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
18-21, F
54 Responses Nov 22, 2011

This whole thing was almost weird for words what I experience! The only difference is that mine IS driven by anxiety. What's worse is that I randomly get spikes in my disorders. I can go months without pulling and suddenly I'm yanking every last lash out.
It's hard to know how to handle something like this without knowing what other conditions I have. For one, I know I'm OCD for sure. And OCD plays a part in this disorder. Once I pull out a patch of eyelashes, subconsciously I'll convince myself that I have to continue pulling to even it out.
Another thing, I have a huge, unexplained problem with sensitivity. My doctor "doesn't feel comfortable" diagnosing me with fibromyalgia, but she won't consider any of the other possibilities. So, when my eyelashes feel like they itch or hook onto each other, I feel like I have to get rid of it to stop the feeling, and then the OCD kicks in...
I know for sure that this all started when a "friend" insinuated that I had a unibrow, so I took a razor and shaved off the whole thing... I was not very bright...
Have you ever pulled because of an itchiness or irritation? I'm seriously not sure what the biggest factor is in my condition. It embarrasses me so much, especially considering that I work with kids. Kids notice EVERYTHING and always ask questions. It's hard to hide from that.

I'm currently thirteen and in eighth grade and I guess I've had trich since I was in fourth or fifth grade maybe? Anyways it started when me and my friend had a contest to see who could pull out the most eyelashes at once (this was in third grade (we were weird kids (we're still weird kids 😂))) and I just kinda got obsessed with it but I stopped for the time being. Then again in fourth grade I guess I was wondering why I did that and so I started doing it again to try and figure it out. Well then I became REALLY obsessed. I would pull out my eyelashes whenever I was alone and I didn't even mind if other people saw me doing it. I remember my friend coming up to me and saying "you know eyelashes don't grow back right" (obviously they do but come on we were fourth graders, we believed everything) but I still pulled because I refused to believe that. I remember being in the car one day while my parents picked up something from the dollar store and I realized that almost all my eyelashes were gone on my right eye. So I switched to my eyebrows. Then I became obsessed, people started noticing, and I started on the hair on my head halfway through sixth grade. I was sitting on my couch and I was about to pull out part of my eyebrow but then my ten year old logic said "hey! Why don't you pull out you hair, there's so much of it, nobody will ever notice!" So that's what I did and I found that a much more enjoyable and easier experience, but after about two hours worth of pulling on my couch without my parents even noticing, I went to pull another hair from the same spot on my hairline, but there was nothing there. I couldn't believe it but I couldn't stop and after that, there was nothing I could do. There was a period of time where I went for about six months without pulling (my grown back hair was at the perfect length for me to get side bangs, so I did and I loved my hair) but then one day I was fed up with this one piece of hair sticking straight up so I pulled it. And I pulled another stray. And another. And another. To the point that I realized I had started again and at that point I was in tears. So to this day I've still been pulling since then and I got so mad at myself the other night for pulling so much (this is a particularly bad time for me) that I slapped each of my hands and squeezed them together as hard as I could and I sat on top of them to try and stop myself from pulling. I wished I was in a straight jacket or in a mental hospital so someone could stop me from doing this but all I could do was sit on my hands and hope my body wouldn't make me pull again. I've even gotten to the point where I wish I had cancer so that I could be bald without being rejected by society for looking 'weird' It just seems like it would be so much better being bald and it feels like there's a constant war going on between my mind and body because no matter how many times I tell myself to stop pulling, my body forces my fingers to pull at my hair creating bald spot after bald spot until I'm crying and kicking my hands. I really have no idea where I was going with all that but I hope someone can relate to what I'm feeling because I don't want to be alone and I don't want anyone else to EVER be alone with this disorder so if anyone wants to talk you can kik me @._.miranda or find me on Instagram @miranda._.basically because i don't want ANYONE to feel like they can't tell anyone about trich and I know how much anxiety it can cause and please message me anytime you want.

