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Trich And How I Stopped

Hey, my trichs-in-law. Today, I am going to share my entire story of Trichotillomania and how I have managed to make a great recovery (for those of you who have trich, you will know what a task this is).

I know exactly where it all began. Right now I'm 17 years old. The incident happened somewhere in the middle of 8th grade I think, 5 years ago. I was in school, just hanging with my girlfriends and then suddenly, bamm!, an eyelash went into my eye. It was really painful because it went so deep and it was long and I could feel it moving around. I tried to get it out but couldn't manage. I went to the nurse’s office and had her take a look but she told me there was nothing there. What did she think? That I was lying? Aaaanyway, the day went by and every now and then I could feel the eyelash moving. I went home, still no luck, and then I went to bed. I didn't get it out till the next morning and by then I was really mad.

After that I regularly took my eyelashes in my fingers and pulled slightly, checking if there were any other loose lashes. THIS IS HOW IT BEGAN.

After that it became a habit of mine. It didn't seem to do anything except for maybe making sure the incident with the eyelash in my eye didn’t happen again. But gradually, with time, the pulling got harder and more precise. I also started pulling at my eyebrows when I saw the eyelashes had gotten thinner. Kids at school would ask me if I'd gone to a saloon and had them do my eyebrows. I denied, not fully realizing that the kinds must have thought I was lying.

I think it was in 9th grade when I started using dark eyeliner to cover up the loss of eyelashes. I had not been using any make-up up until then and was quite bad at it actually :) It was crude and I was not happy about how it looked but I had to do something right? No-one could know about my secret.

When I was learning to use eyeliner for the first time it took me around an hour just making it look natural with so few eyelashes, mom was quite frustrated with me, complained that I was always too late for school and I didn't need makeup. This didn't make me feel very good.

I also remember the first time I plucked out ALL my eyelashes for the first time ever! We were on our way to a little cottage, like, 2 hours away from home. There was another family with us. We went by car and on the way we were eating chocolate. Because of that, my fingers got sticky, I pulled my eyelashes, and they came off much more easily than normal because I had such a good grip. When I let my thumb run over my eyelids, feeling no eyelashes at all, my heart thumped so hard in my chest it almost hurt. The adrenalin shot out and I felt a rising feeling of panic. How was I going to hide this? I'd left my eyeliner at home! My secret would be revealed! We were going to be staying there, the 6 of us, for 3 days!

But when we got there, no-one noticed. I guess that's because I rarely made eye contact with anyone unless necessary. I still don't know how they couldn't notice though!

After that, I always took my eyeliner with me whenever I was taking a trip that would last more than only that day. If I was going to a sleepover, I had to bring it, if I was going for a swim; I had to bring it and then take care not to rub my eyes at all when my hands or face was wet. You also learn not to come too close to another person's face, look deep into their eyes or hold eye contact for long. It’s actually quite sad when you think about it…

When my trich had reached that level, I started pulling my eyebrows more and more too, until they became 'not there' anymore. I think that in the beginning of 10th grade it became the worst it had ever been; I started pulling at the hair on my scalp. I only did this for a short time, thank god. I pulled at the hair by my temples, my bangs and at the back of the neck. When the hair started growing again, it was really noticeable, so I quit. I don't know exactly, like, how I was able to quit so suddenly, but I guess it had something to do with me going to the hairdressers and she noticed these 'short locks of hair' on some places. I was so embarrassed it must have made all the difference.

But then, nothing really changed for a long time. I kept on pulling at my facial hair, then covering it up. One of the things you get along with all the guilt and secrecy and lack of self-confidence is a whole new level of lying. You just do it, you heart doesn't beat faster, your palms don't get sweaty, you just lie to protect yourself. There have been a couple of times when a person actually noticed my condition. Pffffff, I don't like calling it a condition...well..:s

It happened twice at school. Once, it was one of my best friends, she was like: "OMG! Your eyelashes! They are so thin and few! WHY!??".
Yeah, that was like a blow in the stomach. But I kept my composure perfectly, and I said the first thing that came to mind (there wasn't even a pause). I said: “remember that time when I sent to Spain? Well, there was this guy selling cheap mascaras, I bought one and apparently I had some allergic reactions and the eyelashes, just, fell off". Isn't it a good lie? She believed it of course and felt all sorry for me.

