweezing, shaving, etc that I can't just take a 3 minute shower and be done. The longest I've gone without shaving my legs is about 2 weeks. Any time longer than that and I just can't stand it.

Mine started when I was a teenager (12 or 13?) with tweezing, although I was already using an eating disorder to deal with my emotions and stress from various family issues (mom had unmedicated bipolar that about bankrupted us, etc). I am now to the point that I freak out over split ends, and spend lots of time looking for them... my husband has to yell at me to put my hair up so I won't pull all my hair out.

littlebabywulf
June 10th, 2008, 02:31 PM
Oh, I'm so happy I could cry after finding this thread. I don't even know how long I've been pulling my hair. The earliest I remember pulling was when I was in elementary school. I love to read, and I would come home and read after doing my homework. I first realized what I was doing when I was reading Little House on the Prairie. I pulled two patches on either side of my head that were probably half dollar sized. I wore headbands to try and cover it up. :( It freaked my mom out; she cleaned my room one day while I was at school and I remember her telling me she had pulled up fistfuls of my hair from a spot the vacuum wouldn't reach.

I remember almost 3 years ago getting really stressed out. I'd just gotten married and moved from Iowa to Massachusetts. And I started pulling badly again. I was totally frustrated one day and I googled "Stop hair pulling" and realized this whole time it's had a name. Who would have thought?

I've only told 1 doctor about it, and her attitude about it annoyed me. Ironically, she was my doctor who was fully supportive of Natural Family Planning. She's supposed to think outside of the box. And she just said to have my husband help me. Didn't she realize that it was embarrassing to pull my hair? And that I don't announce it to him? Because I always feel like I can pull a few, and that will be it. Only the ones that feel weird. And then I'll stop. Pfft. He is very supportive of me, and I do tell him when I'm pulling. I've also showed him what it looks like when I'm doing it, but I'm sneaky about it. I can pull without him noticing.

I do fairly well now, but I know that I'm going to slip up now and then. Isn't it amazing how it's such a need for such a long time and then all of the sudden the urge just disappears for months? And then it just pops right back up.

Saranne772
June 10th, 2008, 03:34 PM
I have never been officially diagonsed but its my eyelashes that suffer. I dont know why I do it but at times (like now) they get thin! arghh

Nynaeve
June 10th, 2008, 03:36 PM
I'm glad I'm not alone! I nearly freak out over body hair... I have to shave everywhere, every day, or I freak. I don't care if the hair is light - it still bothers me. Stubble is especially annoying to me, so much so that I have to wear pants when I sleep to avoid feeling "scritchy" legs.

Of course, it didn't help that I once had a boyfriend that would freak if he saw any body hair on me (enough to refuse to be intimate with me). Nope, that didn't help. :(

I am only annoyed that I have to spend so much time grooming myself via tweezing, shaving, etc that I can't just take a 3 minute shower and be done. The longest I've gone without shaving my legs is about 2 weeks. Any time longer than that and I just can't stand it.



I feel like this often, sadly, I am incapable of shaving my left knee because of a knee injury that left me with only partial nerve endings. If I try to shave that knee, I get physically sick and freak out because of the feeling, rather some feeling but mostly lack thereof. :(

chrissy-b
September 26th, 2008, 10:35 PM
Hasn't been a post in this thread for a while. Hope everyone is doing well. :flower:

I recently did some research on different homeopathic remedies that help with the urge to pull. The one that I tried is ignatia amara 30c. It says it is for "nervousness due to everyday stress." I haven't been taking it on a consistent basis, only when I feel the urge or catch myself pulling and it has really helped. I bought it a Whole Foods for $6.

Just thought I'd post this info for anyone who's interested, and also to ask if anyone else has anything that they've done that has helped them.

TIA :smile:

twilight_faerie
September 26th, 2008, 11:06 PM
Hasn't been a post in this thread for a while. Hope everyone is doing well. :flower:

I recently did some research on different homeopathic remedies that help with the urge to pull. The one that I tried is ignatia amara 30c. It says it is for "nervousness due to everyday stress." I haven't been taking it on a consistent basis, only when I feel the urge or catch myself pulling and it has really helped. I bought it a Whole Foods for $6.

Just thought I'd post this info for anyone who's interested, and also to ask if anyone else has anything that they've done that has helped them.

TIA :smile:

Actually, I just have my boyfriend yell at me whenever he notices me pulling at my hair (which, sadly, is often). It does kinda help, but I do wish it didn't have to come to this.

Gypsy
September 29th, 2008, 12:53 AM
I can relate.
I focus on the crown because the hair is wirey there and just behind the hirline just over the temples.
I am absolutely frusterated wth it. My hair is so hort in those res from pulling and thenew hairs growing in.
I tried using bandanas and braids as deterrents but I still get into it.:(


So, I did a search on the forum for trichotillomania and only a few threads came up where the topic was thrown around in passing. I was just wondering how many people, if any, on the forum have suffered from trichotillomania. For those who aren't familiar with it, it's the mental disorder that causes some people to pull out their hair - head, facial or body hair - for any number of reasons.

I've had trich for quite a few years now, and I tend to focus on my eyebrows, eyelashes, and a spot on top of my head on the left side of my part. It's a constant struggle - some of you may have noticed the ticker in my signature that says how long it's been since I last pulled my hair. Well, folks - I fell off the bandwagon a while ago, and I'm having trouble getting back on. It's a habit that emerges when I'm stressed...particularly with schoolwork. It's so tough to beat for good.

So...can anyone else relate?

chrissy-b
September 29th, 2008, 12:05 PM
Actually, I just have my boyfriend yell at me whenever he notices me pulling at my hair (which, sadly, is often). It does kinda help, but I do wish it didn't have to come to this.

I think it's good that you can confide in someone about this and although it's not ideal to have your boyfriend yelling at you to stop, it's nice to have someone helping you with this. I've never been able to tell anyone but the folks here and my therapist in the past.

Angelica
September 29th, 2008, 05:16 PM
I have this as well. Have had since high school. In high school it was the eyelashes and eyebrows then my mother discovered what I was doing and she threatened to cut all my hair off if I kept doing it. My father really went ape.

I realised the eyelashes was perhaps the worst to rip out as my eyes often played up afterwards as they were very sensitive and of course eyelashes are there to protect the eyes. So I stopped doing that especially when there was a possibility they would not grow back.

My eyebrows are no longer plucked. I went to a beautician for a wedding make-over and she plucked my eyebrows because they have a thing about stray hairs and she took too much as a result of my over plucking and hers, I now have bald patches on the brows that I have to fill in - I also had them tattooed once, but that has faded now.

I still "enjoy" tweezing out my armpit hairs and pubic hair especially. It really bothers me if I have pubic hair. I totally delight in the root coming out and it is a real thrill to me when a grey hair comes in its place.

I still can't quite figure out why the eyebrows got so damaged when I am ripping out the pubic hair constantly and it keeps growing back ( I have no idea if it would grow back completely - as I don't give it the opportunity). I don't like armpit hair either and some places are hard to reach.

Although I usually go for the tweezers I can use my fingers when need be.

I never touch head hair.

Occasionally forearm hair but there is so little hair there that I don't get the same thrill.

Well I guessed it was a "mental disorder." Not the same as a mental illness. A mania is a mental disorder. It doesn't mean that we are mental as such.

For me though I am not at all interested in being cured - this might shock you, and sorry if it does. But for me I find it very relaxing and I don't want to be cured from it.

I guessed it would have a name, but didn't realise what it was until I saw a woman on GMTV who had pulled out all her head hair and she said that some people concentrate on areas such as the pubic. She also said that the focus is usually on one part of the body.

Health wise, the watch points in grown hairs owing to the hair being pulled.

Somebody said to me once that cancer can be triggered off by plucking hair, but I don't know if this true or not.

Hubby was a bit shocked when he found out what I did, but has accepted it now.

It is good that we are discussing issues like this on the board. I am sorry for anyone who is suffering and is seeking a cure.

It is related to stress and depression and there is help out there as well.

LynnM: You say that you feel very little pain doing it, same here really. If however someone else was to do it to me I would hit the roof. The woman on GMTV I mentioned said that a sufferer gets very good at not hurting themselves. For me though, the added little pain to me is the extra thrill - only if it is self inflicted though! I hated it when the beautician plucked my eyebrows.

It can be classed as a OCD complaint or disorder - such as washing hands etc. I did tap into a good website not long ago that listed all the manias. Fascinating what some people "suffer" from.

Just found that website I mentioned:

http://phrontistery.info/mania.html

I see there is a mania for nearly everything! lmao!

Nail biting is phaneromania!

twilight_faerie
September 29th, 2008, 09:10 PM
I have this as well. Have had since high school. In high school it was the eyelashes and eyebrows then my mother discovered what I was doing and she threatened to cut all my hair off if I kept doing it. My father really went ape.

This actually makes me really, really mad. Parents should be supportive, NOT threatening. Because threatening to cut off your hair is REALLY gonna help you get over your trich. :rolleyes:

chrissy-b
September 30th, 2008, 11:05 AM
This actually makes me really, really mad. Parents should be supportive, NOT threatening. Because threatening to cut off your hair is REALLY gonna help you get over your trich. :rolleyes:

I know, that is awful. At the same time, however, many people don't know how to react to trich. It's pretty rare and confusing. My mom wasn't sure what I was doing, but would find my hair everywhere when she'd vacuum. She would get so angry at me and yell. She assumed that I was cleaning out my brushes and throwing the hair on the floor, but I think she really knew what was going on just didn't know how to deal.

twilight_faerie
August 11th, 2009, 02:50 AM
I hope reviving threads that are almost a year old isn't considered a punishable crime on this forum. :flamed:

Anyway, I was just wondering how the trichotillomania sufferers on the LHC are doing at the moment. Mine has quite improved, for the most part. I've stopped pulling out the hairs on my head. A year or so ago I went to my haircutter for a trim and she asked me why there was a little bald spot on my head. I just said "don't ask", but of course my mom had to butt in and be all, "it's because she pulls out her hair." It was kind of embarrassing...it's not the kind of thing I want just anyone to know about. I'm happy to say that the bald spot is now gone. The hairs are now a few inches long and look really silly when my hair is down, and sadly, I think the hair that's grown on the bald spot is thinner. But it's certainly better than it was before.

I do still pick at my eyebrows and my eyelashes, but it's not really noticeable by anyone but me. I've got most of my eyelashes and eyebrow hairs, so that's good. I kinda wonder if I'll ever be completely cured. At this point, it's not something that stresses me out anymore...that's also good. I'm a little worried that my trich might worsen when I start school again next month (I've been out since last December) - my hair-pulling gets way worse when I'm stressed out about a class. Well, all I can really do is hope for the best.

hennaphile
August 11th, 2009, 04:18 AM
I suffer from this too. It's mostly my eyelashes, but I fiddle with my hair in an almost tugging manner.

Started when I was ten, parents got mad at me and told me that I need my eyelashes and that I was stupid for doing it. Then they ignored it. I've pulled all my eyelashes out on several occasions. I find that wearing mascara greatly helps because it keeps me from fiddling with them, especially in public (gooey ugly mess) and it helps me feel better about having them there.

SimplyViki
August 11th, 2009, 08:43 AM
I hope reviving threads that are almost a year old isn't considered a punishable crime on this forum. :flamed:

Oh, no, I doubt it, and I'm glad you did revive it! I've been meaning to do a search for trichotillomania on this forum, but you've saved me the trouble. :) And now the requisite introduction...

I'm pretty sure I've got some form of it, probably a more mild form. I pull from just about everywhere - concentrating mainly on a dime-sized patch a centimeter to the right of the middle of my hairline. :o Also my eyebrows and lashes periodically suffer. I try so hard to leave those alone, though, they're such a part of my expressiveness I hate to have them looking odd. I also pull from anywhere else - a couple of moles have annoying dark hairs that I pluck out whenever I get the chance, I'm one of the weirdo pubic pluckers (when I let the hair grow enough that it can be plucked... usually I just end up shaving it all off so I can't pluck, or so that the resulting bald patches from plucking don't show. Of course, even stubble can be easily plucked with a pair of tweezers... even if the hair hasn't quite erupted from the skin yet... which easily results in a skin-gouging flare in addition to the plucking :rolleyes:). I've also found myself plucking my leg hairs lately... I've been so busy with nursing school I haven't bothered to shave them in a while, but the hairs are now long enough to pluck, and of course, I do.

It doesn't really help me to have someone try and help me stop - I basically just try and moderate my own plucking, just switching areas as much as I can, giving one area a break and letting it grow back in, while I attack another area. The hairline spot is concerning me, it obviously doesn't grow back in as quickly as anyplace else, so it'll only likely get worse over time. Anyway, when I try and have somebody help me, I just get annoyed with them for interrupting me when I'm ritualistically stroking and feeling for a particular strand of hair on my head (weird, I know). So I apologized to my friend and told her I really didn't think it was going to help for her to try and stop me. :shrug:

Also, I've had this (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1909704,00.html) page bookmarked (right next to my LHC bookmark, incidentally) for a while now, I got it from a LiveJournal trich support group. Anybody seen it? It looks interesting. When I'm not broke I might try it.

SimplyViki
August 11th, 2009, 08:47 AM
I find that wearing mascara greatly helps because it keeps me from fiddling with them, especially in public (gooey ugly mess) and it helps me feel better about having them there.
Yup. I also have success with an eyeliner technique called "tightlining", where you take a fine brush and apply liner pretty much exactly on your lash line, as opposed to over it. It's applied from underneath the upper lashes. Not really the same as applying eyeliner to your waterline, because that covers more area than is intended with this technique. Anyway, it fills in the sparse spots for me, where mascara sometimes leaves a glaringly obvious (to me) bald spot.

But I know what you mean about the tactile aspect of it, and the not wanting to mess up the mascara. Helps me sometimes, too. When I'm not suddenly feeling that the mascara feels "weird" and wanting to pick it off.

twilight_faerie
August 16th, 2009, 10:48 PM
I'm pretty sure I've got some form of it, probably a more mild form. I pull from just about everywhere - concentrating mainly on a dime-sized patch a centimeter to the right of the middle of my hairline. Also my eyebrows and lashes periodically suffer. I try so hard to leave those alone, though, they're such a part of my expressiveness I hate to have them looking odd.

Tell me about it. One time a few years ago (actually, I'm sure it was probably more than just one time) I was super stressed and pulled out almost all of my eyebrow hairs. When I eventually looked in the mirror and saw how awful I looked I was so ashamed. I had to draw on my eyebrows for I don't know how long. And I am BAD at drawing on eyebrows. I'm sure I looked ridiculous.


I also pull from anywhere else - a couple of moles have annoying dark hairs that I pluck out whenever I get the chance, I'm one of the weirdo pubic pluckers (when I let the hair grow enough that it can be plucked... usually I just end up shaving it all off so I can't pluck, or so that the resulting bald patches from plucking don't show. Of course, even stubble can be easily plucked with a pair of tweezers... even if the hair hasn't quite erupted from the skin yet... which easily results in a skin-gouging flare in addition to the plucking ). I've also found myself plucking my leg hairs lately... I've been so busy with nursing school I haven't bothered to shave them in a while, but the hairs are now long enough to pluck, and of course, I do.

Some time ago I tried to switch from pulling head/facial hairs to pulling body hairs. It didn't go too well. It's just too painful. My mom used to ask me how I could pull out my facial and cranial hairs when it's so painful, but it's nothing compared to trying to pull out a leg hair or a pube. shudder:


It doesn't really help me to have someone try and help me stop - I basically just try and moderate my own plucking, just switching areas as much as I can, giving one area a break and letting it grow back in, while I attack another area. The hairline spot is concerning me, it obviously doesn't grow back in as quickly as anyplace else, so it'll only likely get worse over time. Anyway, when I try and have somebody help me, I just get annoyed with them for interrupting me when I'm ritualistically stroking and feeling for a particular strand of hair on my head (weird, I know). So I apologized to my friend and told her I really didn't think it was going to help for her to try and stop me.

I had quite a bit of success using that method, actually. My boyfriend used to (and still does) slap my hand if he saw me yanking at my hair. It definitely did annoy me, and I yelled at him (though I knew he was doing it for my benefit), but he's a big boy and can take it...and it really did help.

hennaphile
August 17th, 2009, 05:37 AM
Yup. I also have success with an eyeliner technique called "tightlining", where you take a fine brush and apply liner pretty much exactly on your lash line, as opposed to over it. It's applied from underneath the upper lashes. Not really the same as applying eyeliner to your waterline, because that covers more area than is intended with this technique. Anyway, it fills in the sparse spots for me, where mascara sometimes leaves a glaringly obvious (to me) bald spot.

But I know what you mean about the tactile aspect of it, and the not wanting to mess up the mascara. Helps me sometimes, too. When I'm not suddenly feeling that the mascara feels "weird" and wanting to pick it off.

I used to do the twilighting when I had no eyelashes, but I find that a nice thick mascara like Real Purity or Hauschka will like the rim of the eyelid if you wiggle it back and forth, in addition to making nice with the eyelashes :)

SimplyViki
August 17th, 2009, 07:37 AM
Wanna know what's weird about this? Even though I'm used to plucking from everywhere (ah-ha, except armpits, I think that's the only exception - I never let the hairs grow long enough to pluck, so the one or two times I ever tried, it hurt like a mother), I was in major pain trying to epilate my legs. One wouldn't imagine it'd hurt so bad. Lately my leg hairs have grown in and I haven't bothered to shave them off, and it doesn't hurt to pluck them, but epilating? Ouch.

twilight_faerie
August 17th, 2009, 10:50 PM
Wanna know what's weird about this? Even though I'm used to plucking from everywhere (ah-ha, except armpits, I think that's the only exception - I never let the hairs grow long enough to pluck, so the one or two times I ever tried, it hurt like a mother), I was in major pain trying to epilate my legs. One wouldn't imagine it'd hurt so bad. Lately my leg hairs have grown in and I haven't bothered to shave them off, and it doesn't hurt to pluck them, but epilating? Ouch.

Similarly, I used to pull my eyebrow hairs out all the time (still do it, but to a much lesser extent), but I *HATE* tweezing them. Hurts so much it brings tears to my eyes.

Darkhorse1
August 17th, 2009, 10:51 PM
A good friend of mine has this, but not for her hair, but she does pull out her eyelashes and eyebrows. :( I just support people/my friends and tell them that they are accepted no matter what. Hugs to you!

twilight_faerie
August 17th, 2009, 10:54 PM
A good friend of mine has this, but not for her hair, but she does pull out her eyelashes and eyebrows. :( I just support people/my friends and tell them that they are accepted no matter what. Hugs to you!

That's how my trich started: pulling out my eyelashes and eyebrows. I moved to my hair because I was tired of having sparse lashes and brows. :nono:

toodramatik
August 18th, 2009, 03:00 AM
I'm a girl but I'm rather hirsute. I have hair on the side of my face (I guess it's not EXCESSIVE, but there's about 6 or 7 hairs that grow really dark black on each side), and a few dark hairs on my neck and chin.