(typing this on my phone, too lazy to capitalize things) i think i was in 5th grade, and something hapoened to the effect of me finding a hair probably at least 6 inches long that was entirely split "ends". i was afraid there was more so i pulled out a couple hairs that felt the same way. ( addng yhis part later " and i also was in a phase where i needed soemthing to entertajn me, i have ADHD so i was always too bored to look at the teachers face for hours and drawing got doring quickly even though i used to love to draw, and so i was in a phase where id look at my arms for bumps(pimples not really pimples hard to explain) that i could get rid of, i rubbed my eyebrow and there was this one hair that really irritated me, like how it moved or something when i rubbed it annoyed my skin, and i ended up pulling out 1/4 of my eyebrow, the day before picture day. the next day the skin was still really irritaded from the rubbing and pulling, and in the picture it looked like i had a giant scab on my eyebrow, i wouldnt tell anyone what hapoened to it and my grandmother thought i had tried to fix my eyebrows luke how girls fix them with tweazers, except instead she thought i had used a razor, no one knows that till today :P) I kept doing it, and it evolved into this thing of if my hair had this wavy feel to it it had to go. The i noticed that my hair curved around my hair at a certain spot instead of going straight down (cayse the way you brush your hair) and then it annoyed me so i started "working" on that.It just kept getting worse and worse and it went from a very specific feel to a in general if the hair has one bump/wave it was going to be pulled out. All the hairs that have the certain feel to it are along this one part of my head, so instead of a bald spit i have a bald line. around 8th grade i moved my part to the other side of my head cause it was getting bad. I get self concious when i have to get a haircut, one of the stylists even called me out on it! its gotten to the point where every class the entire class im pulling out my hair, (so i wanted to add this, but i kept typing, so ive come back latter and added this " so im pulking my hair basically non stop for 6 hours, and supprizingly unless you saw me pulling my hair you wouldnt know i do it, it doesnt look like i do it cause i can cover it up well i guess) i do it in the car, or just when im not paying attention, its alot worse when im stressed, at one point i tried to just straighten the hairs with my fingers by "pulling" on them with my finger nails, but it just made it super curly and annoying (cause itd be just one super curly hair, and i have (what used to be really thick) wavy hair) i still do that every now and then, ive tried to just feel instead of pull and it works some. I cant put my hair up in a high pony tail cause the bald spot will how and tuffs of hair stick out, thats also why i cant straighten it. Getting my hair done for homecoming and prom is a nightmare for me. Im going into 11th grade now. Ive tried to stop multiple times throughtout the years but i just cant. ill try again, hope it works this time, what upsets me even more is apparently itll take probably around 7 months for it to look normal if i dont pull. im afraid that bald spot may never go away cause of all the pulling doing damage to my hair. I also am contantly looking at my hair for split ends and almost never have a conversation where i make eye contact with anyone cause im too busy with my hair. It seems to be and idle activity thats progressively getting worse. I try and get a seat in the bakc corner of the class so no one will see me do it, and my visions kinda messed up cause im always looking at everything slightly sideways cause my arms resting on my desk and my hands on my head (im left handed, so my free hand rests on the desk).Im hoping of stopping it for good, but idk how i will.wish me luck!

sorry for any grammar and soelling issues, my phones not highlighting mispeoled words, and ive gotten probably 3 hours of sleep a night for the past 3 or 4 days

wow that was REALLY long

and its also gotten to a thing of actually LIKING the pain and sometimes i subconciously seekout hairs ontop of nerves to feel it even more, uggghh so ashamed, sooo need help lol wish me luck in breaking my habit!

WoW so many stories to identify with. I started when I too was in middle school. It was as simple as pulling the edge lashes never the middle then I just continued to move in more and more until one day I had none at all. I'm now 35 years old and have been battling this addiction for over 20 years. I'm the mother of 2 boys and I have caught my boys tugging at their lashes a time or two. So I know I have to set an example for my kids as I don't want this awful habit to become apart of their life. Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories you give me hope. This is my year to take control of my life and my eyelashes and not let it control me anymore. I am going to start a 10 day fasting starting March 28th. On the 28th I will post pics of my eyelashes and keep a daily journal of my triggers and cognitive habits that alert me when I'm about to start pulling. I would love for some of you to join me in this journey. Every 10 days we reward ourselves and start another 10 days until we have defeated Trich once and for All! I must stop for my children!!!!

Sadly developed Trich years ago but in the past year it's gotten so much worse. I wear fake eyelashes everywhere I go. If your Trich does get really bad with your eyelashes I recommend fake eyelashes they're a pain to get to learn how to use and do everyday but it gives me a lot of confidence like I actually have nice eyelashes. Day by day I try my hardest not to pull. Hope one day I'll get over this habit! ):

I pull out my the hair on my head. It was because everyone would always comment on how poofy it is. So I pull it out, to keep the poof down. Then my mom would always say how curly my eyebrows were. She made me fix them. Since they needed fixing, I knew they were bad. I don't do that as often though, when I noticed them thinning out,and no way am I letting someone notice! I'm only 13, I started when I was 11, and I'm trying to stop, but it's so hard. I don't know if I can. I really want help,but...I probably won't get any. Hopefully I'll be able to stop someday...!

my name is chanel and im 13 years old and have trich. it started in early 7th grade, i am now in 8th and ive fought it!! havent touched my eyelashes or eyebrows in 6 months and theyre almost fully grown back and thick! i use cold pressed caster oil to help them grow faster. it sucked when i had it because friends would notice and say "do u pick out ur eyelashes" but i say "no" but i really did or some people would just stare or say "your bottom lashes are longer then ur top (because i didnt really pickout the bottom ones. but yeah it sucks to have trich but were not alone! :))

Hey I have a story very similar to this!

me too!