The other time was worse. I don't know if you've experienced this but, it's like, the person notices you have trich. They see that there is something missing but don't say anything, that way, you can't lie, you don't have the opportunity to defend yourself. And that's horrible. Anyway, I was doing some project with this girl and suddenly she's all staring at my face. I'm like: "what?". She pauses and then: "nothing" and looks away. I carry on but she then stares at my face again. And she doesn't just do a double take; she does a Quadruple take (4 times). I know she knows, but she doesn't say anything. ****...

I'm not going to write about the third time this happened because it was really similar to the one above. Just know that it was paaaaainnnn all the way through.

Well, now to a crucial part. There is a very important person who discovered my trich. My mom. I think that having one of your family members find out about this is kind of the worst thing you can experience. Why? They don't understand anything. They will ask you questions like: Why are you doing this? Why don't you just stop it? Does this come from stress? Is there anything I can do to help you?

No. They can't help you. They can't. You have hands. All the time. And the person who discovered your secret isn't with you all the time. See what I mean? It's all up to you. And they saying those things to you, at least to me, only made me feel even worse. I begged her not to tell anyone and she promised. But then she googled what I was doing. She went online and then came back to me and was like: "do you feel anxiety? Are you nervous?".

I'm not nervous. I'm not stressed. I just have this weird habit of pulling out my eyelashes.

BUT as hard it was for me to have my mom hovering over me, telling me to stop something she could never understand was so hard, it made me think.

And now I'll tell you how I got better.

Look, no-one can really help you make recovery. If you really want to get your hair and confidence back, you have to look inside first. The way I saw it was: I could get better because Trich did not control me, I controlled it, I was the one doing the pulling, I COULD STOP IT TOO.

I will not lie, it took a long time.(a year) It was hard, I failed 4 or 5 times, but I made it.

This is how I started out. I took out my calendar and numbers the days from 1 to 20 from the day that was that day. On the 21th day, I then wrote down a price: something I wanted. Not something expensive (it was chocolate raisins:D). Yes, I wanted chocolate raisins. I then made an X over every day that passes and I'd managed not to pull. On the 21st day, I rewarded myself. I then did this again, only making it 30 days now, a whole month. I failed. I was really sad and angry with myself. I repeated this again, but failed. My mom nagged and I felt worse. Buuuuut, I knew I could do it. I was the master of myself.

However, I gradually just let myself pull out all the eyelashes and eyebrows I'd gotten back for some time, thinking, “this is just a part of me… I can’t change it”. I was giving up. I’d failed just a little too often. But then, a few months later, I suddenly got this new boost of energy to try and make another attempt. Then , I googled trich like my mom had done. I'd never done that before. And I felt I wasn't alone any more. I watched youtube and read stories and finally, had the guts to take it on again. Maybe it was from fear that I’d end up like that 60 year old woman who actually counted every single eyelash she pulled out, or that girl who’d gone bald.

Anyway, I bit my tongue and with extreme will, got all my eyelashes back. I started using mascara again, because I could. Aaaaand I failed. Hehh, I know. This was about a month and a half ago. When I’d started using mascara, it got so easy to pull. Damn. But now, I haven’t pulled since then. For 1 and a half months J. I know it’s not a lot of time, but it’s quite the accomplishment for someone with trichotillomania isn’t it? Well, anyways. I’m going to keep on fighting this day by day and maybe sometimes on the future, I won’t even think about it anymore every time I clean of my mascara. Or, that is my dream at least. I’ve heard of people who have fallen down again after a few years of resisting, but, I’ll just hope I’m stronger than that.

As a final step for me to recover, I’m going to do something a very few of us with trich have done. I’m going to share this entire story, plus more, which I didn’t write here, with my mom. You see, I always told her I pulled without knowing what I was doing, though I obviously do. I’m telling her everything. Yesterday, I even told her I needed to chat later in the week. I hope that after telling her, she can be more of a supporter than someone pushing me in the wrong way. I recommend finding someone to share your secret with, I know how terrible and scary this sounds but, think about it, OK?