I can't go through a day without trying to obsessively pull them out... I can't bring myself to actually pluck them, I don't want to, I actually feel some weird kind of satisfaction when they come out =\

CrystalStar
August 18th, 2009, 03:14 AM
I don't know if I can call what I have Trichotillomania however, whenever I get stressed I pull at my left eyebrow leading it to be alot thinner at the end than my right eyebrow. It never really bothers me that much, however I do plush at least 3-5 hairs a day, which I've never even thought anything of :p

Lady Mary
August 18th, 2009, 11:56 AM
I used to pull my hair out when I was younger. Now, I only pull out eyebrow hairs or eyelashes. I don't do it as much as I used to, sometimes I still get the urge and start yanking. It just feels like I have too many eyelashes. :laugh:

chrissy-b
August 22nd, 2009, 04:33 PM
Anyway, I was just wondering how the trichotillomania sufferers on the LHC are doing at the moment. Mine has quite improved, for the most part.

That's so great to hear twilight_faerie! I'm glad you are getting better. :)

Mine has actually gotten a bit worse. I just recently moved, and a few weeks before the move and the week of the move I was so stressed that I started attacking the same old spots on my scalp again. It's not too bad, but there are noticeable bald spots again. :(


I suffer from this too. It's mostly my eyelashes, but I fiddle with my hair in an almost tugging manner.

Started when I was ten, parents got mad at me and told me that I need my eyelashes and that I was stupid for doing it. Then they ignored it. I've pulled all my eyelashes out on several occasions. I find that wearing mascara greatly helps because it keeps me from fiddling with them, especially in public (gooey ugly mess) and it helps me feel better about having them there.

It's great that mascara helps you. Mascara always makes me more likely to mess with my eyelashes. Especially the waterproof stuff, I'm guaranteed to pull a couple if I use that.


Also, I've had this (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1909704,00.html) page bookmarked (right next to my LHC bookmark, incidentally) for a while now, I got it from a LiveJournal trich support group. Anybody seen it? It looks interesting. When I'm not broke I might try it.

I just read this article. That's pretty interesting even though it's a small study. I might add this supplement to my next order of vitamins. If I do, I'll let you all know how it works out. :flowers:

SimplyViki
August 22nd, 2009, 10:10 PM
Mine's worse lately, too. :( I've plucked my eyebrows enough that they're noticably patchy, even when I carefully apply my brow powder and gel. Also my lashes are missing in a few spots. I'm stressing about school - it's going to be a heck of a semester.

hennaphile
August 23rd, 2009, 12:53 AM
Mine's worse lately, too. :( I've plucked my eyebrows enough that they're noticably patchy, even when I carefully apply my brow powder and gel. Also my lashes are missing in a few spots. I'm stressing about school - it's going to be a heck of a semester.


SEEEE, school makes it worse. School should come with a warning label. :p

twilight_faerie
August 23rd, 2009, 01:01 AM
SEEEE, school makes it worse. School should come with a warning label. :p

This is so true!! I especially find myself pulling out hairs when I'm studying for a test or doing homework and I don't understand the material. I can only imagine how many hairs I must've lost when I took Organic Chemistry.

SimplyViki
August 24th, 2009, 01:58 PM
Yup. School makes it worse. And you know what's annoying? When you've plucked a spot on your eyebrows to such oblivion that there are only really fine hairs left there, except that one coarse, annoying hair that you have to pluck... and you can't get a grip on it, and end up manipulating the surrounding hairs so much they curl up and you've now got a spot full of "weird", curled hairs that are now all begging to be plucked.

:rolleyes: And all of that could only be typed out by someone with trichotillomania.

Atlantic
August 24th, 2009, 03:12 PM
I'm so glad this thread has surfaced. I've had a stressful couple of weeks, and this leaves me twiddling, grrrrrrr. Since discovering LHC, I've nearly stopped pulling altogether, but I haven't been able to stop twiddling, especially when when I'm stressed. The past week, it's been really bad - I keep twiddling exactly as if I were intending to pull, mostly on the coarser kinkier hairs (which are now mostly at least four inches long, yay! but that makes them even more interesting to twiddle, boo!), and then every so often one will come out, by accident, except I shouldn't have been twiddling in the first place.

Atlantic
August 24th, 2009, 03:18 PM
Also, I've had this (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1909704,00.html) page bookmarked (right next to my LHC bookmark, incidentally) for a while now, I got it from a LiveJournal trich support group. Anybody seen it? It looks interesting. When I'm not broke I might try it.

Interesting article! I particualrly liked the point, "Grant theorizes that trichotillomania may be a kind of grooming irregularity", because that's what I've always thought. I get the same trich-feelings with other "grooming" type behaviours as well - picking sand out of my hair after a trip to the beach, taking a flea off a cat, etc. Any other trichsters here have other "grooming" urges?

Komodia
August 24th, 2009, 06:15 PM
oh i had it for a couple of years, since i was 14 til i was 16, aprox. It was severe cos pulling hair by hair, i had a bald spot!!! just at the top of my head lol. and as my hair grew it was funny looking. luckily my hair grows fast and now you can't tell 3 years ago my hair looked like that!.. but i still pull a couple of hairs sometimes, but it's not noticeable and doesn't bother me.. i have too much hair anyways lol.

SimplyViki
August 24th, 2009, 06:29 PM
Interesting article! I particualrly liked the point, "Grant theorizes that trichotillomania may be a kind of grooming irregularity", because that's what I've always thought. I get the same trich-feelings with other "grooming" type behaviours as well - picking sand out of my hair after a trip to the beach, taking a flea off a cat, etc. Any other trichsters here have other "grooming" urges?
Oh, yeah, I drive my DF insane with my insistence at "getting" each and every blackhead I spot on his face. Or anywhere else, for that matter. Fortunately for him, he doesn't get many of those.

rexy
August 24th, 2009, 08:45 PM
I have mild trich. I pull out coarse hairs from a certain spot on my head, but never enough to make a bald spot. It started in 5th grade when I had gotten blonde highlights. I would try to pull out the dark colored strands so that I would have all blonde hairs. So stupid. I wish I had never started :(

SimplyViki
August 28th, 2009, 07:32 AM
I plucked too many eyelashes while studying last night. :( I have very, very sparse baby lashes now. Smudgy brown eyeliner helps disguise it. It's bad enough I might try falsies for once.

Please, castor oil, make these things grow back fast! :pray:

Nouveaux
August 30th, 2009, 12:24 AM
Oh blast, I did it again today. Three hairs, but ack, it's a cascade process. I just keep finding these coarse little hairs on my head and I have to pull, and then I find more... Ackackack. No more! I already have a baldspot (although mainly it looks like an unusually sparse parting) to grow out.

toodramatik
August 30th, 2009, 12:56 AM
More facial hair. I hate trying to pluck them with my fingers and getting the fine yellow hairs. I WANT THE COARSE BLACK SPIKEY HAIR THAT I CAN FEEL BUT I CAN'T SEE IN THE MIRROR BECAUSE IT'S AT A RETARDED ANGLE. I KNOW YOU EXIST, HAIR. COME OUT. -NOW-.

hennaphile
August 30th, 2009, 01:04 AM
I'm actually doing well, :grouphug: to all who need them :flower:

now if i can just get intrusive thoughts out of my head, I'll be set :rolleyes:

SimplyViki
September 1st, 2009, 02:30 PM
OK, if the mini-sparse/bald spot isn't noticeable yet, the tuft of hairs coming in probably is.

And there's one really annoying hair that I've been resisting the urge to pluck for the last two days. I somehow manage to work the same hair out from my bun to play with. I just re-bunned my hair to put it back in with the rest.

Hairstorm
September 4th, 2009, 09:44 AM
I'm just now reading this thread. Wow, I can relate to so many of your stories. I agree that it's like grooming gone awry, and that it's soothing.
My problem is if I feel a hair that is abnormally coarse and bumpy..I pull it. It becomes some sort of pasttime lol. I sit watching tv and constantly running my fingers thru my hair looking for one. I once had pulled so many hairs out from one spot, about the size of a dime, and was horrified becuase it was right on top at my part line :(. I just couldn't stop. Fortunately since then I've just focused on the weird texture ones, which I have a ton of since my hair is very, very thick and coarse.
I could have written this, as it describes my behavior exactly when I was in high school. I would pull while studying. There would be a pile of pulled hairs on the floor behind me. One day my mom told me I had a bald spot and that scared me straight. Almost. I switched to pulling body hair. Who's going to know?



Stress and dirty scalp are the biggest triggers. This is tough because I want to stretch out my washing. But if I let it get greasy, I run a much higher chance of having a major episode. If I know I'll be doing something that might be stressful, I try to wash my hair just before!
This is my story too, currently. I think the dirty scalp is somewhat irritating, which leads to touching and scratching it, which leads to pulling. Now, since most of my hair is contained in a bun, I usually pull from the front hairline, especially while reading.



I recently did some research on different homeopathic remedies that help with the urge to pull. The one that I tried is ignatia amara 30c. It says it is for "nervousness due to everyday stress." I haven't been taking it on a consistent basis, only when I feel the urge or catch myself pulling and it has really helped. I bought it a Whole Foods for $6.

Just thought I'd post this info for anyone who's interested, and also to ask if anyone else has anything that they've done that has helped them.

TIA :smile:Thanks, I will look for this.




Also, I've had this (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1909704,00.html) page bookmarked (right next to my LHC bookmark, incidentally) for a while now, I got it from a LiveJournal trich support group. Anybody seen it? It looks interesting. When I'm not broke I might try it.I wonder if the N-acetylcysteine would help with my compulsive overeating as well? ;)


Wanna know what's weird about this? Even though I'm used to plucking from everywhere (ah-ha, except armpits, I think that's the only exception - I never let the hairs grow long enough to pluck, so the one or two times I ever tried, it hurt like a mother), I was in major pain trying to epilate my legs. One wouldn't imagine it'd hurt so bad. Lately my leg hairs have grown in and I haven't bothered to shave them off, and it doesn't hurt to pluck them, but epilating? Ouch. That's so ironic, isn't it? But I've had the same experience.

ericthegreat
September 5th, 2009, 09:14 PM
Hi everyone. I've been following this thread very closely but up until now I wasn't sure if I myself had a form of trichotillomania or not. Here is my original post from my thread:

By now you all know how diligent I am about caring for my hair. I CO regularly, will even buy the most expensive intensive treatments available like Ojon, I'll soak my hair in conditioner and braid it down before heading out to swim, etc and etc.

But many times, especially when I'm POed about something or someone in particular, I'll act out on my hair. I'll take my brush or my wide tooth comb and roughly run it down over my hair, sometimes I'll even go straight from the top of my scalp all the way down to my ends, ignoring whatever hairs get broken off or pulled out. If I'm really under the gun, I'll simply start pulling out full length strands of my hair. I've had several dreams where I'm sitting in a stylist's chair and the stylist has just completely cut off all my hair. I usually interpret these dreams as nightmares, but actually in my waking life I will also actually grab a pair of scissors and a thought will pop up in my head. Why don't I just do it? Chop it all off. I never do it of course. But knowing that I even have that thought come up in my head is enough to make me wonder about myself.

Does anyone else also have these kind of feelings from time to time?
This is the thread I started about this topic.
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=32677

I think I maybe have a mild case of trich.

SimplyViki
September 5th, 2009, 10:26 PM
Hi Eric. I'm not entirely sure I have it either, I mean, I haven't been diagnosed, but... well? Mine gets worse during stressful times. It sounds as though yours does, too.

ericthegreat
September 5th, 2009, 10:35 PM
Viki, the thing is I deliberately rip my strands out when I'm angry at something or more likely at someone...........so I'm definitely not doing this as an involuntary thing. So I'm not sure if it is an actual case of trich, a case of trich that is only brought on by emotional stress, or actually a totally different psychological condition altogether.

SimplyViki
September 5th, 2009, 10:41 PM
Hmm... You say you "rip" them out. Are you pulling individual hairs out, or grasping multiple strands and yanking them all out at once? I usually pull only individuals.

ericthegreat
September 5th, 2009, 11:20 PM
Usually I will pull out single, individual strands at a time. But sometimes yes, I do end up pulling out multiple strands at once.

SimplyViki
September 5th, 2009, 11:35 PM
Hmm. :shrug: I haven't done a whole lot of reading recently on trich, but I hope you can find something in the thread or elsewhere that will be of use to you.

ericthegreat
September 7th, 2009, 03:28 PM
I have been reading up on trichotillomania on wikipedia. It would appear that I do have a form of it. Trich is officially classified as an impulse control disorder, altho it it still debated as to how it should be classified. It is related to or also considered a type of obsessive compulsive disorder.
Trich often begins during the teenaged years and can be triggered by depression or stress.

I've also found myself to be obsessive compulsive doing other things as well. Like, if I don't dial the phone or type on my keyboard with the right amount of feeling and contact on my fingertips, I'll keep doing it until I get it just right. I have to hold my spoon or my fork exactly the right way, I'll even catch myself walking trying to keep my paces and strides as even as possible. I'll also really hate to step on cracks or lines, so I place my feet right in the center of every square or rectangle on the sidewalk. And if I happen to touch a fence post or a pole or something, then I have to touch every other fence post or pole as I walk ahead.

twilight_faerie
October 10th, 2009, 09:34 PM
How are you guys doing?

I'm doing really well! Especially considering I've been in school for five weeks and the stress is pretty heavy. I had no less than THREE TESTS last week (!) but I didn't pull a single hair out. I've been picking at my brows a little more than I'd like, but they're still pretty nice and full. I'm really happy with my progress. :D

hennaphile
October 11th, 2009, 04:23 AM
Was doing really well till stress.. but luckily stopped before things got bad.

Arctic
October 11th, 2009, 10:24 AM
Hi everybody!

I haven't read the whole thread :o
I have trichotillomania, I've written about it sometimes in my blog too.
Do any of you also have an S&D addiction?

PatGear
October 11th, 2009, 01:30 PM
Arctic, I have an "all or nothing" attitude with S&D. If I get started, I'll be doing it for hours. My eyes get blurry, my head, shoulder, arms, and back ache horribly. But most of the time, I just avoid it. I try not to look at my hair because every other strand is a split end!


As for the trich itself, I've not been doing so great, though not horrible.

I think our water softener isn't working correctly so my hair has been greasy more quickly than it used to. I'm also how pulling any grey/white hair I find. The funny thing is, I don't mind going grey. I'm pulling them because they look different and out of place.

SimplyViki
October 11th, 2009, 06:53 PM
I'm not doing so great... I've got several noticeably bald patches on my eyelashes, I have to draw on a lashline with eyeliner the past several weeks. My sparse patch on my hairline is starting to resemble a bald spot. I left alone this short, black, stubby-ended hair that was bothering me for a while, but I finally gave in and plucked that one too. :shrug: My trich comes and goes... it's on full force currently.

lockslessmonstr
October 11th, 2009, 08:34 PM
oh man... I've had this since I can remember. My mother said I always had a weird obsession with hair since birth. I'd play with her and other people's hair until I got my own. It started as a very soothing ritual (I guess like thumb sucking for most kids) and then it just got out of control. My thing is having the perfect, softest lock. I get some wrapped around my fingers and start smoothing until I can feel the strand(s) that feel different, coarse and out they come. And I do this over and over grabbing locks of hair all over my head. My parents, grandparents, teachers would try to stop me but I always figured out ways to sneak it past them. The worst is at night - it's the most calming, soothing thing and I have to do it or I can't fall asleep.
For the past year I've been on Lexapro and it's helped me a lot. I got on it for anxiety issues and depression and come to find that I have reduced my pulling obsession by like 80%! That's a HUGE deal for me. I guess it really has a lot to do with stress, anxiety, panic etc... Now that I have lexapro I don't need to pull out my hair. HA-HA!! And my hair, although still thin and fine, is doing much better. I just hope I haven't done permanent damage (you know how some people pluck their eyebrows and they never grow back?). I've been doing it so long though I wouldn't know what my hair was ever supposed to look like. sigh....

Darkhorse1
October 11th, 2009, 08:37 PM
I would like to learn more about this as my best friend suffers from this. She and I were just chatting about the fact she loves plucking out her eyelashes. She has no eyelashes right now, and hates how it looks, but loves when she's plucking them out. She hasn't done anything to her eyebrows yet.

Are there any sites I can go to learn more about this? Thank you and best of luck to all of you! :)

Demetrue
October 11th, 2009, 08:44 PM
I have not read the entire thread, but was wondering if anyone has tried N-Acetyl Cysteine or NAC for this issue? I was reading up on the supplement to treat my asthma and occasional bronchitis and noticed that it is being used for trich and also bi-polar depression with some success.

julliams
October 12th, 2009, 05:24 AM
I'm not sure if I have a mild form of this but I do go through my hair and find the wiry hairs and pull them out. I also pull hairs out of my eyebrows but only because they are long and look wierd. Not sure if this is the same kind of thing.

SimplyViki
October 29th, 2009, 10:03 AM
I have not read the entire thread, but was wondering if anyone has tried N-Acetyl Cysteine or NAC for this issue? I was reading up on the supplement to treat my asthma and occasional bronchitis and noticed that it is being used for trich and also bi-polar depression with some success.
I haven't tried it, but I have had an article about it from Time Magazine online (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1909704,00.html) bookmarked for quite some time. I found some pretty cheap on luckyvitamin.com, I'm strongly considering just going ahead and getting it. Anything that helps... :shrug:

I'm just really bad about taking supplements or any pill on a daily basis. Antibiotics I know are important to take at the same time each day, but if I'm prescribed a round of those, I have to set several reminders for myself on my cell phone and in various places to remind me to take them on time. So I don't know how well I'd do trying to remember to take these daily.

chrissy-b
October 29th, 2009, 11:43 AM
Are there any sites I can go to learn more about this? Thank you and best of luck to all of you! :)

There are quite a few sites out there with information. The easiest way is to just google. This (http://www.trich.org/) is probably one of the better resources for info.



I have not read the entire thread, but was wondering if anyone has tried N-Acetyl Cysteine or NAC for this issue? I was reading up on the supplement to treat my asthma and occasional bronchitis and noticed that it is being used for trich and also bi-polar depression with some success.

I just recently started taking this, but it's too soon to tell if it's helping or not. I've only been using it for a few weeks and I'm going to give it at least three months before I decide if it's worth it to continue. I'll post later to let you all know if I've had success with it.

The things that have helped me personally are Nizoral shampoo, salicylic acid shampoos, Monistat, and a homeopathic remedy called ignatia amara. The homeopathic remedy has been great. When I want to pull (and remember to take a few of these pills) it really helps curb the urge.

Kaijah
November 1st, 2009, 12:36 PM
I've been dealing with Trich since about... 6th grade. It mostly seems to be stress/worry induced now. It was the worst in the beginning, I had bald spots and made my scalp bleed for picking/pulling constantly. o.x Even now, there's a kind of unnatural "layering" to my hair from it growing out. It's pretty rare that I'll have a huge bout currently, mostly I just tug one or two hairs before I realize what I'm doing and stop.


I'm horrible about getting obsessed with S&D. I'll do it for hours without stopping... but I prefer this to actually pulling my hair. I'm hoping I can channel the urge or something to split searching rather than pulling... I don't know though.

pepperminttea
November 1st, 2009, 04:04 PM
I've had periods of doing this since I was around 12. It started with sections from my nape; usually in chunks of about thirty hairs at a time. School wasn't a happy time for me, stress levels were always high. During lunch times, I'd sometimes hide in toilet cubicles, pulling out hairs, biting my nails, and scratching at my skin with what nails I had left until it was red and sore.