I've had the same problem too since I was 8 years okd, now I'm 27. i used to have no eyelashes and eyebrows at all and always carried eyebrow pencil with me and wore eyeliner.I managed to stop pulling my eyebrows and eyelashes in May this year and they grew all back, beautiful and healthy. i went to have them shaped and everyone told me I have beautiful eyebrows and for once in my life I began to feel normal and actually said to myself i am beautiful. last week i pulled my eyebrows again and i have bald parts which i fill in with make up. i m so disapponted with myself and really wish to stop pulling once and for all!

same with me ! theyre slowly growing back now :)

Wow your story actually brought tears to my eyes because I relate to it so much! My Trish started when I was 10 I guess.. It was weird I just decided to pull my eyebrows for no reason. That stuck with me through out middle school and then it stopped. Then my freshmen year of high school I started to pull my eyelashes. I am currently 18 and I've been trying to fight this but its so hard. My parents don't get it either. At first I had no clue about what I was really doing until my friends started asking me why I had no eyelashes and oh course I made great lies up. Now I'm just trying to fight the urges but it's difficult and I want to give up a lot.

Wow, unbelievable!! Dreamer, it almost sounds like you wrote my story!! I still remember my first time, 13 years ago, now I'm 22, I slept outside on a trampoline that night with some friends and that morning I felt that my eyelashes were uncomfortable, and I actually could pull them out. And that's where it began. Before this night, my brother sometimes pulled some of his eyelashes out just for fun and I tried it many times, but I couldn't, it hurtet whey to much, not ONE!!!!!! So here's a thought dear friends, don't you think that there has to be something wrong, that something might have made our hair weaker, or something?? Because WHY did you had the feeling that there was something in your eye when you started it, Dreamer? I think we are thinking to easy that we just do it as a habit!! I am very curious WHY
we started it!!! Or why doesn't it hurt anymore if we do it, but before we started it, we couldn't even get one out!!!!

Wow, first of all Thank you for sharing your story , I am f2f lad to hear that you have stoped, My story is pull of my hair not.head , And Don t know why but I do , it all started when.I was Either 17 or 18 and was on a trip to Las Vegas within my mom and her husband, and now I'm 45 there are days that I don't pull our any hairs at all, and I now realized that I'm getting bald patches, omg I hate it , what is strange is I'm picky about the hairs I pull out I will take my fingers and run them tjrough my hair only pulling out the ones that feel different from the others, like a thicker Gray hair or one that just feels different, and I use to see the hair root it will stick to the mirror or your finger, lol I know sounds strange.

Thank you for sharing all your stories. I also had that kind of habit of what we call trichotillomania. Im 16 now and it all started when i was 6 yrs old i guess? And being a kid, its normal that were curious on things around us. Theres this woman whose usually the one picking me up from school. And then one day, i just saw her pulled out some hair infront of the mirror in one of the restroom then i also tried pulling my hair off and it feels so good and thats the time i started pulling out my hair each and everyday and i still do it unti now. -.- Most stories i had read are similar to mine. And yes, its true that its not that easy to control it. Even me myself had a hard time on how to stop this pulling out your hair thingy. I often tell myself of what will be the consequences if i wont stop this. That i must stop this since theres still time. But everytime i tried telling that to myself, it seems like i wont listen and still continues. And thats the time i want to give up like thinking theres no cure to this thing, that i cant stop myself from pulling and everytime i realized that i cant prevent myself from pulling my hair, the more i want to pull more of it. But i know i can do this. We all can do this. We all just need to have faith in ourselves and believe that we can stop this. Never lose hope :)))

Thank u sooo much someone understands! I was just like this except for a few things...
1.I am not allowed to wear make-up. (which sucks :P )
2. My parents found out before I did because I have to wear glasses. I had started pulling 6 months before we went and we didn't have internet then... so my life sucks.
3. My mom is a hypochondriac. She told ALL of my family. I have no secrets with her.
4.I have another eye doctor appt. in 2 weeks and I went on a pulling spree yesterday so that freaked me out but yeah...
But thank You SOOO much now I know that I am normal so now I wont pull more thinking I am not :)