Anyways, this is already way too long. Maybe I’ll upload pictures of my eyes to show my recovery? And maybe I’ll even tell you how my mother takes my secret when I've told her.

I'd really like to hear your thoughts, can you relate to anything I'm saying or is it just me? Are you planing to stop too?

Well, thanks for reading guys and good luck.

 –A dreamer
Petrea94 Petrea94 16-17, F 38 Responses Nov 22, 2011

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I started pulling eyelashes when I was around 14. My friend at schoolwho was very influential on me had very long thick curly lashes but suffered eye dryness and was always licking her fingers and wiping her eyes. One day in class a couple of her lashes fell out and she was showing me and another friend. My other friend then pulled out a lash of her own to compare the length and of course so did I. This got a bit silly when the first girl then pulled out a few lashes to make us laugh. That night at home I was remembering what she did and how we all giggled, so I pulled a few eyelashes out in a clump and created a bald spot by mistake. At the time I thought this was funny!. But that one event triggered an impulse that has lasted around 30 years. When I started pulling more seriously I didn't realise how quickly you notice the damage, and I remember looking in the mirror and being scared by how sparse the lashes suddenly were. My parents wanted to talk to me about something one day and made me sit by them on the couch, I was so nervous as this was too close, and of course they noticed my eyes. I can still see my mother's expression. Bless them, but they didn't know how to handle it...My mum was cross and confused and my dad just kept teasing me. I felt sooooo awkward.
There have been many times I've been so conscious of my eyelashes. Often I will tell people that they are naturally short or patchy, and you kind of become expert at covering up the evidence and how you feel about it. When you catch someone looking at your eyes, you stiffen and try to break contact. Not easy when you are snuggling to a partner or playing with your kids.
I honestly don't think there is a cure. This is an ocd but medications don't work. Mine has never been due to stress nor anxiety, it is simply an irresistible impulse. I might stop pulling for a while but some days I feel like I could pull every single one, even though I have never actually done that. The shame and embarrassment is terrible but it's still not enough to stop the urge. I think accepting you are a trich is the first move. It is often such a secret thing, only my mum knows my secret and even now I can't discuss it with her. Finding groups like this is really helpful and there are some good you tube videos of fellow trichs. Once girl suggests removing mascara as soon as you get home, and pulling hair from the arms or legs instead. Mine has only ever been eyelashes. I despise the condition but have lived with it for most of my life...I don't see it ever going away. There may be times of improvement and certainly tips to help reduce it. For example I find wearing false nails stops me pulling completely (unfortunately I can't wear them most of the time due to my job but I really would if I could). Also having your own stress tool..maybe a soft make up brush that you can stroke and feel the hairs on as a kind of substitute. I often like feeling my eyelashes spiking on my finger but then this often leads to feeling one that I must pull. Interrupting the stroking stage might curb the pulling a little. Good luck fellow trichs

How are you doing now? It's been a few years. I found this post after looking down and seeing a pile of hair on my lap. I have to stop. I'm fortunate to have hair. I have always had lots of hair, but it's beginning to thin a the top. I'm 32 and I started pulling my hair around the age of 10. I wish I could remember the trigger point, but it feel good, pulling my hair is like having my head scratched. At this moment, I don't want to stop typing this because I want to reach up and begin pulling more hair out. It's as if I have a terrible it that needs to be scratch. I'm not going to pull... you are correct, I need to learn the strength to be in control of this sensory need.

I am 19 years old and I have pulled hair out since I was about 2. It used to be I would just tear the end bits of but as I got older I just started pulling bigger and thicker chunks I can't stop. I have tried everything. I even went to a doctor once which took a lot of courage and he sent me away with no help at all. My hair is very short and uneven. I'm pretty sure I will be bald very soon but I still can't stop it. And the more I do it the more upset I get at my self. Plus no one talks to me anymore I'm just too weird. I just don't think I can do this anymore. I can't stop and I can't go on. I can't see any way out. I can't tell anyone as I once told my one friend who I trusted and she laughed in my face she hates me now. I am all on my own.

I have a daughter that have TTM. She is only 11 years old and putting her hair, eyebrows and eyelashes top and bottom. Please help me to help her because I don't know what to do to help her. I have try everything that I could. Any suggestions can may help her.

