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Author Topic: Does anyone else have trichotillomania?  (Read 211 times)

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Offline makeitcount

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Does anyone else have trichotillomania?
« on: April 20, 2014, 09:11:47 AM »
I'm now almost 22, but have suffered from trichotillomania since I was very young. I picked up the behavior from a girl at church, but mine just never stopped. I do not have the typical urge to pull out my hair at all - I just compulsively want to get rid of the split ends. So, instead I break off the ends, but I do end up losing hair too. It's a behavior that goes along with my anxiety, and it makes a mess and makes me look terrible. No one but my parents know I actually have it...I have never been able to tell friends, or even my husband, though the fact that my hair is really uneven and short is obvious.

I found beckie0 on YouTube last year and I have appreciated her speaking out about the disorder. I just can't seem to publicly own up to it. I am constantly jealous of everyone around me with "normal" hair, and I think about it allllll the time. My thoughts about how terrible I look lead to more pulling, because they make me anxious, and I think as I'm pulling that I'm only making the problem worse, but I often can't stop. I haven't been able to go to a hairdresser since I was 14. Too much anxiety. My sister had to do my hair for my wedding because I won't let professionals touch it for fear of them knowing about my disorder.

I figure this might be a good place to talk about this particular disorder. I have never really talked about it with anyone else who has it...would love some support and advice!
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Offline bluerose

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Re: Does anyone else have trichotillomania?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2014, 02:21:14 AM »
I don't have the hair pulling, but I have OCD which is considered a related condition.  I do twist my hair sometimes if it's long.  I did it in front of friends sometimes and they'd say -- Quit twirling your hair.  To me this compulsion was soothing and the first time I remember doing it I was only 3 years old.  All my other obsessions and compulsions are anything but soothing and can cause a lot of turmoil.  But I was lucky I didn't loose hair by doing the twisting.  This is one of the reasons I keep my hair short.  Also because it's naturally thin and looks too stringy when it grows out.  The cut I've had for some time is called a blended wedge.  I guess some would call it a pixie.  I'm sorry you're in so much distress about this.  Maybe you could see a therapist about this -- a cognitive behavior therapist may be best, unless you are dealing with emotional issues that are causing the hair pulling.
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Offline makeitcount

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Re: Does anyone else have trichotillomania?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 03:39:44 PM »
I don't really feel like it's emotional issues that cause it completely. I can be feeling just fine and still get the urge to pull. But, I do think as my anxiety flares up it becomes harder to resist the urge because I'm able to relax a little while doing it. Like you mentioned with your hair twirling, it's just soothing for some reason.

I have times when I do great and then I have times when I go a day and cannot take my hands from my hair. It's just so frustrating!
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Offline Sunlover

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Re: Does anyone else have trichotillomania?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2014, 05:43:53 PM »
I don't pull mine but I pick my head.  Like I'll find a tiny pimple or scab and pick at it, then keep looking for more - and it's exactly like you said, it's a "soothing" thing.  I'll be full of anxiety and it calms me like a baby sucking it's thumb!
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