Our stories are so similar except I'm 29 and the last 2 years were my most out of control. I feel like once I let my secret out to my boyfriend (now fiancé) and he still loved me even though I had this odd habit, that it suddenly became okay. And when my job got overly stressful the pulling got worse. No one really ever said much, until one day at the nail salon. My manicurist said "did you shave your eyebrows? What happened" I just said stress. Once again this almost made it okay. I've been going pretty strong though lately. I have slip ups here and there but am able to stop myself from causing much damage. My wedding is in 4 months and is keeping me motivated. And I'm happy to say that mascara looks great, I understand how nice it was to pull with mascara as well, and my eyebrows are slowly making their way back. Keep strong! We got this!

Dear Dreamer,

Thank you for your story.

I am a mom of a beautiful, creative teen. She is so many wonderful things. And she has trich. She wants to stop. And I am grateful she lets me in on her struggles. I want to just fix it for her. But she and I both know I can not.

I try to just let her know how much she is loved. How important her thoughts, feelings and creativity is to those around her. And that she deserves to be happy and not harm herself. At times she responds positively to me; other times not.

I admire all of you trying to recover from this. Please know your family wants only for your happiness. Your actions do not disappoint us, nor scare us, nor diminish our love for you.

Be good to yourself because you deserve it.

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 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. ;)

sounds likes me, i started around 5th grade and im in high school now and i mainly just pull on the criwn if my head, i cant have high pony tails but i can cover it up pretty well

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.

You can do it! I know as I've been pull free for 3 years now after almost 30 years of pulling. I recommend getting something to rub in which will help you in weak moments and will change your actions from pulling to rubbing. I used Trich Stop Oil, which seemed to have a good reputation (I foudn it online, but I think you can get it on Amazon). In any case, keep up the good work. it IS POSSIBLE!

Thanks for sharing this i have an almost i dentical story and i actually caugh myself pulling while reading im goin to try though :)

oh, sweetie, i just know you can do this! don't give up on yourself. it's so so hard, but you're so so strong!

Hey girlfriend, it felt really good to read this. I can totally relate to every word. I just joined this experience project, because I thought I was the only one who had this problem. And to this day, I cannot figure out why I do it. Why is it so pleasing?!! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm glad I am not alone. My problem is the eyebrows and my forehead, though. And I don't just pull, I shave. And I don't do it to look pretty. My mom is obsessed with the idea that I do it because I stress myself too much in trying to look pretty. But that's not it. Even when I am happy and feel beautiful. It is so hard to resist the urge. Sometimes, it almost feels WRONG to resist the urge. You feel me?? :( I know this post is like a couple years old, but how are u doing now?

At first i constantly started picking my eyelashes my mom would always say stop picking !! lol i would stop until she wasnt looking at me at least, then my eyebrows too i would usually do it if i didnt have anymore eyelashes at the moment.... lastly my actual hair,i started doing that in my world cultures class out of nowhere !!! but i had enough starting now i plan to never again pull out my eyelashes, eyebrows and hair in general

I can relate to a lot of what you wrote. I used to hate making eye contact with people and would try my absolute hardest to not draw any attention to myself. I would try and fix my hair so it would cover my eyes at best as I could. Looking back it was a terrible plan, but I was desperate to keep my trich a secret. <br />
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I used to pull my eyelashes and eyebrows out. From ages 8 till around 14, I had no eyelashes or eyebrows. I was a dancer too, which made my illness more difficult to cope with. Thinking back, people who knew me very well just got used to it. My parents had to go and talk to my dance teacher and try and explain to her why I looked the way I did. My mum used to try so hard to understand why I was doing it, but I could never vocalise the reasons why I did it. It just made me feel better - it was that simple to me.<br />
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I am early 20's now and I have been more or less trich free for about 6 years. I still pull the hair on my head a little when I get nervous or anxious, but nothing that is noticeable (for now). I have to try and control myself as best as I can whenever I feel like pulling and thank fully I have a wonderful husband who knows about my trich and reminds me to try and stop every time my hand goes up to my hair. <br />
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You sound like a very strong individual and I wish you the absolute best in controlling your trich. Please feel free to message me and I would love to know how your recovery is going.<br />
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Love X


If anyone is interested in me posting about my conversation with my mom or want's to see pictures or just chat online, just let me know :)