I have had Trich for as long as I can remember. I started pulling my eyelashes as a kid. I remember my mom telling me not to that when I pulled a bunch at once. Then in my late 20s I started on my eyebrows. First it was just a bit of hair missing, now its nearly the entire left brow. I cover it with my bangs to hide it. In the last year I found myself pulling my scalp. I cannot stop. I have to hairspray my hair to keep the bald spots from showing and swimming is a nightmare.

I have been dating the same man for 6 years and has never said anything to be before today. He told me it looked like I have a big bald spot on my head and asked if I know about it. My heart started beating out of my chest. I did not know how to respond. I am terrified. Why is this such a horrible and isolating condition?

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I've had trich for about 50 years. Yes you read that right. I'm 57 now and can remember starting around 4th grade. I thought it was because the cute boy liked the blonde straight haired girl instead of me with my dark and really curly hair. I figured I was pulling it out because it would grow back in straight. no such luck. My mom wondered why there was a big pile of my hair next to the chair and In front of the TV. I guess I had to hide the evidence and that's probably when I developed trichotillophagia. needless to say I've had a lifetime of heartache from my hair. my husband has been very supportive and kind and thoughtful and gently reminds me when he catches me. that's made a huge difference as well as the fact that I finally accept it and actually love my hair now but still I still pull. finding out I'm not alone has made a big difference and I wish everyone strength .

I have trich and I have it bad. It started with slope Alopecia totalis, which began to make my hair fall out. One day during this bizarre condition I thought well this spot is already about to fall out anyway I might as well help it along. That is when I triggered trich. I pulled out all of my hair in two weeks. My dermatologist said my hair looked like it was being pulled out and of course I denied that, because how could I have pulled out all of my hair?!?! Well I did most of the damage. I had to wear bandanas and scarves to school to hide my disaster. My hair eventually healed but I haven't stopped pulling and biting the roots. My grandma was the first one to notice my problem when I was staying with her. She asked me what I was doing when I reached to my head and then my mouth. I told her I wasn't sure even though I knew exactly what I was doing. She googled it and found trich. I fit the description perfectly. So now it have found if I always have something to keep my hands busy I won't pick at all. But if I don't I can pull out so much hair. It is terrible especially trying to get a job visible bald spots is not the way to say I'm a professional. When I notice a spot balding I move to a different spot. I really want to stop. I may go back on anti depressants and see if that will help, because I definantly did not do it as much as I am now. But we will see. Wish me luck!

I have trich too. I pull the hair on my scalp, and it has gotten so bad I have to use black hairspray. The boys at school giggle and say " Psycho, you pull out your hair and eat it. You must be dumb.". They have no idea how much it hurts. I am 13, I cannot handle it much longer!! I can't stop. I want to but I can't.

Additional comment: Thank you for the inspirational story. You have truly raised my hopes

Im rachel, Im 18. I pull my eyelashes, my eyebrows, my scalp, my neck, and just about everywhere else. It also started in 8th grade. Ive been struggling for years with this insecurity and trying to learn how to stop it. Thank you for your inspiring story. I hope that I will stop someday.

I'm 20 years old now and I have never touched my brows/lashes, but was addicted to pulling at my scalp... when I was 15, I had a massive bald spot on the top of my head. I've always had ****** self esteem though, but this... this was like living inside of a nightmare... it was unreal. I would come home from school every single day and sob for hours alone in my room. My dad made fun of me and called me "baldy," which only made the whole situation way worse. I felt like a creature. When I was 17 it finally all grew back, and now I'm in beauty school (kind of ironic). Well, the other day, I had a fellow student cut my hair. She told me that she noticed some minor breakage at the very top... kind of where I used to pull. (Side note: I take extremely good care of my hair, it is very shiny and healthy so I know that the breakage on top couldn't be caused by things like excessive heat, chemicals, overwashing, etc). Idk, I'm thinking that maybe the trauma of pulling my hair might have damaged the hair follicle, causing it to become weaker and break off? Ugh idk but after 5 years of not pulling... i'm starting to relapse and it gives me immense pleasure from pulling out the tiny little hairs that are "breakage." I'm dying. I cannot relive that nightmare again. This page made me feel a bit better though, knowing that i'm not the only one who suffers from this... but still it's so hard and I hate how it sounds like such a joke but it's not, it's so painful...

