Thursday, July 24, 2014

Trichotillomania, AKA: Hair Pulling

What is Trichotillomania? (I can not even pronounce that)

Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh) is a disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body, despite trying to stop.
Hair pulling from the scalp often leaves patchy bald spots, which causes significant distress and can interfere with social or work functioning. People with trichotillomania may go to great lengths to disguise the loss of hair.
For some people, trichotillomania may be mild and generally manageable. For others, the compulsive urge to pull hair is overwhelming.

(I linked the Mayo clinic site up there ^ )

I have a mild case. I've always had it. One of my earliest (13 years old maybe younger) memories of it, is plucking most of my eye lashes out!!! Youch! right? 
My eye brows have been paper thin before, trying to get a straight line.
I still over pluck sometimes...and have to painfully let them grow back in. I say painfully, but what I mean is resist the urge to pluck and maintain a clean line.
I catch my self doing that with my eye lashes too! If there is one or two out of line I have to pluck. Or resist the urge to. Not really an urge but a compulsive behavior that just happens.

When my third son was born, I developed a habit or compulsion to pluck my hair out. I had a few spots that were BALD on my head. One was at the base of my hairline on the left side of my neck/head. I felt ashamed to put my hair up and let people wonder why. I thought it was stress, until I stumbled upon this disorder. I felt better about it, knowing it was 'real'. I thought it was all stress, overwhelmingness ( <--- a="" baby...new="" house...etc.="" kids...new="" not="" of="" p="" thats="" three="" word...="">
I 'grew' out of that slowly, my hair grew back.

Until recently. about a year ago. I started pulling my hair on my head again, right at the top. I had to part it differently, or rather a deeper side part to cover it up. And still it shows. I see it. Others may not. But I do. I am getting to the point where I may not be able to cover it up. It scares me, but I CAN'T stop!

I have tried occupying my hands.
When I realize what I am doing, get up and move around.
I change the way I'm sitting. I tried a squeeze ball.

I have also noticed my eyebrows getting thinner, and a greater distance from each other.

So I am hoping by admitting this, or rather publicly outing myself I can cope with it better, or lessen it, or hopefully stop it all together!

Do you have Trichotillomania? If so, do you have any techniques that you have in place to avoid plucking?
Or even if you don't, do you have any thoughts on how to overcome, or lessen my 'urge'?

Thanks for getting through all that.
~Carrie

Footnote: I do NOT eat my hair.


4 comments:

  1. Awww sweetie.....I am so sorry to hear that you are having this problem. Maybe some kind of therapy can help? I'm sending good, non-hair-pulling vibes to you!

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  2. I'm sorry to hear about this. My mom had this as well, to an extent. I have my anxiety and when it gets worked up I tend to pick at my skin (cuticles, pimples, sores). My has gotten really bad too, because mainly I pick at my face, so there's no hiding. When I am at home I try to keep them covered in Neosporin so that when I go to pick I feel that and it reminds me. But I have noticed it has started to get better because of my anti-anxiety meds. Though some days are still bad. I know that trichotillomania can be something that you do absent-mindedly, but have you noticed more when you have stress, even just a little? Because maybe, if you don't want to take meds (I believe they have some for it), you can do a stress oil mixture (don't you use oils? I thought you did.) or even bringing up your sugar levels mid-afternoon with some almonds and cheese and a lot of water. I've noticed it's better after I've eaten. I don't know if any of this long novel has helped any, but you are not alone. Sending you good thoughts!

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    Replies
    1. Stress is certainly an issue here! When I was on medicine for anxiety/depression it was better. I do use oils! Snacks are a good suggestion! Thank you for taking the time to write those! ((hugs))

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