I've since managed to stop pulling out head hair, but I'm afraid I do still sometimes pull hair from, well, further south. In my mid-teens I self-harmed for several years, something I haven't done since December 2007 now, so I consider a few hairs a decent trade, really. The lesser of two evils.

(I'm really quite a happy person, these days; honest! :) )

TiaKitty
November 3rd, 2009, 10:07 AM
I was actually thinking about posting on this topic, because I saw an episode of Nip/Tuck last week where Sean's daughter is found to have trichtillomania and a big bezoar (ball of hair in the stomach).

Does anyone have the urge to eat their hairs? Not judging, just curious.

My Sweetie has it... he focuses on his beard hairs. He'll pull and then pile them up in a little mound, then separate them and look for split ends. Then, he'll split the ends apart to make multiples. He shows them to me and then I want to get in on it, too. He has some hairs growing in his beard that seem like 3 or 4 hairs glued together. They split apart very nicely.
He has little bald patches in his beard from pulling.

I've gone on mad rampages and tweezed all of my leg hair. It does feel addicting, and I can eat up hours doing this. More socially acceptable, I rekon. I have not pulled my head, eyelashes, or eyebrows, though.

Birds with a similar condition, pulling feathers, of course, are given Prozac and sometimes Paxil. They get this form of OCD, too! Prozac helped my African Grey...

Kaijah
November 3rd, 2009, 03:26 PM
I haven't ever had the urge to eat them... I do usually pull off the root though, and tug/stretch hairs as many times as possible until they break. I'll peel apart any that happen to have splits, too.

I've done the obsessive leg hair tweezing thing too. Way less often, I think mostly because it's not easily accessible since I usually have long pants on, and that hair's a lot thinner and finer than scalp/eyebrow hair. Has anyone ever obsessed over arm hair? I've noticed that for some reason, that's an area I can ignore too. :ponder:

SimplyViki
November 4th, 2009, 08:08 AM
I don't eat them, either, but I do touch the wet root bit to my lip. Usually I touch the root to my lip a few times, pull off the root, then curl the hair through my fingernails (you know how you can curl ribbon on scissors? I do that with the hairs on my fingernails) and throw it away.

Very odd.

I recently bought a set of false eyelashes, because I've plucked my eyelashes until they're pathetically sparse. I'm very happy with them, the ones I bought look pretty close to natural. I trimmed them down just a tad, they were a little too long, but they're fine now. I recognize myself in the mirror again! :D I forgot how tired a bare lash line makes me look.

babybabycat
November 4th, 2009, 09:37 AM
I recently read some info about Trichotillomania in the People's Pharmacy article. I found this info online:

PEOPLE’S PHARMACY: Help for compulsive hair pulling
7:50 am October 21, 2009, by AJC

Q: I am desperate and hope you can help. I suffer from trichotillomania. I pull hairs constantly, and this leaves little bald spots. No matter how hard I try, I cannot stop. I seem to recall hearing on your radio program something about an amino acid that could calm the compulsion. Please tell me what that is.

A: Trichotillomania is a mysterious condition in which the victim feels an overwhelming urge to pull out hair. Stress often triggers people to pull hair from their heads, eyebrows, eyelashes or even pubic area. Physicians don’t understand what causes this problem, and there is no Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment.

Researchers reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry (July 2009) that the amino acid N-acetylcysteine could help ease trichotillomania symptoms. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive either 1,200 mg per day of the dietary supplement or placebo. If there was no improvement after six weeks, the dose was increased to 2,400 mg.

The investigators concluded that, “This randomized, double-blind, clinical trial indicates that N-acetylcysteine is safe and more effective than placebo for the treatment of trichotillomania.” Although no adverse events were reported in the study, some people may experience headache, itching, flatulence, increased blood pressure or fatigue.

Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition. They can be reached at peoplespharmacy@gmail.com.

cakey_baby
November 15th, 2009, 08:41 AM
Sorry i know this is quiet a old thread but i suffer from this too, i think its hereditary as my mum suffers from it, she pulls strands of her hair i concentrate on behind the ears and my fringe. My hairdresser goes mad everytime she sees me i have these little stumps of hair that get shorter! would love to know if anyone has any tips to help me stop i seem to do it constantly and when im stressed its worse.

chrissy-b
November 15th, 2009, 11:02 AM
Sorry i know this is quiet a old thread but i suffer from this too, i think its hereditary as my mum suffers from it, she pulls strands of her hair i concentrate on behind the ears and my fringe. My hairdresser goes mad everytime she sees me i have these little stumps of hair that get shorter! would love to know if anyone has any tips to help me stop i seem to do it constantly and when im stressed its worse.

It's okay to post in an old thread, that's what it's here for. :flower:

Below are a few things that I've tried that have helped. Also, exercise and getting enough sleep (I pull more when I'm stressed and tired) help a bit, and cutting out sugar and caffeine from your diet.


I just recently started taking n acetyl cysteine, but it's too soon to tell if it's helping or not. I've only been using it for a few weeks and I'm going to give it at least three months before I decide if it's worth it to continue. I'll post later to let you all know if I've had success with it.

The things that have helped me personally are Nizoral shampoo, salicylic acid shampoos, Monistat, and a homeopathic remedy called ignatia amara. The homeopathic remedy has been great. When I want to pull (and remember to take a few of these pills) it really helps curb the urge.

chrissy-b
November 15th, 2009, 11:05 AM
Birds with a similar condition, pulling feathers, of course, are given Prozac and sometimes Paxil. They get this form of OCD, too! Prozac helped my African Grey...

I've tried both of these medications and they didn't help at all. Glad to hear that it worked for your bird though. :)

cakey_baby
November 15th, 2009, 02:34 PM
Thanks for that Chrissy :) I dont get enough sleep and drink too much tea so maybe i should give that a try and see what happens.

nougat
November 23rd, 2009, 12:54 AM
I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but for people with a minor habit, you can often slow or stop yourself with some behavioral conditioning. (I bet that a lot of people with really big habits would probably benefit from conditioning as well, but it might not be possible to do it on your own.)

What you do:
Put a small rubber band around your wrist. You want it small enough that it's close to the skin, but not so small that it's actually tight. Every time you catch yourself pulling, immediately snap the rubber band against the inside of your wrist, hard enough to sting.

I don't pull my hair, but I have similar unconscious tics that crop up when I'm stressed, and I use this method to curb them. Usually 4 or 5 snaps is all it takes.

Narya
February 15th, 2010, 07:35 AM
I was thinking of starting a thread asking for... well, comprehension and help, I suppose.

I don't know for how long I've had trich, but I remember my teacher telling my mother I always played with my hair at school, when I was 6, so I suppose it must have started around then. My mother has trich, too, so I suppose I grew seeing it and never thought it was a weird thing to do until it was too late.

I was lucky, though, because I never had a "big episode" until I was 19 or so. I worked at a hotel that summer, and by the end of august I had a completely bald spot at the end of my part, as big as 1inch diameter. It looked even worse because I developed eczema there, too, and was constantly scratching it so... a huge mess.
Since then, it's been quite a constant in my life. It gets better, worse, better, worse... The hair on the that patch has grown a lot since then, mostly because I started to pluck all along my part and not only there. The result? A wide part that I cannot hide, no matter how hard I try, now full of short hairs (many of them some inches long, so I hope I can keep them growing, at least, and hide it a bit) sticking out in all directions.

I've found that having somebody telling me to stop (my mother, basically, because she's been through it and tells me everytime she sees me with a hand close to my hair) helps a bit, and also, for me, bunning/braiding/brushing... doing anything that involves touching my hair: it seems to take out a bit of the tension/stress without having to pick hair out. I just wish there was a deffinitive way to stop, even if I know there isn't.

It's funny, I think I owe something to LHC regarding trich: it had never occured to me that trying different buns, braids and hairstyles would help, but it does; and my mother is really excited that I'm starting to try to take better care of my hair, as she thinks (as I do) that this will help me stop (my hair won't look real good until those annoying "antenae" hairs grow and catch up with the rest, and they never will if I don't stop).

Anyway, good luck to everybody dealing with this, and to me also!

Arctic
February 16th, 2010, 02:12 AM
Hello everybody! I have found a really nice trichotillomania support group, and can recommend it warmly!!! Daily Strength/Trichotillomania (http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Trichotillomania-Hair-Pulling/support-group). They have lots of ideas and techniques to help learning to control trich.

Svenja
February 16th, 2010, 03:03 AM
I have not suffered from the classical from of trich, but from a more specific disorder causing me to knot my hair around my fingers, knot them into huge hair knots and then rip them open again - causing not only breakage and driest hair but also hair being ripped out until I had bald patches.
I don't know why it started or when, but my mother told me I started doing it around the age of 3 and I only got help October 2009. It's a disorder that can have so many reasons...
It's been hard for me to restrain the urge of having the hands in my hair constantly, and even these days I still catch myself winding my hair around my fingers. I even wake up in the morning with hair knots of the size of a golfball. Then I panick and hate myself. It's a long story of hating my hair and it's condition. Of going to the hair dresser and get rid off all the dead, broken, splissed hair, covering bald patches, and promising myself I would not do it again. Until 8 weeks later my hair is in the same bad condition again with even more bald patches.
In October 2009 I went to the hair dressers and had my hair cut down. Due to the bad condition I had two choices: pixie or millions of layers. I decided for the ladder. The shortest layers being hardly an inch long. Ever since then I work on myself. I sit on my hands, when I feel the urge. I sleep with gloves. I tie my hair back as tightly as I can before going to bed. And still I am suffering from trich. It's a long-life process I guess. But I am working on it.

WaitingSoLong
February 16th, 2010, 08:18 AM
I haven't had a chance to read all the posts yet but I have had this since about 10 years old (so 24+m years). It is mainly my eyelashes but sometimes my eyebrows. It used to be really bad btu I have learned somewhat to control it, what my triggers are and certain techniques to prevent it. I have never pulled my head hair, though.

My younger son has it, pulled out most the hair around his ears and nape of neck. My kids all played with their hair as babies/toddlers (twirled) and his evolved into pulling. My oldest son pulls out his chin hair (beard). CONSTANTLY. Obviously, he did not do this until he HAD a beard, which has only been the last year or so. EVERYone notices and asks him about it and he does not care. He openly pulls out his chin hairs! Of course we call him Michael Finnigan.

Trich is an embarassing thing for me. I used to go to great lengths to cover up my missing eyelashes and would even refuse to go places if I had a bad pulling session the previous day. I wore sunglasses a lot and would nto look at people in the eye. I still pull, but I limit myself so it is not as disfiguring. So you would think I could quit, right? I did, for as long as 2 months before. Anyway, my tricks/tips:

1. Since I tend to pull when I read (and I read a lot) or watch TV, I wear gloves during these times. I do not care how stupid it looks!

2. I wear my glasses, this will prevent some because when I absent-mindedly reach for my eyes, I get to the glasses and then stop.

3. I quit wearing mascara, this makes my eyelashes stick (top with bottom) and causes me to want to pull at them.

4. Crying/being very tired irritates my eyes and makes me want to pull as well. So I avoid crying! lol

5. Make-up irritates my eyes, too, but this is a catch 22. I wear make-up to cover the pulling, but then pull because of the make-up. Over the years I have learned I have very sensitive skin and have changed my skin products/make-up and this has helped the most to keep me from pulling. I pull my eyelashes when I feel them. But my eyebrows, I thin I started pulling those in place of my eyelashes. Have only done eyebrows a couple years.

6. When my eyelashes are really bothering me, I will wash my face and eyes and this usually takes the feeling away.

7. Also, if I just HAVE to pull a lash because it is backwards or catching on my other lashes when I blink, I use tweezers. If I use my fingers, I am inevitably pulling at other lashes, which, over the next few days, will start to bother me and want to be pulled because I have partially pulled them in pulling out the offending lash.

8. I stopped looking in mirrors! I would always see alash that was "out of place" and want to pull it. So I don't look anymore.

9. One thing I did that really helped was to tell people I have trich. "coming out" and being honest about it helped for some reason. DH will grab my hand when he sees me pulling and hold it lovingly.

10. Also, if I feel the urge to pull, I rub instead. This will make the weird feeling go away without having pulled. Of course, this will also ruin your make-up!

Hope this helps, I will try to back-read now.

duckish
February 16th, 2010, 07:33 PM
I have pretty much no eyebrows remaining. Now I draw them in every morning. :/

At least they match my hennaed hair, I guess.

(I stopped chewing my nails and now I have enough nail to pull out hair! It's a horrible catch-22.)

christine1989
February 16th, 2010, 08:26 PM
Wow! I heard about this in a psychology class I took a few years ago but I had no idea it was so common! I have always wondered what it stems from- OCD? Heredity? I am even more suprised to find a thread about hair pulling on a long hair site.

Gypsy
February 16th, 2010, 11:56 PM
Hmm. That's the million dollar question.
I imagine if we knew what it stemmed from, we would be able to control or even cure it.:o

Svenja
February 17th, 2010, 07:47 AM
Wise words easily spoken, Gypsy. If we knew we would be able to fight it better and more efficient.

Narya
February 17th, 2010, 01:24 PM
Well, after getting scared at how many small OCD traits I have, I've decided to go on a trich challenge: no more pulling out hairs during 5 days (18-22), while I'll be out with some friends. Those'll be busy days, but we'll probably have lots of fun and no stress... so I'm hoping it's a good way to start. Then I'll come back and review how has it gone, and (hopefully!) start a longer period of non-pulling (I have to take small steps or I know it won't work).

Wish me luck (I certainly need it)!

WaitingSoLong
February 17th, 2010, 02:12 PM
Finally read all the posts and realized it is quite an old thread! I am bad about not reading the dates on posts.

I have mild OCD. I am not sure I would liken the two, actually. But I do not have the "hand washing" OCD that seems so typical. Mine is more like Eric mentioned, I have a thing with lines. I won't explain. Also with some flat surfaces. It is weird. I definitely feel compelled to act on it, where with trich, I do nto feel compelled at all. It is absentmindedly done.

Aside from trich, I also pick at my skin. Any little bump. My issues seem to be more grooming related, as another post mentioned.

Every trich person is different, having severe trich, it still baffles me why some would pull their scalp hairs. You would think I would understand, but I have an aversion to it instead. S&D is something I would never do.

I liken trich to biting nails. I also used to bite the insides of my cheeks. I did this for years. I am not sure how I quit that one, but I did and have never done it since. That was about 14 years ago. I also quit biting my nails around the same time and never looked back. It makes me cringe now and hurts my teeth. Similarly, I also quit smoking and now have an aversion AND an allergy to cigarette smoke. I have a few other habits left like trich, but trich is the one I want to quit the most.

I hate it, it does not sooth me at all like some. I will quit when I realize I am doing it but I usually do not realize it until it is too late. I hate the way I feel so ugly afterwards. I am perfectly OK with body hair. I can see many differences in the way we suffer trich, but also the similarities.

It is a viscious cycle for me: I pull because a lash feels/looks out of place, after the lash is removed, I have irritated the ones around it and pull those, too. I do it because my lashes don't feel like they are setting right, they stick (top to bottom) and it drives me nuts. I know exactly how mine started, and it was not stress or trauma. I was about 9 or 10 and I got a pair of tweezers. I had an older sister and she would pluck eyebrows to be pretty, and I wanted to be pretty, too. I would just look for out of place hairs. I don't know why lashes. It always made my eyes water really bad. I would find one sticking out differently and pull it. I would keep plucking until the ones left were "in line". But because I was now missing so many lashes, they would stick top to bottom and thus it began. I have never been able to quit since.

Unlike others, I do not go through periods where I do not pull. I ALWAYS pull. Every day, even if just one or two. How I manage to have lashes at all amazes me and mine always grow back. Even after 24 years.

Anyway, I will look into some of the herbs.

Oh, I wanted to mention I have taken Lexapro and prozac in the past for OCD and depression and neither helped ANYthing. Not my depression, not the OCD, not the trich. Nothing. I also have such bad side effects from SSRA's I refuse to take them. I cannot even take St. John's Wort. So I am usually skeptical about herbs or vitamins. Seems I always have a weird reaction. Interested in hypnosis or whatever but cannot find anything like that around here and probably couldn't afford it!

Sorry for the long post. I am just that way.

WaitingSoLong
February 18th, 2010, 02:12 PM
Question...for those who have tried false eyelashes, does it help prevent pulling? Like wearing fake nails would prevent biting?

SimplyViki
February 18th, 2010, 02:18 PM
Waiting - Well, sort of yes and sort of no... The fake lashes felt weird, so my hand would go up to pull, and then I'd find the fake eyelashes and remember I didn't want to mess it up, so I wouldn't pluck.

But then when I took them out at night, it got me into a pulling mood, so... :shrug:

shyone
July 23rd, 2010, 05:55 PM
It's ironic that people plagued by trichotillomania can have long hair.I thought I would be alone in having long hair and trichotillomania at the same time.Obviously we trichotillomania sufferers do not hate our hair so it must be down to a wonky message in the brain.

Red hairs are my weakness.

CitznMag
July 23rd, 2010, 06:48 PM
I can relate, kinda. I don't suffer from Trichotillomania but do suffer from dermatillomania (obsessive skin picking). I pick my lips. I pick them when I'm stressed, bored, confused, upset. I thought I had licked the lip picking when I switched jobs but now that the newness of the new job is just about over and am overwhelmed by different stresses, I am now back to picking again but so far, have not drawn blood. I will also pick at pimples, microscopic spots/blemishes/bumps on myself, cuticles. I keep my nails short and try to distract myself when catch myself doing it. Sometimes this works, sometimes not. Mainly, I try not to beat myself up over it.

Occasionally, I will get obsessive over labels or blemishes/spots on objects. I've destroyed finishes on furniture, car paint, polished nails--you name it. If stiching isn't perfect on a garment or if there is a loose thread....Oh my, I can go on and on....I'm a mess. :crazyq:

Dana
July 26th, 2010, 07:31 PM
Wow, I am so glad I found this thread. Thanks to Chrissy-B for pointing it out!

I started another thread, here (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=52122), not knowing that my "habit" had a name!

I seem to have a pretty mild case of trich, but it is no less embarrassing.

Reposting what I said in my other thread, just because I'm lazy! :D


This is a rather embarrassing post for me, but I figure I might as well ask for advice rather than living silently with it! I might even find others who do this or have overcome it!

I have a really bad habit of constantly pulling on my hair, and often tugging at it or twisting it, pulling out individual hairs, and biting on the hairs. These hairs can get stuck in my teeth, which I then need to floss out.

This habit started off in late high school when I became obsessed with split ends. I would start searching for hairs with split ends, and then I would bite them off. This habit then progressed to searching for the different-feeling hairs (kind of crimpy or rough) and then plucking them out of my head. Since I was already in the habit, I would then bite away the rougher end of the hair before discarding the hair.

Part of my problem is that I fidget. A lot. Even if one hand is free, the free hand starts roaming over my scalp, looking for those rogue hairs.

Keeping my hair up helps a little, but not much - I will tug a strand loose to twist, or continue with the habit since my scalp is free.

I have sometimes been able to consciously stop myself from biting the hair, but I still tug the hair out (a few times I've been able to stop myself from pulling it out, but not doing so is unnerving).