I'm 15. I've been pulling for about 6 years. My mom just doesn't understand and it hurts. I'm not confident with sharing my story but, reading this will help me try and stop. Starting today I'm gonna try to stop.

I wish you luck! Try bringing something to school to keep your hands busy. Maybe a rubber and you can play with while the teacher is talking or a stress ball?

Hi I'm kiani and I think that you posting this is extremely brave. You really do encourage girls like me. I've been pulling my hair out sense I was in 8th grade I am now a junior and it has just gotten worse over the years. Today I started keeping a journal and I've done a lot of research. It really is a scary thing. Would it be useful if I just shaved my head?

I pulled out all my hair and as soon as it came back in I started pulling it again :( I wouldn't go bald again that's what keeps me from pulling it out when I catch myself anyways

Hi, I'm 14 and I've been pulling my eyelashes since I was five (from what my mom recently told me). Everything you stated in your story was easy for me to relate to!! I don't know WHY I pull, but I do. My mom keeps asking me if it's because I'm stressed, if I feel like I'm not loved enough (I'm the oldest), and a whole bunch if other stuff like that. But it has nothing to do with how I feel, I just...do it. I started pulling at a pretty young age...and my mom found out and took my to see a psychiatrist, which actually helped for about...2-3 years. We moved and I totally forgot about pulling and suddenly, I got an eyelash in my eye and it REALLY bothered me so I started to pull at my eyelashes to try and get the feeling to go away...but I wasn't even thinking about the eyelashes I was pulling out. Ugh, I just want to stop, it's so hard staying on track and remembering to stop myself from pulling!!!

I'm 15 and I've been pulling for about 4 years I think and I first I pulled my eyelashes till they were all gone and my mom noticed and she almost yelled at me but she couldn't since we had relatives over. She was really mad at me and asking me if I wanted her to suffer because she said I was doing this to make her suffer and not because I just couldn't help my self. At first she was so against it she didn't try to help me at all she yelled at me and it just made it worse. Then later after my eyelashes growled back at what I think was pretty quick I felt happy that they grew back but still aren't that full. But for some reason I started pulling my hair I don't even know why but I did. My mom found out and she yelled and screamed at me which again made me feel worse because she always said that I wanted to hurt her so that's why I pulled. She was never tried to make me feel better but I'm used to that. Recently I sadly started pulling my hair again because I felt good when I pulled my hair out I don't know why but now I deal so bad and wrong. I'm determined not to pull anymore and reading these stories makes me feel much better that I'm not the only one who suffers from Trich.

I am 21 and have been pulling for around 8 years, I would say. I pull my eyebrows, eyelashes, and arm hairs. It comes and goes, and I would say I am most concerned about my eyelashes. My eyelashes feel so heavy after I put mascara on--not immediately afterward, but later on in the day. If I have just one thought about my eyelashes, all of a sudden I can't stop thinking about how I want to pull them out. I tell myself I'm just pulling off the mascara. And actually, when I don't wear mascara I am able to stop pulling. So I wear no mascara for a few weeks at a time, let my eyelashes grow back, and then try mascara again thinking I won't pull. But I do. And I keep pulling and it becomes easier to pull them out, and all of a sudden there are gaps in my eyelashes, and then no eyelashes at all! Whenever I would pull one out, the noise it made coming out was so satisfying, even though I would mentally yell at myself for doing it, but then I'd keep pulling. For me, I consider it a matter of self-discipline. I do have control. I should control this. Maybe I should never wear mascara again. But that’s OK if it means I have mastery over the body that God gave me.

Hey! I am 13 and i have been pulling out my eyelashes since i was 5 ( i always cover it up with eyeliner)it all started when one of the boys in my class said if you pull your eyelash out and blow on it and make a wish you wish will come true... I tried it and ever since then i have pulled them ALL out we went to the doctors and they told me to put this special tape on all of my fingers to help me stop. At school everyone would ask what it was for and i would say that it helps me write neater!! (Everyone believed me) and i have never told any of my friends. I think they know i do it but they don't know it is a addiction which is really hard to break.

When ever i go to sleepovers i take a sleeping mask and i wear that all night and when i wake up all of my eyeliner has come off and there is nothing left because i pull every single one out and i just tell them i am going to the toilet but i grab my eyeliner and race into the bathroom and fix it up. I am sick of doing this and i need to stop and i always hate the way i look from the side knowing that there is no eyelashes.

And if i am in the middle of class and i have noticed my eyeliner has come off i can't just race into the bathroom. I have tried stopping but it just doesn't work.

Should i tell my friends?

I have had trich since last year in 8th grade and I really just found out.. I didn't know about the details and about the other places you pull out hair because I thought since I only pull from my scalp, everyone else does. I'm in 9th now and trying to find a way to stop because I hate explaining to my bestfriends what this is. And now my mother and a few of my brothers and sisters. I just plainly don't want to be bald either. Your story has helped me a bit and I'm gonna do use your method. Thanks :)

Hello I'm currently 15 years old and I've had trich since 5 grade. When I first started I had rubbed my eye and my eyelashes were getting irritated. I started looking through my eyelash grabbing the hair seeing which eyelash was hurting and plucked it out. Turns out it was half of my eyelashes. I had beautiful long eyelashes everyone thought I wore fake ones. Now after I plucked half my eyelashes out I rubbed my other eye and did the same thing. My mom was not supportive she hated the way I looked. My friends ask me all the time about what happened to my eyelashes. I just tell them "well I wasn't born with eyelashes it's like a disorder" some thought I was weird, some accepted me. Throughout this year. 2013. I have gradually stopped my pulling. I went to see the doctor asked him if he could put me on anti depressant pills but he wouldn't. He made me feel like I wasn't alone and told me pills wouldn't work. He told me it's gonna be hard but I succeeded. I've been pluck free for half of October an all of November. I stopped because I knew my mom loved my eyelashes I did too. I wanted to wear mascara. Everyday I wear gloves even when it's hot. It keeps me from pulling. I can't really say it will help you but it has helped me.
Talk to someone close to you about it. It really helps. Especially if they're supportive.
Goodluck trichers. And I hope you all overcome this. (:

This is happening to me and it first started when I put my hand on the top of my head and then I pulled a piece of hair and then started pulling more and more until it got bald. I had a bald spot and I always covered it. This was in when I was in 6th grade and now, I'm in 8th grade and started pulling out my eyebrows! It looks like a complete disaster. When my mom noticed she started shouting and me and screaming and made me feel miserable and then, I got depressed and started to pull out my hair on my head on the same spot as I used to in 6th grade. I was really happy tags it grew back in 6th grade after waiting for years until it grew and now I pulled it out again. I feel like a loser. I feel like giving up. It's not me who's controlling this, it's like I need to pluck out hair, if I don't, I feel so sad and feel like something's missing. Please someone help me! I'm getting embarrassed because my mom always shouts and makes me feel like a useless person please I'm really hurt and I can't stop this because as you all know, trichotillomania starts when you are depressed or feeling anxiety. Thanks god that I don't pull out my eyelashes. If you guys can relate to my story, keep strong and try your best bit to pluck out hair because you are damaging your facial hair. Thank you and I hope someone help me through my horrible situation. :(

I am going through the same thing. Other than the fact that I pulled in 5th grade. I stopped in December 2013, but it came back in January 2014. You are not useless.

kudos to you all!1!!

Im 19 and I have trich, I can't stop myself from picking my eyelashes, like literally the corners of inside and outside of the lids are missing this started for me in 3grade it has become much harder for me to stop now. Ive never had any lashes till this year that ive tried to grew it out but still doesnt work for me, I do it when I get scare, depress, stress, nervous, bored, and sometimes it feels good. I wanted medication but I cant afford it. I have tried a lot of things to stop... any other good things I could do?