My only relief from this is to use both of my hands. Typing, knitting, cooking, etc will all stop me, but as long as one hand is free, it's sneaking back up to my scalp.

Anyway, that is my dirty little secret. Does anyone have suggestions on how to help?



I did find this web site, which has a nice document on some techniques to try and self-treat:
http://www.trich.org/dnld/HelpYourself.pdf

twilight_faerie
July 28th, 2010, 03:57 PM
Welcome to the thread, Dana :waving: I do the different-feeling-hairs thing, too. I sometimes find hairs that have random coarse, wavy patches on them (kinda crimpy and rough, like you said), and I can't stand them, so I often pull them out, though I know I really shouldn't :neutral: At this point, my trich is pretty mild. I occasionally pull out my eyebrows or eyelashes, and sometimes those weird hairs, but not often and never much at a time. I used to be much worse; I think I started to get better after hitting "rock bottom" - years ago I went on an eyebrow pulling spree (I think I was studying for a test or something; stress makes my trich much worse) and then looked in the mirror, and I had pretty much no eyebrows to speak of. I looked really stupid and felt pretty ashamed, and I decided that I couldn't let myself stay this bad anymore. I think my DBF really helped - he knew I was having problems stopping, so every time he noticed me picking at my brows or lashes, he'd give me a slap on the wrist (nothing too painful, of course). I got so tired of getting slapped on the wrist that my pulling just died off after awhile.

Dana
July 29th, 2010, 09:03 PM
Sounds exactly like me, twilight_faerie, except that I don't remember pulling our larger portions of hair either from my scalp or body!

I have gotten better than I was. My hairdresser used to notice a "chunk" missing at the bottom of my hair, where I had pulled out and it had grown at different lengths.

I somehow managed to distribute my pulling across my scalp, now, so it more evenly thins... but I would much rather get away from it altogether!

twilight_faerie
July 29th, 2010, 09:32 PM
I have gotten better than I was. My hairdresser used to notice a "chunk" missing at the bottom of my hair, where I had pulled out and it had grown at different lengths.

Oh yeah, that happened to me, too, except my missing chunk was on the left side of the very back of my part. She was like, "Hey, you have a little bald patch here, what's that from?" and I was like, "Don't ask." Of course my mom, who was there too, was like, "She pulled the hair out." It was pretty embarrassing. Actually, now that I think about it, that also played a pretty big role in me (mostly) quitting pulling my hair out. I really regret pulling out that patch of hair now, as the hairs that grew back just don't feel right; they're kind of frizzy and a lot of them have that coarse-crimped thing going on. *sigh*

Gypsy
July 29th, 2010, 10:02 PM
I haven't pulled since I've been on Prozac.
I am amazed, to say the least. I told the shrink, the stopping of pulling my hair is worth the Prozac all by itself.
I also got the idea- when the Adderall had reached a therapeutic level and the Prozac was added- that I have voluntarily given up stuff before, like microwave kettle corn and Kentucky Fried Chicken (after seeing that video about the abuse at that one processing place) and I reallllly liked that stuff, so if I could give that up, I can stop pulling my hair and for weeks, I told myself that very statement like, every hour, it seemed like.
It's been about 2 months so far.
I am not so foolish to believe I've got this thing licked, but at least there is new hair in my pull spots and it's gaining enough length to at least get it into bobby pins to hold it down!

chrissy-b
August 1st, 2010, 09:58 AM
That is so great that Prozac is helping you, Gypsy! I tried multiple medications -- everything from antidepressants to tranquillizers and nothing helped. So glad to hear you're having a better experience! :flower:

Gypsy
August 3rd, 2010, 12:19 PM
That is so great that Prozac is helping you, Gypsy! I tried multiple medications -- everything from antidepressants to tranquillizers and nothing helped. So glad to hear you're having a better experience! :flower:

It actually took me a few weeks to realize I wasn't pulling but I was near shaking with relief when I did figure it out, lol!
It wasn't what I was put on Prozac for, but this is one side effect I'm okay with.:)

kitschy
August 3rd, 2010, 12:26 PM
I've pulled the hair from the top of my head for years and years, mostly when I'm bored or reading. It makes my shoulders hurt from having my pulling hands raised over my head. Keeping my hands busy helps. I crochet.

TinaDenali
August 3rd, 2010, 12:40 PM
Keeping my hands busy helps me, too. I knit :)

Also, keeping my hair up when I'm at home doing something sitting down - reading, watching TV, etc - helps me to not pull.

talkshowhost
September 30th, 2010, 03:48 PM
My problem is if I feel a hair that is abnormally coarse and bumpy..I pull it. It becomes some sort of pasttime lol. I sit watching tv and constantly running my fingers thru my hair looking for one. I once had pulled so many hairs out from one spot, about the size of a dime, and was horrified becuase it was right on top at my part line :(. I just couldn't stop. Fortunately since then I've just focused on the weird texture ones, which I have a ton of since my hair is very, very thick and coarse.

I do the exact same thing...down to the pastime while watching tv. it is the spot at the back of my head where the hair parts, but then I started to worry about that and instead of stopping, I started pulling from less visible areas, which of course became visible when I pulled from them. I just can't stop looking for those coarse hairs which feel so rough compared to the others. I am afraid to talk to my therapist about it. My mom knows, and tries to yell at me to stop. My boyfriend knows, and doesn't often say it to my face, which I appreciate, but he will grab my hand and try to distract me if he fins I am pulling while we watch a movie. I want to stop, but I have a really hard time keeping my hands busy. I play with my iPod Touch, but yeah, before bed I start to pull again. Working, anything with stress. Pull from head, tummy, and pubic area, the last two usually with tweezers. I am glad to have found a support thread. Apparently everyone has bumpy coarse hairs, and I don't know how people tolerate them, but I guess I can too.

angelfell
September 30th, 2010, 03:52 PM
The only time I've done something similar is when I was in middle school. If I noticed a hair sticking up out of my head, I'd pull it out. It never had a profound effect, it wasn't noticeable, and the habit dropped off after a while.

angelfell
September 30th, 2010, 03:54 PM
Apparently everyone has bumpy coarse hairs, and I don't know how people tolerate them, but I guess I can too.


Actually, right after my perm last year, I noticed when I straightened my hair I had those coarse bumpy strands. I'd drive myself mad separating them and pulling them out. Eventually I gave up. I don't have them anymore since I grew the perm out.

Schipperchow
October 3rd, 2010, 08:11 AM
Thank you for the posts & helpful links in this thread. Unfortunately, I suffer from this too. The hair twisting probably started in college but didn't progress to actual pulling until about 5 or 6 yrs ago. Fortunately, it is primarily limited to my nape area. Since I have curly hair, I have found twirling the curls can satisfy the urge to pull. I do understand about the urge to pull hairs that feel "different". However, it is my lashes that show the most damage:( I have about 5 upper lashes on each eye right now :(. I don't touch the bottom ones. Sometimes I'll switch to the brows & have a little bald patch that I'll have to pencil in.:( The eyelash pulling started about 16 years ago during an extremely stressful period that I think was compounded by an allergic reaction to a particular brand of mascara. I just could not stand to feel it on my eyelashes & started using my nails to get the mascara off while doing computer work. Then as the eyelashes would grow back they would itch so I would pull again. I don't understand how this act can be soothing & satisfying but somehow it is:confused: I used to have long thick eyelashes:( Stress, caffeine & boredom seem to trigger an episode & I can never stop w/pulling just one. Anti-depressants did not help & I hated the way I felt on them. I like the idea of wearing gloves as a deterrent. I will get the ones to condition the hands, so if anyone asks, I will say I'm moisturizing my hands :o

Narya
April 4th, 2011, 12:39 PM
I'm reviving this thread to see how are you all people doing.

I failed miserably. I keep pulling hair out, and now also eyelashes. It seems that I succeeded on pulling hair less, but then the compulsion migrated to the lashes... and it's awful, because I have long, dark eyelashes and you can really see something's wrong when only a few of them are missing. It's like a black fence where one spike has disappeared: you can clearly see the gap. Also, it's because of it I get small zits on my waterline, and they are gross, and hurt, and make me touch and pull my eyelashes more. I don't know what to do, I'm afraid if I stop this I will start pulling the eyebrows or I don't know what.

Hope you all are doing better!

SimplyViki
April 5th, 2011, 06:57 AM
:grouphug: to Narya. It's hard, isn't it? I've finally managed to leave my eyelashes alone long enough for them to grow back, but I'm really ravaging my poor eyebrows and a little patch on my front hairline.

Narya
April 5th, 2011, 11:50 AM
Yes, it is really hard. I know I need a motivation that I just can't find (as my mother says about me: "If she had to do the most difficult thing for a loved one, she would; but if she had to do an easy one for herself, no way she'd do it"), but I'll keep trying.

Hugs to you, too, SimplyViki. I hope you find the strength to stop definitely as you found it to leave your eyelashes alone!

jesis
April 5th, 2011, 03:03 PM
Agh, glad someone revived this because I didn't have the guts to. I quit pulling for a long time but I began again when I got super stressed in December and still haven't stopped. My bald spot is the worst it's ever been at this point and I can't even put my hair up because it's on my hairline in the back. I'm super ashamed of it and that only makes me pull more because I'm anxious. I feel like a failure sometimes.

I think everyone should know that this condition exists. It's hard to deal with, especially when you're trying so hard to grow it out.

NaiadOreiad
April 5th, 2011, 11:49 PM
I had a pretty bad case of this when I was about 8 years old. My father had deployed to Korea and we had just moved to Kansas where I was picked on alot. I had also just broken my leg in 2 places with four fractures. The combinations of all the stressors drove me to it. It was my nape hairs mostly and along my hairline too. My mom got me some therapy and I managed to build my confidence and mostly eradicate it. I never pull the hairs on my head, but sometimes when I am lonely or too bored I will still tweeze on my legs. I just need to stay busy and doing something productive to avoid it.

CurlAhead
April 21st, 2011, 06:26 PM
Got a link to this thread from another member, didn't even know there was a name for it! But yes, I pluck, mostly the hairs on my head, sometimes by brows (mostly just to get rid of the hairs that were about to fall out anyway). Unluckily for me, it doesn't even matter if I have things to do, I can quit them and just stack picking and plucking hair. Feels like I'll go from iii to ii pretty soon!! :roll:

Kristamommyx3
April 21st, 2011, 06:54 PM
Never been diagnosed, but I've had it since high school. I mostly attack my hairline on the corners of my forehead, my eyelashes and eyebrows. I have, over thevyears, managed to pretty much quit actually pulling the hairs out, but I still find myself tugging at them when i'manxious or stressed.

chrissy-b
April 24th, 2011, 08:42 AM
I have been on medication for this which helped for about six months, but it has gotten worse recently and my doctor wants to add another medication to the mix. It sucks because none of them are guaranteed to work and it's still a struggled meds or no meds. It really is the worst thing to have when you're trying to grow your hair long!

Miss Maisie
July 17th, 2011, 12:24 AM
I'm new to this forum, and I can't tell you how thankful I am for this thread! I have trich, and have been pulling out the hairs on my head, oh, for almost as long as I can remember. My mom does this, too.

This manifests itself with me really any time - when I'm stressed, when I'm bored, at stop lights...I just need to keep my hands busy. The worst part is that half the time I don't realize I'm doing it, and then I look down and realize that I've pulled out 20 hairs. I'm getting better at catching myself though - now I tend to just twist my hair. I'll take twisting over pulling any day.

I've been worried that I'll never be able to have long hair with trich, but seeing this thread, I have hope!

MagicAndMayhem
July 17th, 2011, 02:09 AM
I do this a lot when I'm stressed out. I don't stop at scalp hair, either. One time, I took off an entire eyebrow! I do it with eyelashes, too.

RitaCeleste
July 17th, 2011, 02:45 AM
I pluck really curly hairs. I actually select the thick hairs with kinks and pluck them out. My dad told me if I kept it up I'd end up bald in back. I've been trying to stop. I have a halo of new growth which is rather fuzzy now. I occasionally pull one or two, but now I mostly just find those hairs and feel how long they are getting and don't pluck. I tried wearing my hair up and it stopped me from messing with it. I did a little research and this seems to be a over-grooming problem. I use to skin pick as well. My sister thinks its funny no more than I shower that I over-groom. When I was little little it was head banging and hair pulling but in larger amounts. That seems different from just plucking certain hairs.

chrissy-b
July 17th, 2011, 03:34 AM
Hey all! I'm not sure if I've posted these links in the thread yet, but thought you'd like to check them out. I've been a member of both of these for a while and I can't tell you how much they've helped me. The 'beating trich" group on daily strength has helped the most. It's a group where you post goals and there are so many members there that offer support, ideas and tactics, and just generally kind words.

I'm still on medication that does help, but I've also added Inositol to the mix and that has helped the urge almost completely disappear.

Anyway, if you're looking for more help to quit pulling, check these sites out! :flower:
trichworld.com (http://trichworld.com/) & dailystrength.org (http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Trichotillomania-Hair-Pulling/support-group)

Schipperchow
July 17th, 2011, 04:37 AM
Thanks for reviving this thread, Narya. I actually have some long eyelashes since I posted back in October and still growing in some sparse areas. :cheese:

darkrose
July 17th, 2011, 05:03 AM
i pulled out alot of my hair a few years ago. its was due to stress, but luckily i stopped before a completely ruined it. sadly my hair used to be almost pure white, but when it grew back it was a lighter lemony blonde. i really hate my hair colour now.

twilight_faerie
July 17th, 2011, 08:57 AM
At this point I've pretty much beaten my trich. I started off pulling out my eyebrows and eyelashes, thinking I'd never pull out my head hairs. But, as I mentioned when I started this thread, I eventually started pulling out the hairs on the back left side of my middle part. It got bad enough that I ended up with a bald patch on the top of my head (which, embarrassingly, my hairdresser asked me about), and with no eyebrows (I had to draw them on, and it looked awful).

Over the course of several years, through negative reinforcement, I went through a gradual "recovery" period. I've regrown my eyebrows and eyelashes, and I no longer have a bald spot. There are, however, two aspects of my appearance that permanently show the effect of my trich:

1) The hairs that grow out of the bald spot aren't the same as my "normal" hairs. These new hairs are wiry and have a normal-coarse-normal-coarse texture pattern. I hate the texture so much that for a long time during my recovery, I would pull out a few of the newly growing hairs despite knowing that if I continued to do so, I'd never get rid of that bald patch. I had hoped that they would smooth out as they grew longer, but they haven't. I've learned to mostly ignore them, and that quells my urges to pull them out.

2) My eyebrows aren't as full as they once were in the part that's closest to my nose. This wouldn't be a problem if it was thinner in the areas that I usually tweeze out, but unfortunately, it's the part of my eyebrow that I want to keep that's thin. And it will always be thin, because I waited for months after I stopped pulling for them to grow back in, and they never did.

These things just make me want to kick myself because when I started pulling, I was all, "big deal, they'll grow back anyway." Well, sometimes they don't. And even when they do, sometimes they grow back the same way.

...Anyway, :grouphug: to you all. Don't ever be discouraged - if my nasty case of trich can be fixed, yours can, too.

Kristamommyx3
July 17th, 2011, 09:55 AM
I am also doing quite well these days. I never realized that my habit if pulling out "loose hairs" on my brows and lashes was also trich! I have struggled with this since high school, and hearing everyone else's stories helped me commit to stopping the cycle. I still fiind myself pulling occasionally, but never patches anymore.

AlannaMaria
July 17th, 2011, 06:32 PM
At one point during Sophomore year my top eyelashes were completely gone. The summer before junior year, I pulled out the majority again along with my eyebrows. A week before prom of junior year, I had a bald spot on my lashes, but nothing too noticable. I only get the urge when things get really stressful, but I'm glad to say I haven't pulled in a long time. : ) I still tug my eyebrows when I'm thinking or stressed sometimes, but they usually don't come out.

yukinohana
July 17th, 2011, 08:08 PM
I do this! My eyebrows and eyelashes are almost completely gone at the moment...the eyelashes are really noticeable, since I have very long, dark eyelashes, so the few that are left really show that there's something wrong :/ I just went around with no eyebrows for a while (people looked, but that's never bothered me much), but I've found that by penciling them in, I can keep from pulling a bit...so that's helping me for the moment. Any ideas to help me stop pulling my eyelashes? Makeup around my eyes doesn't work well...

AlannaMaria
July 17th, 2011, 09:00 PM
I do this! My eyebrows and eyelashes are almost completely gone at the moment...the eyelashes are really noticeable, since I have very long, dark eyelashes, so the few that are left really show that there's something wrong :/ I just went around with no eyebrows for a while (people looked, but that's never bothered me much), but I've found that by penciling them in, I can keep from pulling a bit...so that's helping me for the moment. Any ideas to help me stop pulling my eyelashes? Makeup around my eyes doesn't work well...

I wear glasses, so that's helped somewhat, but mostly, I focus on how much I'm going to regret it later if I pull them out now. Try taking a few deep breaths and thinking about anything but eyelashes. Also, try being around people. I'm much less inclined to yank on them if I'm with people. Good luck! I know you can do it. : )

perkidanman
July 17th, 2011, 11:15 PM
Although I still pull out hairs, I've found that doing mostly WO helps since the sebum makes my hair "clump" better and I don't have the annoying flyaways. I also discovered silk scarves make adorable turbans that prevent me from messing with my hair too much....

I have folliculitis, which is when you have infected hair follicles and they tend to be ingrown so I tend to dig around my arms to try and get them out. D:

October
July 17th, 2011, 11:37 PM
I don't have Trichotillomania, but I do have Dermatillomania. I rip the skin off my lips whenever something starts bothering me mentally. I've been doing it for about 10 years. I didn't really notice it until my husband pointed out about 4 or 5 years ago that I was doing it and that I should stop because it was weirding him out and gross. I have a hard time quitting because even if I can force my hands to do something else, my teeth work just as well since my lips are right there. It's like torture trying to keep my hands away from my lips when I'm bothered, it becomes all I can think about. It's like a crazy sweet relief. When I am with my husband and the urge hits, I find myself trying to hide it from him - one good skin rip when he turns his head... he always gets on me about it if he sees me doing it.

Narya
July 18th, 2011, 03:54 AM
Twilight_faerie, I'm so glad to hear your basically over it! I'm still struggling, but this gives me hope: the only other "real life" case I've met is my mother, and she's certainly pulling out still.

To all of you who are still battling with it, like me, be strong! We can do it!

I'm starting to think more and more, lately, that I have a serious stress problem or something like that: I'm becoming aware of some habits my mom says I've had since childhood (trichs, dermatillomania, bruxism, insomnia...) that are getting worse now that I have things to stress about. I've never been an anxious persons or, most likely, I've never showed it in common ways, and many little things make me think this "habits" are my way to let it out. So I'm thinking of seeking help, though I'm a bit afraid of medication and of the doctor looking at me and saying either "You're fine, everybody goes through this at some time, calm down" or "How come you've not checked this before! It's the worst I've ever seen! Come, we need to take you to the hospital and drug you up!". Irrational, you say? Yup :lol:

MissHair
July 18th, 2011, 05:20 AM
I have skinpicking problems. I'll pick all areas of my skin but mostly my scalp. I pick it with my nails to find dandruff but I end up causing damage to my follicles because I pull my hair from the roots by doing this.