I have just come across this and wanted to thank you for your story! I also have trich and I know it's very hard. I started when I was 8 then stopped for a little and then re-started 3 years ago and haven't really stopped. It's very difficult as we all know. I'm trying to stop! Your story is really similar to mine. Be strong and we can all get through this. X

I wanted to thank you for your post I think it is amazing that you are talking about it I am 25 years old and never been diagnosed with Trichotillomania but I have read plenty about it and I have pulled hairs from my head for a long as I can remember I try to choose different places so it won't be as noticeable but of course it still is I have became really good over the years to put my hair in a updo to hide it I have gotten so good that my boyfriend of 1 1/2 years still does not know he just thinks I shed a lot but after reading you post it has given me the courage to finally try and talk about my issue and get some help it is really sad that when my 4 year old son asks me why I pull my hair and knows that I need to stop this out really breaks my heart I really just want to be able to goto the salon and get my hair done and not have this frizzy damaged hair to wear my hair down I have not been to a salon since I was 5 that is 20 years!!!!!! But I just want to say thank you for your courage God bless you

I'm 12 years old and I still have trich. Its been a nightmare for me and I'm thinking about what people will think of me at high-school. My trich is so bad because 3 years ago I got completely bald because of it. Growing my hair back is very slow and is still growing back. Everyone I know thinks that I have alapecia. I don't know how to spell it. I told my mum recently and she is very supportive and tries to help me have more self-esteem. I thought I was some psycho girl who picked her hair but my psychologist toldme that it was called trichotillomania. I'm going to tell my best friend about my problem but I'm scared she's going to hate me for lying. In year 3 I was so ashamed of my problem that I always wore my bandana to school. I'm a lot better now but I still need help. Once I thought about telling my dad about my problem, unfortunately he was talking about me not doing my homework and lying about it and then he said that if you lie, you might as well live in a fantasy. He was furious at me about my homework and that was only a lie which lasted 20 weeks. I can't imagine how he would feel if I told him about the secret I have had lied about for 6 years....HE WOULD HATE ME!! I feel guilty about the lying and I can't make myself feel good about myself. I see all these people at school with long silky hair and I'm always thinking why can't I be like them. I hear them complain about their hair and it makes me angry. They should be glad they don't have what I've got. My best friend has lovely hair and she's always asking me what hairstyle she should have tomorrow. I can't even do a hairstyle with my hair. People have even asked me whether I'm a boy or a girl. It's so stressful. Sorry this is so long. What can I do I need desperate help!

I would like say you are more brave and have more guts then I ever could ! Me being me today or back then could never go into the public being completely bald . Or even with a patch . I have been pulling since the second grade and never stopped . I'm in my final years of high school its kinda pathetic . But I want to tell you what I did for a confident boost and it prevented me from pulling to . You can buy a wig. A really pretty realistic one . There inexpensive like $30-$40. Or you can get a weave if you have hair . Now that can be costly I have been getting done now for 2 years every six months . And fyi if you don't know, a weave is when they braid all your real hair and glue or sow tracks of fake hair onto yours . Its looks so natural and you can't pulls yours cause it's braided up . But that can cost from $100-$300 depending on the hair you get and who does it . You should try . I hope I helped a bit .

That is similar to my father. The people who say that their hair sucks have no idea how it feels.

I am only 14 years old and have been pulling my hair for 6 years. I started when I was 8 years old in the 3rd grade. Between third and fifth grade, the pulling had been on and off and wasn't noticeable. My family members never understood why I always pulled my hair and often tell me just to stop picking at my hair instead of trying to find help (not that finding help was so easy anyway). Well... When I started middle school it got increasingly worse, especially in the 7th grade that even my friends started to notice. It was very embarrassing. I would pull a lot during the school day, but I noticed I pulled the mostly during testing time, or doing homework. I also realized when I'm kept busy and being active in other things I didn't really think of pulling or have the urge to. I noticed that I only really pulled when I was nervous, bored, upset, or just laying around watching tv or something. While in 7th and 8th grade I researched at my problem and noticed I wasn't alone. I noticed how many people in the world actually suffered from the same thing. As much as the stories and videos inspired me I just couldn't stop. I often look at all these girls with long/healthy hair and I try to use that as my inspiration but it just makes me feel even more insecure. I often look back on pictures when my hair used to be much nicer and longer. It usually only makes me feel worse, as I try to think about this whenever I feel the urge to pull. I only pull around the crown/sides of my head not the middle. So the bald spots are noticeable if I try to pull my hair back or up in a bun. So I usually wear a headband or stylish head wrap around those areas to hide the hair loss. I wear weave a lot so it really isn't that noticeable to others, so no one really asked me about it except family members. When I'm back to my natural hair I always look at my hair in the mirror, all around my head was shorter than the rest (the middle). I've been doing this since I started pulling and still am. This is where I reached my boiling point and just really wanted to quit and have this obstacle no longer a part of my life. I continued to research and try the things people said will help. Nothing did. Other help and advice I saw and heard online with good reviews, I had to be a certain age and it cost money. And I know my mother was not going to pay to get me treatment. This is where I started to give up. Nothing was helping. I noticed that all this research wasn't helping or maybe I just wasn't trying hard enough. Although throughout my research I realized my hair loss isn't half as bad as most people I've seen, and there are ways I can do hairstyles and cover it up, but most people with trich can't. So I'm grateful that it isn't that bad but I don't want to wait for later in life when it'll get worse. I want to stop now. I also never felt the need to pull my eyebrows or eyelashes. But I want to stop pulling before that also becomes a problem of mine. I am currently still pulling and about to enter 9th grade in September. I hope that this school year will be the last time I have to go through this. And this time I won't give up and try my hardest to get rid of this problem. I'll take any advice and I'm also going to try the calendar/journal thing and see if that helps. And thank you for sharing your story which has encouraged me to share mine. I hope I can get over this soon and will be updating you guys soon. ;)

Hello everybody i have trich for a very long time already since i was in 5 th grade i begin and now i am still pulling hair out it have already been 8 years i don't know how to stop this i really want to but i can't i feel ashame pls help

You are on the right path girlfriend! Trust me! I DID THE SAME EXACT THING YOU DID TO STOP MY TRICH, let me tell you. I pulled my scalp hair for 5 years, from 2004-2009. December 2009 I stopped pulling. Completely. It's 2013 now, and I have been going strong. I have a scalp full of healthy hair now, it's unbelievable. I love myself and I feel so beautiful. I want to give hope to all you hair-pullers out there! Please use a journal/calendar and mark the days off when you don't pull! Give yourself rewards when you go pull-free for a week! The brain loves challenges! I have been pull free 3 years now. I dont know how i did it, but I DID. And you can too! Sending lots of love and strength your way,
Sofia <3 a trich survivor!

Trich is so tough to deal with! I know how frustrating it is to go weeks without pulling, and then in a moment's lapse of notice you thoughtlessly pull out a hair. I have been dealing with trichotillomania for well over 9 months now. It may not sound like a long time, but I managed to pull out a lot of scalp hair during that time. I work, and was able to hide it despite having an entire bald spot. I quit two times before and was able to cut back sometimes as well, so the bald spot grew in. I'm happy to say the hair in the area is now almost 4 inches! I am currently on my longest winning streak ever, at 25 full days of not pulling. It may not sound like much but I have never gotten further and have managed to stop my unconscious pulling. I also mark every single day off with a calendar and reward myself... after all, it isn't easy! Hang in there!

I started when I was 10. I dunno what made me start. I stopped for a while. But about a year later, when I entered middle school, kids always threw distaste on bodily hair. And then some stressful things happened... Since then I've never really stopped. It's been 6 years. I still have hair. I was able to stop my eyebrows/eyelashes (for the most part). But I've moved to other parts and now I leave scars and pimples. I don't really know what to do. I don't even know how to shave and I'm too embarrassed to ask because my legs don't have a lot of hair and are now covered in pimples and scars from my scratching and pulling...

I wish you luck, girlie, and I hope you wish me luck as well.

Oh my god I feel the same say and i dont know what made me start! I have been pulling for a few years now and it's gotten so bad one time that my left part of my hair was shorter than the right part. I'm only 17 too and my boyfriend takes my hand everytime I do it when he's around but it won't help when he's not around! I even have a stress ball that my boyfriend got me but I'm ebarrassed to use it during school.

You should use it during school! Just tell everyone you have too much energy and need to displace it somewhere. Maybe people will notice it at first (but I don't think many will) and I don't think anyone will care.