MissHair
July 18th, 2011, 05:22 AM
I have folliculitis, which is when you have infected hair follicles and they tend to be ingrown so I tend to dig around my arms to try and get them out. D:

Yep, thats what Ive got in my scalp and which is why I pick. :(

chahuahuas
July 19th, 2011, 10:51 AM
I don't have Trichotillomania, but I do have Dermatillomania. I rip the skin off my lips whenever something starts bothering me mentally. I've been doing it for about 10 years. I didn't really notice it until my husband pointed out about 4 or 5 years ago that I was doing it and that I should stop because it was weirding him out and gross. I have a hard time quitting because even if I can force my hands to do something else, my teeth work just as well since my lips are right there. It's like torture trying to keep my hands away from my lips when I'm bothered, it becomes all I can think about. It's like a crazy sweet relief. When I am with my husband and the urge hits, I find myself trying to hide it from him - one good skin rip when he turns his head... he always gets on me about it if he sees me doing it.

Have you tried brushing your lips twice a day, whenever you brush your teeth? I do that and it helps my lips to not be flaky later in the day, because it buffs the old skin off my lips. :flower:

I find it makes my lips moist, because the toothbrush it wet, and so my chapstick can seal that moisture in. That allows lipstick to go on more nicely, and the rubbing makes my lips look plumper, too. (so sometimes I do it before I go out for the evening ;) )

Bohemian Haze
July 19th, 2011, 01:21 PM
I've done this for years :( Thankfully, I think I've *almost* stopped. I've made a massive effort to stop this year - I think that although I didn't pull out loads of hair - it was enough to be obvious to me that those hairs (right on the crown) were never growing as long, because I would pluck them out before they reached the length of the rest of my hair.
I always thought it was a weird habit that I alone had. Must've been about 5 years ago I saw a tv programme about it. Nice to know it's not just me.....

suzycue
July 20th, 2011, 09:07 AM
So, I did a search on the forum for trichotillomania and only a few threads came up where the topic was thrown around in passing. I was just wondering how many people, if any, on the forum have suffered from trichotillomania. For those who aren't familiar with it, it's the mental disorder that causes some people to pull out their hair - head, facial or body hair - for any number of reasons.

I've had trich for quite a few years now, and I tend to focus on my eyebrows, eyelashes, and a spot on top of my head on the left side of my part. It's a constant struggle - some of you may have noticed the ticker in my signature that says how long it's been since I last pulled my hair. Well, folks - I fell off the bandwagon a while ago, and I'm having trouble getting back on. It's a habit that emerges when I'm stressed...particularly with schoolwork. It's so tough to beat for good.

So...can anyone else relate?
I began having this problem in grade one. I have no idea what triggered it, however I do remember being a VERY stressed out child. It began with hair and eyelashes. I have NEVER stopped pulling the hair- but the eyelashes are safe- and have been since then- too obvious!. Just now i choose areas that leave less "evidence" but this often spreads enough to "show" and this triggers shame- must hide.
To be honest- this is partly WHY I have long hair! I HAD to go to the salon for my daughters wedding- NOTHING is more embarassing then the stylist that "OMG"s about the thin or balding areas. She actually held up the thin shorter area and loudly OMG'ed to the whole salon! Can you believe it???:confused:

Redbeetle36
July 20th, 2011, 09:53 AM
I've had it for about ten years I think. I'm not sure how it started in the first place but when I do it now it starts with one itchy eyelash which I pull out then the one next to it starts to feel itchy so I pull that one out and so on. I always go into a trance like state as I'm not really aware I'm doing it but sometimes I can stop myself which might only leave a small hole that I can cover with eyeliner. The worst had been when I picked all my eyelashes out from one eye and then did the other one just to match. I don't do it so much now as I'm a lot happier in general and needless to say my eyelashes look mega long and thick, and I wear loads of mascara. Worrying I've become a bit of a head scratcher, not hard but I think it could damage my hair.

Herb
July 20th, 2011, 10:28 AM
I did something like this in middle school (about 3.5 years ago). At the time I was very dissatisfied with split ends, so I just started pulling wads of hair out. After 8 months or so, my mom was upset, and told me that my hair was thinning, so I stopped. You can still see evidence of it (and certain sheds) toward my ends. And the hair at the nape of my neck is quite a bit shorter than the rest.
I'm so glad I stopped. I hope everyone else can, too!

Hobbit
July 28th, 2011, 08:09 AM
I have dermatillomania. I pick at my scalp alot which doesn't help my hair I'm sure. So I try to wear a hat, but then I start picking at my face. I'm glad this thread is here. It is helpful to know that there are other people who do this too.

fiğrildi
September 28th, 2014, 05:22 PM
Reviving this thread, I hope all of you are doing well :flower:

This is really hard. I have been dealing with trichotillomania since I was 14 years old. It began at a very stressful and depressing time in my life, I was dealing with lots of bad things at that moment. I started to pull the wiry dark hairs, or weird textured ones that I found, and ended up pulling my eyelashes and eyebrows, and having two bald patches at the top of my head (one at the end of my part line, and one cowlick). It felt so good, and relaxing to do so, almost like a trance. I would do it at any time: while I was eating, while I was reading, while I was watching tv, while I was studying, while I was thinking... all the time! And I would do it mostly in front of the mirror, looking for hair and pulling it out, enjoying every single strand, and the feeling of every bulb (root) in my fingers. I used to think I was the only one person doing this strange thing, and I was ashamed, especially when people started to ask why my hair was thinning, why did I have no eyelashes, and why my part was going bald, but I just couldn't stop doing it.
To someone who doesn't know how it feels, imagine an addicted smoker who wants to quit smoking, but can't get rid of cigarettes, because they are growing from her/his body.

I managed to stop pulling a couple of times, for some months, and kept relapsing again, especially during stressful times. I stopped, always thinking it would be for good, and then I fell again and again.

I can say that I sucessfully overcame tricho one year ago. I still have the impulse of touching my hair, and feeling with my fingers the places where I used to pull, but I'm not pulling anymore (maybe one or two hairs in 6 months/one year?). Having battled with this for 9 years, my long and healhty hair is a symbol of my victory, such a great triumph for me, which keeps me motivated to focus on keeping my hair beautiful, turning my obsession into a healthy one.
Sometimes, I still have the urge to pluck an eyelash or two, and sometimes I loose a bit of control when plucking my eyebrows. But now I have this voice in my head that tells me "stop!" whenever I find myself looking too closely at my hair in the mirror. I also have some small episodes of dermatillomania, which I am trying to overcome as well.

What helped me to stop pulling for good, was staying at crowded places whenever I felt that I was going to touch my hair. I would not do it in front of people, so this helped me a lot. I tried wearing gloves as well, but it didn't always work (I would simply take them off when the impulse was too strong to resist). I also watched tricho documentaries, which made a big impact on me, so I tried to think about it whenever I found my hands reaching my head.
Slowly decreasing the amount of hair pulled (e.g., "today, I'm going to pluck just 20 hairs, tomorrow, 18, the day after tomorrow, 15"), also helped me. I also tried to wash my hair more often, keeping it always clean, and smelling good.
I really hope this can help people who are suffering from trichotillomania, I'm so glad that this thread exists. Talking about it is a big step, you are not alone :blossom:

lapushka
September 28th, 2014, 05:53 PM
Reviving this thread, I hope all of you are doing well :flower:

This is really hard. I have been dealing with trichotillomania since I was 14 years old. It began at a very stressful and depressing time in my life, I was dealing with lots of bad things at that moment. I started to pull the wiry dark hairs, or weird textured ones that I found, and ended up pulling my eyelashes and eyebrows, and having two bald patches at the top of my head (one at the end of my part line, and one cowlick). It felt so good, and relaxing to do so, almost like a trance. I would do it at any time: while I was eating, while I was reading, while I was watching tv, while I was studying, while I was thinking... all the time! And I would do it mostly in front of the mirror, looking for hair and pulling it out, enjoying every single strand, and the feeling of every bulb (root) in my fingers. I used to think I was the only one person doing this strange thing, and I was ashamed, especially when people started to ask why my hair was thinning, why did I have no eyelashes, and why my part was going bald, but I just couldn't stop doing it.
To someone who doesn't know how it feels, imagine an addicted smoker who wants to quit smoking, but can't get rid of cigarettes, because they are growing from her/his body.

I managed to stop pulling a couple of times, for some months, and kept relapsing again, especially during stressful times. I stopped, always thinking it would be for good, and then I fell again and again.

I can say that I sucessfully overcame tricho one year ago. I still have the impulse of touching my hair, and feeling with my fingers the places where I used to pull, but I'm not pulling anymore (maybe one or two hairs in 6 months/one year?). Having battled with this for 9 years, my long and healhty hair is a symbol of my victory, such a great triumph for me, which keeps me motivated to focus on keeping my hair beautiful, turning my obsession into a healthy one.
Sometimes, I still have the urge to pluck an eyelash or two, and sometimes I loose a bit of control when plucking my eyebrows. But now I have this voice in my head that tells me "stop!" whenever I find myself looking too closely at my hair in the mirror. I also have some small episodes of dermatillomania, which I am trying to overcome as well.

What helped me to stop pulling for good, was staying at crowded places whenever I felt that I was going to touch my hair. I would not do it in front of people, so this helped me a lot. I tried wearing gloves as well, but it didn't always work (I would simply take them off when the impulse was too strong to resist). I also watched tricho documentaries, which made a big impact on me, so I tried to think about it whenever I found my hands reaching my head.
Slowly decreasing the amount of hair pulled (e.g., "today, I'm going to pluck just 20 hairs, tomorrow, 18, the day after tomorrow, 15"), also helped me. I also tried to wash my hair more often, keeping it always clean, and smelling good.
I really hope this can help people who are suffering from trichotillomania, I'm so glad that this thread exists. Talking about it is a big step, you are not alone :blossom:

That was a very open, daring and brave testimony, fiğrildi! I admire you for talking about it so openly! :flower:

fiğrildi
September 29th, 2014, 03:56 AM
Thank you lapushka :love:
Talking about this is very embarrassing, but I just hope it can be helpful for other people. If I managed to overcome it, everyone can do it as well :)

dogzdinner
September 29th, 2014, 04:05 AM
I think this is quite a common problem isnt it?? I know my brother suffers from it, not so much now but when he was younger he had bald patches and missing bits of eyebrows because he couldnt leave his hair alone.
I never had this problem though. WHen I was younger I was a hair chewer instead! I constantly had the end of my ponytail or plait in my mouth chomping away!LOL

Narya
September 29th, 2014, 05:37 AM
I'm glad to read you beat trich, fiğrildi! I'm still fighting this war and, honestly, I've lost hope and don't really believe I'll ever completely beat it. BUT I am doing much better than I was years ago, despite going through some of the most stressful times I ever had, so at least I'm getting better.

dogzdinner, I think it is much more common than we think. There's a lot of shame around it, so nobody likes to talk about it (unless they know they're in a safe place, like we now), but I think it's just about as common as other problems like nail biting.

Knifegill
September 29th, 2014, 07:01 AM
I had it bad when I was like 14 years old on ritalin. Still fight the urge to destroy hairs that step out of line. I just wet them and roll them back into a curl now. But it's always tempting.

skeletonous
October 20th, 2014, 07:52 PM
I have realized that I probably have trichotillomania...when my anxiety strikes I pull out my eyebrow hairs a lot :( I used to mostly bite my fingernails...and chewing gum helps but not when I chew so much that my jaw hurts afterwards. I do use a vape pen now with flavored liquid (no nicotine) to keep my hands and mouth busy. I'm not really advocating it as an anxiety tool (though if you are a smoker I totally think you should try it! I am not a smoker myself but I know the good it can do for people who are) but it works for me. I also use it to keep away from alcohol.

Also I love this thing called a Tangle, it keeps your hands busy and it's super relaxing. :)

Hellany
October 20th, 2014, 07:57 PM
I'm glad I read this thread. I don't pull the hair out on purpose but I tend to mess with my hair just tugging on it and the hair will come out. I have weak brittle hair so I really need to stop messing with it but it's like a compulsion.

BrookeN
October 24th, 2014, 10:12 PM
This thread is amazing!
I've been doing this for over two years now, and my younger sister (who is the same age I was when I started) is doing it too! So I'm starting to think it's hereditary...
The thing is, I have no problem doing it in front of people, and am kind of ashamed when it's pointed out to me. Part of the reason I came to this site was to grow my hair so it covers my back, because I also have a problem with picking the acne on my back (which I've been doing for 4+ years), gross I know. I also don't see a link between stress and pulling for me, I just do it whenever I'm bored or my hands aren't busy.
Anyway this thread makes me feel less alone :) yay!

purplevickie
October 25th, 2014, 09:07 AM
Aha, I didn't notice this thread before! I am recovering from 20 years of trich, and joined these forums because the hair growing in is quite damaged and I want lovely long hair again.

Mine was always connected to anxiety, though it did become something I just did all the time, especially when online or reading. I pulled pretty much every day between the ages of 11 and 32, and only stopped in February this year after quite a lot of cognitive behavioural therapy for general anxiety and hair pulling. I was always quite good at covering up the bald spots, though it got so bad from about 2012 onwards that my hair became very, very thin behind my ears and on top of my scalp. I think part of the reason I was able to stop was extreme willpower, due to being bridesmaid for my best friend in August! I knew if I didn't do something about my hair I'd hate all the photos.

I've always loved long hair and did actually have BSL hair in my early/mid 20s, but chopped it all off to a chin-length bob because it got quite damaged and thin due to trich (photos in my album). Learning about hair care and the motivation of all the beautiful hair on here is really helping me stay focused... I don't actually feel the need to pull any more (amazingly!) but my hand still drifts to my head occasionally, especially as I have a lot of damaged hair growing in which is all kinky and weird-feeling, and would normally have been pulled right out.

Now I've stopped I'm not ashamed of it, it's a fairly common condition and seems to be far more known about now than when I was a teenager, when I truly thought I was the only person in the world who did it. My hair is growing back far thicker and wavy, when it used to be pin-straight and fine, so people are starting to notice... and I'm more than happy to tell them all about it!

Alaska98
April 15th, 2015, 04:09 PM
I just wanted to post that I'm proud of myself. I've suffered from this for as long as I can remember - sometime bad, obvious bald spots. As long as I have my hair up, I don't pull, and I've worn my hair up everyday for about a year and a half now. I took a length shot today, and I am at waist, the longest I've ever been (yay!) and the top part of my hair, about 8 inches, is nice and thick. The rest of the length is very thin and scraggly looking. I'm hoping to very slowly trim so as to keep gaining length. I thought my hair just wouldn't grow past bsl, now maybe I can go to classic!? Anyway, I am in no way "over" trichotillomania. I still have the subconscious compulsion to pull whenever my hair is down (very rarely, for this reason). Just yay!

Arctic
April 15th, 2015, 04:27 PM
Good for you Alaska98!!!

missblueeyes
April 15th, 2015, 04:42 PM
I don't personally suffer from trichotillomania but my boyfriend does. He does not pull out his hair but he picks the skin off his hands and chews his nails. (TMI?) We've been together for over 2 years now but I haven't found a way to help him yet. He told me that he tried everything from salves to rubbing his fingers with something he didn't like to taste but it didn't work. If there's skin that isn't completely even (and there never is since he is always picking) he has to rip it off. If you could think of any way in which I could help him, I would be very grateful. I know that he suffers a lot from it because it hurts his confidence.
If this is off-topic as it doesn't concern hair, I'm deeply sorry, feel free to ignore this. :flower:

Arctic
April 15th, 2015, 04:51 PM
Missblue, it's a sibling disorder of trichotillomaina, and has a different name. I can't remember now what it was without googling. Maybe dermotillomania or something. The nail thing might have its own name too. Anyway, they are all extremely similar and cause same kind of suffering. If your boyfriend finds a will to recover and heal, it is possible. I can warmly recommend peer support groups.

Alaska98
April 15th, 2015, 06:07 PM
Thank you!
I suffer from dermotillomania, too. The only nonmedical thing that has ever helped was getting acrylic nails, probably not something he'd want to do. Other than that, a while back I was put on an anticonvulsant for impulse control disorder. It seemed to help, but not get rid of it.

missblueeyes
April 16th, 2015, 02:35 AM
Thank you, Arctic! I will suggest that to him.

vega
April 16th, 2015, 03:40 AM
Maybe Counselling there could further issues which are leading him to do these behaviors, eg nervous ,anxiety

Lolino
April 16th, 2015, 04:28 AM
I do something similar, but on my chin. Due to my wonky hormones, I have lots of black hairs on my chin and upper lip, and I can FEEL them as soon as they start growing even a little, and I just have to pick at them even if they're too short to actually pull yet, meaning I make my skin bleed eventually. So it's a combination of hair pulling and picking at the skin.

I tend to leave the normal fine face hairs alone, but I can't stand the thicker and black ones, and I pick and pull them out, mostly without even realizing I'm doing it. My fiancé is the one who noticed what I'm doing two years ago and now he keeps pulling my hands away every time he notices me doing it, or tells me to stop, which has helped a bit. I have my tweezers and mirror at my desk at all times so I can pull anything out before I start with my fingers, which has helped, but I'm constantly running my fingers over the area and even the tiniest thing will be picked and pulled at. My upper lip gets waxed or shaved, but the chin is a bit more difficult.

For me, I'm not sure if it's linked to my anxiety or not, as I have several other self-harming or obsessive behaviours but those only occur when I'm very upset or stressed. This is more of an all-the-time thing. Either way, the result is that I'm constantly getting small sores and scabs on my chin and jawline, or zits from touching the skin all the time and have small scars. It's really annoying, but short of getting the hair lasered (which I can't afford), I can't really see a way of stopping myself. My long nails don't help much either, although doing nail art seems to make me pick less since it wears off at the tips otherwise.


My best friend however, does the scalp hair pulling, although it's gotten much better in recent years as her life has improved and she is more aware of it. But I used to see her sitting and watching movies or surfing the internet, and just slowly stroke a hair and then pull it out, and then repeating on the next hair. I used to point it out to her and she would stop, but of course I wasn't there all the time either. Her hair is so very beautiful, it was awful to see the damage, so I'm so very happy for her that she's gotten it more under control, since I know what caused her to do it.


Just had to share. It helps, just the sharing of something, as one does not feel so alone, or "weird" in a behaviour that is not the norm.

Alaska98
April 16th, 2015, 05:40 AM
http://www.trich.org/about/hair-causes.html

I follow this group, and they have some good resources. I agree with them that it's not caused by anxiety, tho it can exacerbated it. I also agree that it's more tied to boredom. Driving and watching TV, for me, was always a heavy picking time. If it really is neurobiological, as they suggested, I guess that would explain why an anticonvulsant helped.

christy1
October 15th, 2015, 03:08 PM
I'm just now sort of coming to terms with the fact that I also have trichotillomania. It's been going on for at least 10 years, and right now, it's at a peak, since my life is a bit more stressful than normal (an unexpected pregnancy (I'm 25 weeks right now, and am still coping with the pregnancy), a 3 year old, and an almost 1 year old who has some sensory issues, and holidays and birthdays). I'm tired of looking like I'm a balding man, and I want pretty hair! :'(

Arctic
October 15th, 2015, 03:18 PM
I'm just now sort of coming to terms with the fact that I also have trichotillomania. It's been going on for at least 10 years, and right now, it's at a peak, since my life is a bit more stressful than normal (an unexpected pregnancy (I'm 25 weeks right now, and am still coping with the pregnancy), a 3 year old, and an almost 1 year old who has some sensory issues, and holidays and birthdays). I'm tired of looking like I'm a balding man, and I want pretty hair! :'(

Hello Christy1, welcome! I'm sorry to hear you've been having stress and it's triggered your trich. It's very common trigger. I remember someone on my trich support group I used to visit framed the stress connection differently, in a more positive light. They said that thrich is like a sensitive indicator telling us there is something wrong.

I recently noticed my trich also resurfacing after being hibernating so long I almost thought I had healed from it. It stung to admit it's back, but it also told me that I need to try and reduce my stress levels. I started to practive the tools I had previously learned and found helpful for my trich, and they are working and i am making progress again.

Would you be interested in trying a Don't Break a Chain game?

From each pull-free day you get a chain link, and you aim to buil as long chain as possible = chain of pull-free days. These kind of games can be motivating, especially if there is some fun treats when you reach mini-goals. I can start playing with you, I could use it myself right now, but it's boring to do it alone :) I can't remember the exact rules from the hat, but the idea is to post daily and claim the new chain link. If the chain get's broken, we would start from the beginning if the strict rules are followed. But even if chain(s) would be short, they are not losing, this game is not about losing but about winning. We can only win with each pull-free day, right? ETA: This is the basic outlines of the game: http://lifehacker.com/281626/jerry-seinfelds-productivity-secret

What ever you do, be gentle and compassionate to yourself :)

cat11
October 15th, 2015, 04:16 PM
I don't personally suffer from trichotillomania but my boyfriend does. He does not pull out his hair but he picks the skin off his hands and chews his nails. (TMI?) We've been together for over 2 years now but I haven't found a way to help him yet. He told me that he tried everything from salves to rubbing his fingers with something he didn't like to taste but it didn't work. If there's skin that isn't completely even (and there never is since he is always picking) he has to rip it off. If you could think of any way in which I could help him, I would be very grateful. I know that he suffers a lot from it because it hurts his confidence.
If this is off-topic as it doesn't concern hair, I'm deeply sorry, feel free to ignore this. :flower:

Caring about my nails looking nice and painting them and doing the whole cuticle oil thing as a routine , like for my hair, got me to stop doing this. I didnt bite my nails but I'd pick my finger skin mostly on the sides of my thumbs and if its un even I would rip it off to make it smooth and like your boyfreind, It was never smooth cause I kept doing this and the new rip would eventually turn into a flap or something and I'd pick it off. It would bleed sometimes but not much and eventually I was like "hmmmm I know I've been doing this for awhile, but it's not right. I shouldn't hurt myself cause I'm bored or for something to do with my hands out of habit." It started to seem really perverse. And the cuticles were catching and damaging my hairs when I went to tuck my ends into a bun and um... that's a nono. And I realized if I left it alone for long enough they'd heal and get smooth and I needed to stop acting like a fool, thinking I didn't like something and still doing it which made my integrity and self respect go down(what I said to myself) and I needed to just... STOP. So I made it a project of it and put on cuticle butter every night and then eventually they got nice. Eventually I stopped with the whole nail painting thing though which originally helped me because the edges of the polish got caught in my hair too.

I had this bad habit for years, since middle school. But realizing those things above and realizing that doing it threatened my hair definately nipped it in the bud (thanks, LHC! I owe it to you :heartbeat)

I hope maybe this helps a bit... does your boyfreind do projects or have a hobby of any sort? If he likes projects (I do- crafts, carving, whatever...) and can get motivated by having a goal then maybe you could suggest he makes his hands his project? I know I hate admitting I couldn't figure out something I set out to do so maybe if he makes it a matter of pride it will work? Since you said his confidence is hurt, it could really boost his confidence to have discipline and get this done. So the confidence booster and proving it to himself could be additional motivation (was for me) I felt bad about myself about it too and like it wasn't right, like I said it felt perverse once I thought about it. and when I just made myself stop it made me feel better about myself. Or to veiw it like a job? It helped me to channel that type of motivational energy, like I had with my hair and craft and school projects, into fixing my hands and nails. I hope that makes sense ! Good luck to both of you :)

TaraDanina
December 14th, 2015, 02:12 PM
I have had trick since I was about...13 or so? Maybe younger than that, even. So, I'm looking at about 15 years of the super fun disorder. I'm like 95% pull-free these days, but the tricky part is those course, short hairs trying to catch up to everything else...so tempting to yank them out! And they get so unruly when it's humid...
One thing I have found that helps a lot is maintaining a healthy scalp! My scalp gets irritated easily, and I'm more prone to act out towards it when it's acting up. Lots and lots of tea tree oil and scalp massage and ACV rinse...lots and lots...

Ingrid
December 14th, 2015, 02:45 PM
I have had trick since I was about...13 or so? Maybe younger than that, even. So, I'm looking at about 15 years of the super fun disorder. I'm like 95% pull-free these days, but the tricky part is those course, short hairs trying to catch up to everything else...so tempting to yank them out! And they get so unruly when it's humid...
One thing I have found that helps a lot is maintaining a healthy scalp! My scalp gets irritated easily, and I'm more prone to act out towards it when it's acting up. Lots and lots of tea tree oil and scalp massage and ACV rinse...lots and lots...

Yep, I can relate - when I was using SLS shampoos and not eating right my scalp would get all irritated and I'd get scalp acne... made me more prone to getting stressed over it, trying to get rid of the scabs and pulling at the hair. Sigh.

I'm glad to report that I'm almost pull-free now. The regrowth is definitely super-unruly though :lol:

Phanaferous
December 19th, 2015, 04:18 PM
I'm in a good place with this now, too. Long story, but similar to others here, started around age 13 with eyelashes. I pulled body hair for a long time and dealt with ingrown hairs and picking them.

Getting past a certain point has been key for me, as when you have a damaged area it is even more tempting to pluck from. I had my underarms and all hair below my navel lasered off. Extreme, yes, and expensive. I had tried both electrolysis and laser in the past; electrolysis was taking way too much time and $$, and the laser I got back in the late 90's was not as good as what's available today. But the motivation to stop was really money in the end--- I paid a lot for the treatments, and I had to not pluck at all (since the laser targets dark hair roots, the root had to be present for the follicle to be killed). I didn't want to waste the money I was spending by removing the hair root. Of course, once I stopped pulling, the ingrown hairs were reduced and my skin healed. And each treatment meant less hair grew back, and what did grow back was less coarse. It has changed my life, and I only wish I'd forked over the money sooner-- too many summers of wearing long pants just to hide the scabs.

There was the risk that I'd transfer my pulling to my head, but that hasn't really happened. Eyelashes and brows sometimes still get a little sparse, but I can tell these are stress flareups. A few days a week I'll get maybe 10 coarse head hairs pulled in a mini-session, but it ends there. I can live with this.

khryz
December 24th, 2015, 04:59 AM
I had this when I was 13 or 14. I would feeling my hair for frizzes and pull them out. It eventually left a bald patch that raised alarms. It was on my crown so I didn't notice that I was pulling at the same spot over and over. I was really embarrassed about it, and they just assumed it was some kind of puberty hair loss. *shrug*

I sort of "gotten over it" for a few years, trying to let the bald patch grow back and catch up with the rest. Recently it started full throttle again, but I turned to plucking the hairs on my pubic area instead. Can't say if this is a good alternative, but at least if it's bald I wouldn't be embarrassed about it? Oh gosh can't believe I'm confessing something like this here!

kerbear
December 30th, 2015, 10:53 AM
I'm not sure how I never realized this thread existed, but I'm glad I found it!

I have suffered from trich since I was 10 years old, but had the worst times over the past 8 years. Surfing the internet, reading, driving as you all mentioned are my "bored" times when I notice myself doing it most. I had grown my hair out to waist, but this past summer had an "itch" to change it, this itch lasted a few weeks and I noticed myself pulling WAY more than I should have around that time so I got up randomly one night @ midnight and cut my hair to collar bone length. Of course now that it's shorter and I have been pulling more you can tell how fine and thin my hair is getting and it drives me nuts!

So, once again I'm in the process of growing my hair back out. I loved my hair at waist, but it kept getting in my way! Then again I wore my hair down a lot and am never really happy with how my hair looks "up" since it's so fine/thin. Since I am a nursing student and am required to wear my hair up anyway, I figured this is the perfect opportunity to start wearing updos and might help control my trich urges as well. I'm glad to see I'm not alone on this board and wish you all the best <3

Arctic
December 30th, 2015, 01:44 PM
Nice to see so many of us have found our way to this thread. I don't have much time right now, but wanted to tell, that lately I have found a trick helpful, that is probably the oldest trick in the book. It's so old I had never tried it before, until this autumn/winter. I'm talking about keeping a rubber band (the real deal, not hair elastic) around my wrist, and if I notice my hand going up to my hair, I snap it. It's so silly and pavlovian, but seems to be delivering big time! (Just make sure the rubber band is not too tight!)

It works on at least 2 levels. It makes me be more aware of my hand, and it gives me the quick feed back.

I've had many other techniques that work in the past, but it's more interesting to mix things up.

kerbear
December 31st, 2015, 10:42 AM
that's a great idea! I might give it a try, because anything at this point would help. I would say 90% of the time it is my left hand doing all the naughty work so keeping it on that one would work.

I'm going to try really hard to start keeping my hair up as much as possible as it does seem to help, but I'm at a loss for hairstyles to hide my fine/thin hair at the scalp! I think that is the main reason I have worn my hair down all these years. I've looked at nearly every thread available and many many youtube videos for style suggestions and while they are always such amazing ideas they look pathetic on my own hair! I think if I force myself to make an effort at putting it up every day I'll slowly start to find styles I'm satisfied with, it will just take time! (I hope!)

Phanaferous
December 31st, 2015, 08:00 PM
I had this when I was 13 or 14. I would feeling my hair for frizzes and pull them out. It eventually left a bald patch that raised alarms. It was on my crown so I didn't notice that I was pulling at the same spot over and over. I was really embarrassed about it, and they just assumed it was some kind of puberty hair loss. *shrug*

I sort of "gotten over it" for a few years, trying to let the bald patch grow back and catch up with the rest. Recently it started full throttle again, but I turned to plucking the hairs on my pubic area instead. Can't say if this is a good alternative, but at least if it's bald I wouldn't be embarrassed about it? Oh gosh can't believe I'm confessing something like this here!

Don't feel embarrassed. You're not the only one. Sorry to hear you are struggling with increased pulling lately.

Angelica
January 2nd, 2016, 10:19 AM
I have weaned myself off plucking my eyebrows and eyelashes. Unfortunately I have done permanent damage to the eyebrows and they won't grow back now, so are very sparse and I seem to be scratching at my eyebrows recently which causes more loss. I still pluck my pubic area and armpits though. It sometimes hurts. But it is a release for me. I know I should be more bothered by this behaviour than I am, but as long as I never pluck my head hair I feel okay. I have never plucked my head.

Phanaferous
January 2nd, 2016, 11:23 AM
^^I have used the same strategy to deal with trich for many years-- keep my head hair from plucking damage while pulling from other areas. Whatever gets you through it... The dry weather may be contributing to your eyebrow itchiness; maybe applying lotion to the brow at night will help? I sometimes use vaseline on my lips at night (to avoid dry skin that's tempting to pick at) and it really helps.

enting
January 12th, 2016, 03:45 AM
I don't have a diagnosis, but I also pull out hairs. I try to channel the urge into s&ding or finger combing, but those don't always help. I'm also beginning to realize that my scalp is itchier in certain areas, so I've started trying to oil those areas. I also started adding honey to diluted shampoo/conditioner in the hopes that it will make my skin feel better and thereby reduce the feeling that makes me want to pull. I currently have a patch of hair along my hairline on the left side that is down to my nose or so from a really bad pulling incident a few years ago. People ask me if I had bangs cut in! I just bought castor oil this week to see if that will help soothe the skin and help hair grow back in faster.
Years ago, I also figured out that the more sparse an area is, the weirder that patch will feel, the more I will want to pull from that area. I keep thinking that if only I can get the thinner areas to grow back in thicker, I won't have as much of an urge to pull from those areas. I've also gone without most of my eyebrows or eyelashes at various periods in time. I remember a classmate once asking me to do her eyebrows for her because mine were so perfect. I couldn't get up the guts to tell her that was because i had pulled out almost all the hair and most of what she was seeing was pencilled on.
I also pick at acne and uneven skin. That only got better once I found something to reduce my acne. Not looking in mirrors helps, too.

lapis_lazuli
January 12th, 2016, 01:05 PM
I've been reading this thread for a while and I just wanted to offer my support :flower: You ladies are all so strong and inspiring.
I suffered from a mild case of this when I was younger; I would just pull at my hair constantly, in class, at home, wherever. My hair was very damaged at the time and in my head I was 'fixing it' by pulling it all out. I slowly transitioned out of the habit but to this day still find the urge to pull out course hairs at the scalp.
I know many of you have been battling this for a while and I'm so glad you're continuing to fight it. Be strong! Know that it is possible to beat this and that I'm so proud of you :grouphug:

khryz
January 12th, 2016, 06:44 PM
I've been reading this thread for a while and I just wanted to offer my support :flower: You ladies are all so strong and inspiring.
I suffered from a mild case of this when I was younger; I would just pull at my hair constantly, in class, at home, wherever. My hair was very damaged at the time and in my head I was 'fixing it' by pulling it all out. I slowly transitioned out of the habit but to this day still find the urge to pull out course hairs at the scalp.
I know many of you have been battling this for a while and I'm so glad you're continuing to fight it. Be strong! Know that it is possible to beat this and that I'm so proud of you :grouphug:

Thank you! :cheer:

TaraDanina
January 13th, 2016, 10:45 AM
Yes! Oh no! These regrowth spots are so hard to for me to ignore! It drives me crazy!

enting
January 14th, 2016, 08:32 AM
I pull a lot along my front hairline, and I've recently found that doing a very narrow braided or roped headband along there helps me ignore the regrowth in those areas. It also keeps the hairs fixed more or less in place and they therefore feel less "weird" to the scalp. Maybe something like that could help you TaraDanina? I have also tried doing a narrow braid or rope from the area on my crown that I pull from, but I have had less success with that. I end up just picking from the area around that braid :/

TaraDanina
January 14th, 2016, 03:24 PM
I pull a lot along my front hairline, and I've recently found that doing a very narrow braided or roped headband along there helps me ignore the regrowth in those areas. It also keeps the hairs fixed more or less in place and they therefore feel less "weird" to the scalp. Maybe something like that could help you TaraDanina? I have also tried doing a narrow braid or rope from the area on my crown that I pull from, but I have had less success with that. I end up just picking from the area around that braid :/

Enting, I put it in a cinnabun and that helps, but a lot of my regrowth is in the bottom layer of my hair, right near my neck. Luckily, damage here isn't noticeable, but these pieces always do manage to escape braids, buns and beanies, even headbands. I just keep telling myself to leave it alone for the sake of volume.
Overall, my trich is so much better that I don't stress about it. It would be nice to be 100% pull-free, but I will take 90-95% especially since I hardly shed. I don't really think the damage is noticeable at all anymore .....I mentioned it to my hairdresser (least judgmental person ever) and she said she didn't even notice. Upon closer inspection, she commented that they just looked like baby hairs to her.

TaraDanina
January 14th, 2016, 03:25 PM
I pull a lot along my front hairline, and I've recently found that doing a very narrow braided or roped headband along there helps me ignore the regrowth in those areas. It also keeps the hairs fixed more or less in place and they therefore feel less "weird" to the scalp. Maybe something like that could help you TaraDanina? I have also tried doing a narrow braid or rope from the area on my crown that I pull from, but I have had less success with that. I end up just picking from the area around that braid :/
And thank you! :)

enting
January 16th, 2016, 03:04 PM
Sure thing :)
About headbands, I notice that my hairs generally stay tamed by a velvet double sided headband that I have. I mostly use it to keep scarves on, but it might help keep your regrowth tucked away better than a regular cotton headband, but it sounds like you're doing pretty well anyway. That's great that your hairdresser didn't even notice!

Phanaferous
July 29th, 2016, 12:58 PM
Bumping this thread for WinnieCooper so it's easier to find.

How is everyone else doing? Do you find the change in seasons to help or hinder your process?

I am generally less stressed out in summer, and stress reduction helps me pull less. I'm still filling in patches of missing eyebrows, although I have been able to let the top of my left brow fill in without plucking. Eyelashes are a bit thin, but evenly so. Head hair is at it's usual low rate; less than 20 hairs pulled/ day, some days no pulling at all. Feeling good about all this!!

enting
July 31st, 2016, 06:28 AM
Thanks for bumping the thread :)

I've been trying castor oil out. I *think* it might be helping? There's a patch at my hairline that used to be shiny with no vellus hairs even, but now there are some vellus hairs there. Humid summer air makes me itchy though, which makes me want to pick at my hair and eyebrows more. The hairs that are growing back seem to be coarser and curlier, which I'm not keen on, but I need to try not to pull them out.

An odd thing I've recently noticed is that the hair on my right side is thinner than on my left, but my left is where I pull more from! I'm confused. It could be that the castor oil I've used on the left to compensate for pulling has made it thicker, but it's all the way down the length, and I only starting using castor oil this year. It's puzzling.

Does anyone find that at some point their roots become weaker? Sometimes I'll just play with my hair, not trying to pull anything out, and one or two hairs will just come out with the playing :(

Phanaferous
July 31st, 2016, 10:17 AM
That's encouraging to see some new growth. I've not considered castor oil but glad you're seeing some results.

About a month ago I broke down and got some dandruff shampoo-- Head and Shoulders-- I meant to get the plain version but grabbed the 2-in-1 that has conditioner in it. I was seeing some flakes and considered that the chronically itchy spot in the back of my head might be helped by it. The itchiness was making it harder to not pull. I alternate using this with Trader Joe's tea tree shampoo, and my scalp is happier.

I know what you mean about those coarse hairs-- those are the ones that are toughest to avoid. There's a particular few of the new growth on my left brow that are like this. I just have to turn away from the mirror and put my tweezers down.

enting
August 1st, 2016, 08:21 AM
Itchiness is probably half the reason I pull :( I started out using Head and Shoulders, but it didn't seem to entirely fix the issue. I keep telling myself that I should see a dermatologist. I worry that they'll just tell me to shampoo more often, as if that is the magic fix...
Itchiness in my eyebrows seems to be doing a bit better with aromatherapy oils. Heavy oiling my scalp before shampooing helps a little also. I just need to remember to do it.

Coarser eyebrow hairs are hard to resist, I agree. I also discovered that the tip various magazines give about trimming eyebrow hairs into line rather than overplucking is also bad advice, at least for me. The blunt end of the hair makes me feel like constantly playing with it and makes me feel that I need to pull it out. Using aloe or oil on my brows to get them into line is far better as far as the urge to pull hairs goes. Really, just oiling them and leaving them to be wild and bushy is probably the healthiest move, and probably nicer looking on me.

sarah.ndipity
November 3rd, 2016, 01:04 PM
Hey everyone I just joined the site. I've had trich for almost 5 years now which in comparison to some isn't all that long but I manage to 90% bald within the first year of having it and have stayed that way since. I was wondering if anyone here has managed to grow back their hair if it was the same way that it used to be before trich. One of my biggest concerns is that I've pulled out so many follicles that a good portion of my hair will never be able to grow back. Of course I have to stop pulling first but I am 1 week in of being generally "pull free" but I know that can change at any moment.

sarah.ndipity
November 3rd, 2016, 01:16 PM
Also I have been recently looking into using women's Rogain or similar things like Minoxidil Topical Solution. Has anyone here ever tried it???

summergame
November 3rd, 2016, 01:27 PM
Also I have been recently looking into using women's Rogain or similar things like Minoxidil Topical Solution. Has anyone here ever tried it???

Yes I use Minoxidil 5% for a few years now due too Alopecia Androgenetica. For me only the 5 % with a medical prescription (the lower percentages are free from prescription) works but the hairs are really different from my normal hairs. They are much finer and much more fragile too. If you want to try it and you are able to find the one without "propyleen glycerol " in it, just take the other one! This ingredient can do a lot of ichiness on your scalp!

Ginger Power
November 3rd, 2016, 04:33 PM
One of my biggest concerns is that I've pulled out so many follicles that a good portion of my hair will never be able to grow back.
Don't worry, you have to do it a VERY VERY long time before seeing any permanent damage. It will grow back. Don't let these thoughts add to your stress. :)



Also I hadn't seen this thread yet and I'd have a LOT to say but right now with med school it's getting really hard so I don't have lots of time to spend here... but I'll come back, maybe around the 10th December to tell you how I got rid of it. ;) I really hope it will help someone.

sarah.ndipity
November 4th, 2016, 10:14 PM
I was wondering if you guys have certain places you've never pulled from whether it be a part of your brows or lashes or a section of your hair.
Personally, I've never pulled from the side burn bits in front of my ears, my bangs (although they have thinned a few times :P) and the bit in the very back where a rat tail would be and then a little bit up like a mow hawk. It's interesting to watch those parts of my hair grow, they end up getting so long that I have to cut them because even though I wear a wig I still think I look too ridiculous even in private to have those odd long pieces haha

lapushka
November 5th, 2016, 04:54 PM
Hey everyone I just joined the site. I've had trich for almost 5 years now which in comparison to some isn't all that long but I manage to 90% bald within the first year of having it and have stayed that way since. I was wondering if anyone here has managed to grow back their hair if it was the same way that it used to be before trich. One of my biggest concerns is that I've pulled out so many follicles that a good portion of my hair will never be able to grow back. Of course I have to stop pulling first but I am 1 week in of being generally "pull free" but I know that can change at any moment.

Good luck trying to recover. :flower: It is going to be hard (have no trich myself), but hang in there. We're all rooting for you, I'm sure!

Seratopia
November 5th, 2016, 10:41 PM
I have this. But the places I pull are harmless, I'd never touch my head hair.

You guys might think I'm an odd ball but I mostly pull the hairs that are on the lower end of your fingers towards the hand. Not bad because I have perfectly hair free knuckles. I had to laugh typing this. I never told anyone.. Its just so weird. Also you guys know about the blondish hair you get on your face mostly the sides? I pull that too. But again, this is hair nobody wants anyway.

lithostoic
November 6th, 2016, 08:54 AM
I never pulled at the hair on my head, only a few times at my nape where it tends to get itchy. I mainly pulled at my eyebrows and eyelashes, but also at my pubic hair which I then started shaving so I couldn't pull it. Now I pretty much exclusively pull my eyelashes, but not nearly as bad as I used to. I used to not have any eyelashes.

Arctic
November 6th, 2016, 09:24 AM
I have written quite a bit about my own trich in my blog and probably in this thread too, if someone wants to read. I am pretty good now, only at times of extreme stress I start getting urges again. Good luck with everyone who is struggling. My best tip is to find an active support group for trichsters, and be active yourself to educate yourself and to try out different methods.

Larki
November 6th, 2016, 10:51 AM
I also have trich. Only from my head, often around the ears or the top of my head near my part (at its onset, when I was young, I pulled out so much that part was an inch wide.....) I've found that keeping my head covered with my silk sleep cap whenever possible helps, as do keeping my hands occupied (I have putty that I play around with) and I also wear gloves a lot at home to minimize the pulling (this has the added benefit of keeping my hands moisturized, haha). It's the worst when my hair is at all greasy and I have a ton of trouble controlling it whenever I'm stressed or bored.

glittermoomin
November 6th, 2016, 12:34 PM
I realise this was posted in 2008, so not sure if anyone will read this.

I have suffered from trichotillomania since I was about ten or eleven years old. I'm now 35. I have finally gotten it under control, and wrote an entire post about it here, about getting a pixie cut in order to break the cycle of hair pulling. You can read it here, if the link works! I've not pulled my hair for four months, which is MASSIVE for me. Absolutely MASSIVE. I attribute it totally to cutting all my hair off. Because I had nothing left to pull, I reprogrammed my brain and hands as it were, not to reach up to my head. I totally realise this won't work for everyone, but I'm just really amazed it worked for me this time around.

You can read my thread about battling trichotillomania here if you like -

http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=140092

glittermoomin
November 6th, 2016, 12:41 PM
I should add to my previous comment above, I have an "emergency" method of dealing with my hair pulling now, although I have honestly yet to use it. I keep a beautiful, polished stone next to my dresser by my bed. If I get the urge to pull, I take the stone out and just sort of, turn it over in my hands. That possibly sounds ridiculous, but the stone is so smooth and shiny and beautiful to hold, and it gives my pulling hand something to occupy itself with so I won't pull.

If that didn't work, other things I would consider starting doing -

1) learning knitting or crocheting. This would occupy my hands whilst watching tv, or other mindless activities, which is when I tend to pull the most.

2) pay my boyfriend a LARGE sum of money, and order him to send it to the Ku Klux Klan if he sees me pulling my hair. I'm totally serious. There is a lot of research out there about immediate temporary gratification (ie hair pulling) vs long term gains (ie a racist organisation getting my money). I would be seriously tempted to put off the immediate temporary gratification of pulling my hair, if the long term implications of that were as horrific as my paycheque going to the KKK.

WaitingSoLong
November 6th, 2016, 05:59 PM
I'm totally serious. There is a lot of research out there about immediate temporary gratification (ie hair pulling) vs long term gains (ie a racist organisation getting my money). I would be seriously tempted to put off the immediate temporary gratification of pulling my hair, if the long term implications of that were as horrific as my paycheque going to the KKK.

Can you link to the research or tell me how to find it? I am in college so I have access to all the databases for free.

I have had trich since I was about ten. I am almost 41. Since I started college it has been the worst in my life and I go in cycles where I have no lashes at all (I pull eyelashes) and when they finally grow back, at a certain point, I just pull them all out again. It seems I can make it about two weeks without pulling at all. That's my record. I honestly have no idea what I look like with full lashes. I know mine are straight (hereditary) and they still grow back, even after 30+ years. Sometimes they grow in pointed the wrong way, though (sideways, down, etc.)

I have tried therapy and meds with no luck. I have many strategies that really do help but it only takes 15 minutes of zombie-mode and BAM all gone and ruined. My self esteem suffers greatly from this and I avoid people even more than usual when they are completely gone (I am often fatally introverted). I am in school, though, and so I cannot avoid people now. People notice but very few ever say anything. I can see them looking, though. Make-up helps a lot but it is still noticeable if you are within a few feet of me. I tend to wear my reading glasses all the time instead of just when reading to help hide my eyes.

I have a whole list of helps but after 30 years even my therapist did not think I could ever recover from such a long habit. I am still determined to stop, though.

I am a psychology student and I know a bit more about habits and such since beginning my studies. Understanding helps me to find better strategies but I have yet to beat this thing.

gracespaghetti
November 6th, 2016, 09:06 PM
I have dermatillomania on my cuticles and my scalp as well as any scabs or acne mostly due to boredom and or stress. Is it possible they could be related? I often wonder if my hair would be thicker and stronger if I didn't have it since I feel like a lot of my shedding is due to it. I find the most helpful thing for the scalp part is to just keep my hair up really tight so that I am at least aware of when I start to try to do it. Also cutting my nails short helps but I like them long so usually don't. I kind of gave up trying to correct this habit but now that I want to take better care of my hair I realize this is a compulsion I have to stop. Has anyone tried turning their habit into a new one? My hands are just so fidgety I think they would need something else to do :ponder:

Rowdy
November 7th, 2016, 03:05 AM
Can you link to the research or tell me how to find it? I am in college so I have access to all the databases for free.

I have had trich since I was about ten. I am almost 41. Since I started college it has been the worst in my life and I go in cycles where I have no lashes at all (I pull eyelashes) and when they finally grow back, at a certain point, I just pull them all out again. It seems I can make it about two weeks without pulling at all. That's my record. I honestly have no idea what I look like with full lashes. I know mine are straight (hereditary) and they still grow back, even after 30+ years. Sometimes they grow in pointed the wrong way, though (sideways, down, etc.)

I have tried therapy and meds with no luck. I have many strategies that really do help but it only takes 15 minutes of zombie-mode and BAM all gone and ruined. My self esteem suffers greatly from this and I avoid people even more than usual when they are completely gone (I am often fatally introverted). I am in school, though, and so I cannot avoid people now. People notice but very few ever say anything. I can see them looking, though. Make-up helps a lot but it is still noticeable if you are within a few feet of me. I tend to wear my reading glasses all the time instead of just when reading to help hide my eyes.

I have a whole list of helps but after 30 years even my therapist did not think I could ever recover from such a long habit. I am still determined to stop, though.

I am a psychology student and I know a bit more about habits and such since beginning my studies. Understanding helps me to find better strategies but I have yet to beat this thing.

I don't know if this would help but it did work for me for a different compulsive act.

Ever since I can remember I had ripped/peeled my fingernails and toenails down to the nail bed. I can't remember ever having to clip my nails until like age 17 or 18... Around then I started getting really self conscious about how my toenails looked so one day I bought some realistic stick on fake toenails for a family thing I had to go to in the summer time. They looked really nice and when they came off about two weeks later I realized I hadn't touched my toenails at all! But the need to mess with them was still there so I wore the fake nails continuously for the better part of a year and I haven't done it since. That was about 9 or 10 years ago.

I mention this because about five years ago I started touching my eyelashes a lot after I got a couple in my eye one week and started 'tugging' at them all the time and pulling them out. I wore cheap stick on fake eyelashes so I couldn't touch them without messing them up and that trained me out of it after 2 - 3 months.

Sorry you are dealing with this :flower:

enting
November 15th, 2016, 10:32 AM
Has anyone tried N acetyl cysteine for hairpulling/skinpicking? Have we discussed this? My therapist recommended I try it, but I haven't found it locally yet.

I seem to be worse when I'm stressed. I like to wear headscarves a lot, and when I do I am less likely to pull because access is restricted. I have one scarf in particular that has really nice fringes for playing with and sometimes lately I'll sit with it in my lap even and just play with the fringes in an effort to not pick at my hair. I'm sort of trying to train myself to stroke the hairs instead of pulling them, but sometimes they get pulled out anyway. Sometimes it seems like the root is barely holding on and I wonder if that's because previous pulling has damaged the roots, or if they were going into quiescent/shed mode anyway.

genuinewicked
November 15th, 2016, 11:25 AM
I have a very mild form of trick, but thankfully I've never had the desire to pull at the hair on my head. I usually just mess with my arm hair, which hasn't been a big deal. I do, however, have dermatillomania. I've suffered with it since I was in middle school, and only recently (within the past few years) do I feel like I'm getting a better grasp and understanding of it.

I have tried N Acetyl Cysteine, and I do feel like I saw improvement. I also feel improvement when I'm keeping up regularly with my vitamins, water intake, exercise, and healthy eating. Because my episodes happen mostly when I'm feeling stressed/anxious, I do all I can to really encourage good mental health and awareness, and this makes huge differences. What also helps is picturing the beautiful skin that I so want to have, and reminding myself that the short-term pleasure is not worth the long-term scarring, embarrasment, anger, etc.

Good luck to all struggling with this. It is so nice to know that so many others have trich and derm as well.

WaitingSoLong
November 18th, 2016, 06:11 AM
Has anyone tried N acetyl cysteine for hairpulling/skinpicking? Have we discussed this?

I have tried it. I have a huge bottle here. It has some digestive side effects for me and doesn't seem to help. Still, then I get really bad, I try it again anyway. There are some studies that support its use. Maybe it would work. I get mine online from Amazon.

maxa
November 18th, 2016, 06:24 AM
does anyone hear have really strong roots? Even if I wanted to, I don't think I could pull my hair out, at least not without it not really hurting. Also does anyone like taking a fist full of hair and twisting it? It feels so much better than scratching. I'v quit doing it, I was just curious if anyone could relate. Very few people seem to tug their hair as a form of massage or itch relief.

Arete
November 18th, 2016, 07:18 AM
Oh goodness, I misread the title as "trichomonas support thread" And I was like O.o . I think my inner lab tech is showing :lol:

enting
November 21st, 2016, 04:59 AM
Thanks for the replies, genuinewicked and WaitingSoLong.
WSL, is it rude of me to ask what sort of issues it gave you? I think some digestive side effects I could handle but others not so much. Obviously don't answer that if it's too personal a question. :uhh:

Maxa, I wish my roots were strong! I seem to have exactly the opposite problem. On my scalp, at least...

Moonfall
November 21st, 2016, 07:17 AM
I'm not sure if I have this but I can definitely identify with the urges and the satisfaction after "pulling". The pulling for me isn't really pulling out hairs intentionally, but I pick my scalp skin and sometimes a hair comes with it. I do pull the hairs intentionally on other body parts like my arm. I know it doesn't make any sense!

Arctic
December 31st, 2016, 09:45 AM
My trichotillomania, as in pulling out hairs has been pretty good for a long time now. I occasionally when under high stress might pull few hairs, but those are always hairs that come out with little effort, not the ones that are deeply rooted and still growing. I have started to think this as a warning sign my mind gives myself that now I have too much stress, relax a bit, Self - sort of seeing it in a half-positive light (of course only as long as I feel I can control it). I am pretty happy with the status quo in this regard, although ideally I would of course heal from it completely.

But there is this one symptom that has not gone away. It's not classic trich but I believe it stems from the same roots (no pun intended, lol). If my hair is down I constantly need to touch it, run my fingers through it, or run smaller quantity of hair between my fingers... all the time. It my hair is braided I constantly touch the braid, especially the tassle. If my hair is up and I am at home I often start to slowly deconstruct my updo and run locks of hair between my fingers, leading me to take my hair down after a while.

I mostly do this withtout noticing, but even when I do notice it's not so easy to stop. But I really would like to stop for various reasons.

1) this will keep the trich part of my brain alive and might prevent full healing, partially because I still have the habit of touching my hair a lot and partially because by doing this I have more changes of finding my trigger hairs (kinky, wiry ones)
2) it's not the image I want to portray of myself to the world
3) I think it is causing damage via friction

Anyone else? And do you think it's trich related too? (I believe also my scissor happiness is related to trich, BTW.) This habit of mine doesn't usually lead to actual trich (pulling out hairs) but I see the link and I find it a harmful habit.

I was thinking this might be a good time now to try and get rid of this habit! Anyone with me? Be it touching or pulling or whatever trich related issues you might have?

WaitingSoLong
December 31st, 2016, 04:36 PM
Arctic, I think you are right that it will keep the trich part of your brain "alive". Best way to beat a habit is to have a good substitute. This has been psychologically proven to be the most effective-- to have a substitution, like gum chewing for smokers.

I have officially made it the entire month of December without pulling. Not even one. This is a new record for me and, I hope, the start of permanent healing. I have had trich over 30 years, this is what has helped me this time:

1. I started with absolutely no eyelashes at all. Even after my last pull session, I made sure I pulled ALL of them out. ALL of them, so even if I wanted to pull, there was nothing to pull. This worked for me once in the past, and since I had pretty much pulled them all out anyway, I decided to start over.

2. I did this right before exams. Exams are a high-stress, high-pull time for me. When I would go to pull and there was nothing, I think it helped break the cycle during my most prone time.

3. I made sure to really look at myself without any eyelashes and be disgusted with what I saw. I even took pictures.

4. I reinstituted my self-reward system for each week's success. (just bought myself the food dehydrator I have been wanting for years as a reward for the month!)

5. I did NOT think about my lashes. This runs opposite what I have previously done where I think a lot about succeeding, telling myself I have beat this and won.

6. I did my best with make-up and then just faced the stares boldly. Yes, people stare. A few people start to ask and then think better of it. I decided if anyone asked I would be completely open about it. I have trich. So what? No one is perfect. Let them judge. Who cares. My eyelashes are not the sum total of who I am.

7. I did not look at my lashes once they started to grow in. Otherwise I see wonky ones and get triggered.

8. Starting from "bald" is the only way I do not get sideways ones. This takes a bit of explaining which I can do if someone is interested, but will skip unless asked. This is pivotal to success. The sideways/backward lashes catch on other lashes and then I can "feel" my lashes and therefore cannot leave them alone. I need to not feel them.

After a month I have some sparse, nice long lashes but am still mostly bald. This is frustrating, I imagined something passable by now and being able to ease up on the make-up. sigh. So, onward I go. Since I have not had all my lashes since I was about ten years old, I could only guess at how long it would take. My best guess was 6-8 weeks and that will probably be a good estimate.

Here's to not pulling in 2017 or ever again.

Arctic
January 1st, 2017, 08:32 AM
Thanks for you answer WSL and yourr detailed post! And huge congrats on a whole month of pullfreedom! may the new year be trichfree for you and us all!

That's a good point about replacing the old undesirable habit with a new one! I have many tricks in my book from the time I was dealing with my trich (the hair pulling type versus this constant hair touching). My first step is to become aware of myself, when I reach to touch my hair. Then (and during I am at this phase) I will start to re-train my brain. I have probably outlined my approach at some point in this thread or in my blog, I'll need to search for it and repost, maybe it will help others and also refresh my own memory.

:toast: to new year and new hope!

chrissy-b
January 2nd, 2017, 11:43 AM
I think the constant touching is part of trich. It's the same repetitive motion that soothes you; you don't have to actually pull the hair out if you get the same relief from just touching.

The best thing I've found to help with becoming aware is clear waterproof tape for bandages. It is thick but clear, and has texture. I wrap it around my index finger only and it feels strange when you touch your hair which is enough to make you realize what you're doing. You can find it in pharmacies.

I buzzed my hair again a couple of weeks ago because my pulling got so bad and I wasn't employing my techniques. It was only SL so I didn't lose too much length. I think I'm going to keep it short for a while because I'd like to try blonde highlights and since my hair is so fine it would have to stay short for that anyway. I find I pull less when it's short too and since I cut it down to the scalp I'll have a break from pulling for at least a couple of months, which is a relief.

Here's to hoping we can all be pull-free in the new year!

Arctic
January 3rd, 2017, 12:06 PM
I used the tape trick - only mine was flexible, skin coloured medical tape - on the fingertips of the fingers I usually used for pulling, it worked amazingly well! I can really recommend it, it helped when my trich was it's worst. (For those not suffering from trich, this condition is extremely tied to habits, people often do the act same way every time, there is a deep ritualitic aspect to it - so for example with the tape, I only needed to tape the fingertips of left thumb and fore finger to reep the benefits).

Right now I started to use (today) the oldie rubber band on wrist trick: I snap it every time I notice I'm touching my hair. This has helped before too. I have also took out my thin cotton gloves to put on my hands at night when I surf the net (can't use them during the day as I type so much etc.) I might also take out my finger toys and put one at every spot I tend to sit.

So sorry to hear your trich is so bad Chrissy! I wish you speedy recovery!

chrissy-b
January 3rd, 2017, 01:42 PM
Thanks Arctic! :flower: It's been almost three weeks since I've pulled. Nice to have a break!

I also told my acupuncturist about my pulling (hard to hide the bald spots when you've shaved down to the scalp aha) and she pointed out that all of my pulling spots correspond to the gallbladder meridian. The two spots behind my ears and the area from my crown to my forehead are all perfectly in line with those points. Whether you believe in TCM and it's benefits, it's pretty amazing to see my pulling spots line up so perfectly. And the fact that those two spots behind the ears are common pulling spots for a lot of people is really interesting.

Anyway, she's been sticking A LOT of needles in my head for the last three weeks and gave me herbs to help. Don't know if I feel don't have the urge to pull because my hair is so short, because of the herbs & acupuncture, or because it was a relief to tell someone -- whatever the reason, I'll take it!

enting
January 3rd, 2017, 02:32 PM
I'm always touching my hair, finger combing, examining ends/hairs, s&ding when i am able to channel the urges right. I love running my hands through my hair.

I totally agree with needing to not feel hairs going the wrong way/feeling them individually at all. The areas that I pull more from itch, and I suspect it's because the sparser hairs can bend over and tickle the scalp. It seems to me that denser areas can't tickle the scalp, the hairs all just grow outward and feel "even". Or maybe it's because only the follicles with hair feel the movement of the hairs, vs denser areas have every follicle moving the same and it's not as dissonant. This makes me have the urge to pull more from areas I've already pulled from. I keep telling myself it will make the itching worse. It doesn't always help.

I used to hate having someone else run their hands through my hair though, because if they hit a patch where I pulled from, it felt "wrong", and I'd feel the need to pull. Lately it's been better I think. I don't know if I just got myself to ignore the wrong feeling or if it actually doesn't feel that way as much anymore.

lapushka
January 3rd, 2017, 02:51 PM
WSL, congrats for your month of not pulling, that is something to celebrate. I hope you have a good 2017, and that it becomes easier on you.

On all of you, for that matter!

Reyn127
January 4th, 2017, 09:18 PM
Hi everyone. I have trichotillomania, as you might have guessed by me being here. I would say that I have mild to moderate trichotillomania, and it kind of comes in episodes that last a few months at a time, usually. I got the diagnosis when I was 5 or 6 years old, at the time I was pulling out my eyelashes. I was pretty successfully scared out of doing that by being told by the doctor that my eyelashes wouldn't grow back if I kept pulling - as a little girl that scared me so I managed to mostly stop with the eyelashes.

Over time my focus moved on to my eyebrows and head hair, and still a little bit my eyelashes but not so much. As I got older it started including body hair (like on my legs), pubic hair, and much more into my head hairs. I think it's pretty common for people with trichotillomania, but I usually targeted the more coarse and wiry hairs on my head. And then the short hairs sticking up would have to be pulled too. This is kind of embarrassing to admit, but the cycle of pulling the coarse hairs, and then the short ones that eventually grew back in, kind of caused me to lose a lot of hair over a period of time. From the period of time of about 3-6 years ago, I would say I lost about 1/3 of the thickness of my hair, about half from myself actually pulling it out, and about half just falling out from stress on its own.

At one point about 3 years ago I realized that my braids were no where near as thick as they used to be, and I made a huge effort to stop pulling. It was a huge struggle at first! I was so stressed about it. I had the compulsion to pull, I would have my fingers pinched around a hair about to pull it out of my head, but I would also be feeling the horror and the shame of losing my hair. I mostly managed to not pull it out. I forced myself to learn other ways to cope, which has actually helped with me pulling the hair out of my head, but now I have some more problems, of course, haha. Trichotillomania can create such a mess in your head!

Anyway, rather than pulling out my head hairs, I started directing that energy to just simply running my fingers down the strands until I could put it down and walk away, if that makes sense. I was having an extremely hard time just ignoring it entirely. I couldn't help but to pick through my hair and search for the perfect one to pull out, but I needed to find a way to not actually pluck it. Handling my hair like that definitely helped with the actual plucking, but then I kind of gained the habit of just searching through the lengths of my hair. And that turned into noticing all my split ends. Which eventually turned into me picking at my splits.

I had a huge problem with just tearing off my splits in times of stress. I was no longer pulling from the follicle end, but the other end, and I was starting to lose length. Which was also turning into an upsetting problem!

One thing that has been really good for me is actually learning about Search and Destroying. I discovered this amazing thing here on the LHC about 6 months ago, and I started doing it a few months ago. S&Ding definitely does not fulfill the same satisfaction as tugging out a hair, but it has been a very productive thing for redirecting the energy that I'm still spending on my hair. Going through the different ways to cope, and forcing myself NOT to pull has slowly been working to lessen my trich. Also, wearing it up has been helping immensely. I joined the wear your hair up challenge, as well as the no-trim 2017 challenge in the hopes that I can continue to leave it alone and just get the triggers less and less. SO far, joining the LHC has been really good for me.

I do still pull my body and pubic hair pretty much freely. I feel a little weird to admit it, but I am just allowing myself to do it, because it doesn't matter to me as much as my head hair and it takes a lot of conviction and energy to not pull when I feel the trigger. Luckily right now I haven't had much of an urge to pull for a few months, so I'm not really actively dealing with it currently. But to be honest, I have probably pulled out, actively and individually, every visible and reachable hair follicle on my body at least 3 times each throughout my lifetime. Ugh. I feel gross and ashamed admitting it, but it is the truth.

I didn't even tell a soul about my trichotillomania until about a year ago. Although it is hard to talk about, I feel like it has been very helpful to have it be acknowledged. I'll be honest, I am really scared of all of you judging me (even though logically I know you probably won't). But I am going to post this and subscribe to the thread in the hopes that we can all maybe help each other out a bit.

enting
January 5th, 2017, 02:51 AM
Hi Reyn127! I like to try to channel pulling urges into S&D, too. I seem to still go through cycles of when I'm more likely to pull and more likely to choose S&Ding first, but it really is great to have a healthy thing to do, isn't it?
I hear you on the "allowing" to pull body hair freely. Societal norms seem to dictate that we have full heads of hair, but body hair is considered either unimportant or undesirable.

It's really brave of you to speak up about your trich. Hopefully hanging out here will help it become an easier topic of discussion. I can only speak for myself, but I'm pretty sure most/all of us in this thread have dealt with fear/horror of hair not growing back, embarrassment or shame at pulling and bald patches, and trying to figure out how to stop or redirect the urge to pull. There's a spot I'm having difficulty saying no to on my head right now, and I wish I hadn't pulled from it yesterday because today it would have been fuller than it is :(

WaitingSoLong
January 5th, 2017, 09:54 AM
I've been pulling my eyelashes over 30 years now and they always grown back. Always. :shrug:. It just takes time. I am 5 weeks with no pulling and while I have lashes, they are thin and sparse. They will thicken if I can continue to leave them alone.

I have pulled eyebrows, too. That goes in spurts. For some reason it is easier for me to stop that than eyelashes.

I've not pulled my head hair but my son used to when he was younger. We shaved his head a couple times to stop it. He pulled behind ears and the nape area. This is a natural area to pull due to body proportions and how hands can comfortably reach the head. He still twirls and tugs but doesn't actually pull anymore. He is 20. He pulled mostly between 10 and 12 years old.

With lashes, I definitely pull more once I've started. My theory from all the years of doing this is that when I pull some lashes, I also tug at the surrounding ones. The irritation from pulling and the follicle irritation from the tugged ones causes the lashes that are still there to feel "off" or turn which causes more pulling. Also, when short lashes start to grow in, they catch on the longer lashes, which also triggers pulling.

My trich got considerably worse when I started college in 2014. All the sitting, reading, studying is just an ideal situation to pull. I've never tried the tape because I type way too much.

After 5 weeks without pulling, I feel no urge at all. Doing it now would seem wrong. Gosh I hope I have broken the cycle finally. As a psych student, I would love to pursue this as an area to help others in.

Reyn127
January 8th, 2017, 01:10 AM
@enting, thank you for being so kind. It's so good to know I'm not the only one!

@WaitingSoLong ugh I am so sad, but my eyelashes, I think, are permanently thinned on the outer corners where I pulled them the most. At least it's only the corners. Though oddly enough, my eyebrows, which I still continue to pull sometimes, manage to grow back every time it seems.. It's weird how that works! I definitely understand the irritation thing though... I have one eyelash in particular that grew back at an odd angle and always bothered me, but eventually I pulled it out enough times again that it grew back at an angle that no longer bothers me. Oops/yay, I guess? Luckily I haven't really focused on my eyelashes in a few years, thank goodness.... I really feel that "breaking the cycle" is a thing with trich.

Lemna
January 8th, 2017, 02:23 PM
I've had trich since I was a teenager, when hormones made my hair go frizzy. I had the idea that if I searched out the frizzy hairs and pull them out, my hair would go back to being manageable. I still love the feel of one of those kinky coarse hairs. I stopped pulling them when my doctor put me on Celexa years back. Then in 2011 I took up knitting, and that's been a great way to occupy my hands. I now have a whole group of friends (many with long hair :)) who meet to stitch and bitch.

I still have the OCD tendencies though. Biting the inside of my mouth, biting my lips, peeling my cuticles, biting nails, picking certain spots on my skin. I have a tiny bald spot on top of my head where I picked at it until it scabbed and the hair fell out. Now little hairs are growing back, but it's irresistible for me to feel it. I try to just feel it and not pick it.

I guess you could say I have a strong grooming instinct. When I was a kid I'd go through my cat's fur and pick fleas out. More recently I pick my husband's head. As long as I'm gentle he likes it. We're like a couple of chimpanzees, lol.

I find that I can stop for a while but the urge will always be there in times of stress. It fades, though, when I haven't done it for a while. It helps to put more work into keeping my hair and skin looking nice. And now I see that my frizzy hairs may feel kinky and crazy as individual strands, but when properly moisturized and styled they form curls.

Narya
January 9th, 2017, 01:46 PM
Long time trichster here too. I'm sure I shared my history in this thread before, but long story short, my mom pulls, my grandfather pulled, I pull since I can remember (I know for sure in 1st grade my teacher worried about it), my DS4 sometimes looks like he has the urge to pull. It seems it is ingrained in genetics, in my family.

I had a very bad summer about 10 years ago, and haven't really recovered since. I got a bald spot then the size of an euro coin right at the end of my part, which I picked at even bald, so it was a very big mess. Then I managed to let it grow out by pulling all over my part and not only there, so now I have a sparse area about two inches wide centered on my part. I want to stop, but I can't. I have many other anxiety-related behaviors (some OCD, some not, like grinding my teeth in my sleep), so I guess I have to tackle that to stop pulling. To be honest, I've kind of given up. Redirecting it to other areas doesn't work, shaming me doesn't work, changing pulling for an elastic band/crochet/other fiddly thing doesn't work, taping my fingers and/or wearing gloves drives me crazy...

I'm glad to read so many recovery stories! They are very uplifting and give me some hope.

WSL, I'm so glad to read your posts. I hope it keeps getting better and better from now on. :grouphug: Feeling no urge seems like a crazy good step! :D

WaitingSoLong
January 9th, 2017, 06:10 PM
WSL, I'm so glad to read your posts. I hope it keeps getting better and better from now on. :grouphug: Feeling no urge seems like a crazy good step! :D

Maybe it's ok to give up a while. I have done just that, that's how I got to my lashes being completely bald. I kept saying "it's just lashes" and let myself pull until I was content. (I imagine with head hair you'd have to shave it. That's a bit more drastic than being eyelash-less.) I was bold about it, willing to confess to people, but I still harbored massive self-hatred because I could not conquer such a trivial, stupid, simple thing. Who am I to tell my son to stop doing drugs when I cannot even control my own pulling? But I tell myself that nearly everyone has something like this. I mean, how many people cannot stay on a diet no matter how hard they try?

When I would go a few days with no pulling, I felt amazing, even though I had no lashes at all. Just the "winning" was the confidence I needed. But one pulling session and I was back to the self-hatred. I have even slapped myself. sigh.

It's super weird now to get to the end of a day and mark my progress on my calendar and realize I had not even thought of my lashes all day. But today is day 40 and my first day back to school. I found my hands becoming nervous and fiddly and had to be over-aware to keep them from my face. So I still have a ways to go, the "zombie pull" is often my downfall, and school a strong trigger. But something great happened today, I saw a few of my school peeps and for once I did not hide my face or try to cover my eyes when I was talking to them. I did not try to hurry away so they wouldn't see my bald eyes because THEY ARE NOT BALD NOW. They are short and sparse but no one would know. With mascara and eyeshadow you cannot tell now. I have always wondered if I have long lashes like my daughter. My sister has very short lashes but she has my mom's eyes and I have my dad's. My dad's eyelashes and mine are straight. Curling them only lasts a little while. It may be one of the reasons I began pulling oh so many years ago.

I have begun chewing my nails the last week in December...I cut back my nails and just began chewing. I haven't chewed my nails since I was around 20. I clearly remember stopping that and cheek biting when I was pregnant with DS20. Now I cannot seem to stop even though I have chewed to where it is painful. But if this is a trade for trich, I accept.

I tried substitute pulling from my arms once but it just isn't the same.

Arctic
January 25th, 2017, 05:57 AM
How are everyone doing?

I have been practicing mindfulness about my hair touching. At first it flet like my mindfulness caused me to touch my hair more - like all. the. time. when I was for example studying/sitting around. I started to wear a rubber band on my wrist again and snapped everytime my hand went up. It was lot of snapping, ha ha! I also put few finger toys at my reach and have been perusing them. Slowly I think this has been helping and I feel the urge to touch my hair less. (There are better and worse moments though.) But I see some progress and I am happy about how things are going.

Something interesting I noticed. My biggest triggers are my coarse, wiry, hairs. Some of them are kinky too, but I have started to notice the kinkyness itself might be quite a small issue for me, it's the coarse, rough feeling that gets me.

I recently have been really trying to tweak my routine for various reasons, and have started to moisturise more, do some pre-wash oilings, bought a new, more effective chelating/clarifyinf shampoo, found a conditioner that gives slip and doesn't cause immediate buildup, started to do acidic rinses again... this all has made my hair less tangly (which helps me to control my urges to run my fingers through my hair) and the new shampoo slouched off some buildup, possibly of mineral kind, that had accumulated into my hair. The buildup apparently had grapped mostly to my coarse, wiry hairs, making them feel extra rough, coarse, stiff, wirelike to my touch. Those hairs transformed into much more untriggering (softer, smoother)! Yes they are still more textured than my smoother and finer hairs, and kinking hair still have kinking and some of them are still wirelike, but there are lot less of the ones that I find triggering. And it was now that I really realised that the kinking hairs are not that much of a trich problem to me, at least not currently. Of course these steps won't change the structure of my hairs, but somehow I feel less urges to touchs my hair, run my fingers through, find the individual hairs. (Also when I run my fingers through, now that my hair is far less tangly it doesn't cause damaga, like I felt it caused before to my ends over time (less tangliness + less hair touching = great things).

Oh, and that's as a side note one of my biggest relevations I had years ago, I will repeat it quite often: My best advice is to not to concentrate on individual hairs, but your hair as a mass. (Almost) Everyone has those coarser hairs (or what ever is your trigger) that are often triggering to us, but when you are not seeing or feeling your hair on the level of individual hairs, they don't really matter. I'm not sure if this translates to hair elsewhere on the body, but on head hair this shift on my focus/views has been crucial for starting the healing process.

Larki
January 25th, 2017, 08:48 AM
I took up knitting about a month ago and have hardly pulled since! :) I think the sensation of the yarn & the fact that both of my hands are occupied helps, plus knitting is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

WaitingSoLong
January 29th, 2017, 09:31 AM
Not so good. I made it 6 weeks then had a bad setback and haven't managed to make it a week since then. Still trying, though. Trying not to hate myself mostly.

Arctic
January 29th, 2017, 10:36 AM
Larki knitting is great! I wish I could knit when I study and write! But there is too much to do with my hand to knit, and too little to do with my hands to always keep them occupied!


WSL toss the hating and never give up! Your relapse might be your mind trying to tell you something, that you are not quite alright lately. Too much stress? Too busy? Maybe there is something you could do to correct these type of imbalances, if you recognise them from your life. I also can really recommend flexible medical tape on your pulling fingers - if you are anything like me you always use the same fingers of the same hand. One of the fingers is most like your tumb. Tape the fingerprint area of that thumb - that will likely be enough to stop pulling. If not, tape the other fingers you use too. The medical tape is awesome, it is skin coloured, flexible, breathing, stays well and if comfortable. You only need it so little it doesn't interfere with typing.

emloco14
January 29th, 2017, 12:27 PM
I tend to find very wiry, thick hair on my scalp and pull them out. It's very addictive. I'm trying my best not to touch my scalp at all now.

enting
March 31st, 2017, 04:52 AM
Not doing so great. There's a definite thinner/receding patch on my left temple now. I checked the other side to make sure it was from pulling and not some natural recession for some reason. Nope. The other side is a bit thin also, but not nearly as defined or bad. It's definitely the pulling. And I even took up crocheting recently and have been crocheting up a storm! I also pull when my scalp is itchy, but my scalp is itchy from wherever I pull from and regrowth is happening. Basically I'm really itchy now and want to pull more. Ugh.

WaitingSoLong
April 3rd, 2017, 06:02 PM
I may try the medical tape but it all the tape/bandaids I have tried so far interfere with my touchpad/phone screen. Doing just thumbs is ok but DANG I wash my hands a lot and also find myself chewing at the tape/bandaid.

I chewed all my fingernails off yesterday. Stupid chemistry homework.

I hardly ever pull unless I am doing homework. I am ALWAYS doing homework.

Once I pull a little, the irritations compels me to pull more. There is a relief factor to it, like scratching an itch.

lithostoic
April 3rd, 2017, 06:50 PM
I hate stress. I always end up pulling my eyelashes. Luckily I caught myself before I did any real damage.

Reyesuela
April 4th, 2017, 07:55 PM
My husband has trichotillmania of the beard. If it isn't shaven very short, he pulls it out and brushes the bulb against his lips. He has permanent bald patches all over his face from it.

WaitingSoLong
April 6th, 2017, 07:04 AM
permanent? gosh. My oldest son pulls his face hair and eats the hair. That has always made me cringe. In 30+ years mine has never caused permanent baldness but mine are eyelashes.

Reyesuela
April 6th, 2017, 07:12 AM
He looks like he has the mange when it grows out!