The Journey Begins.

I developed trichotillomania about a month-a month & a half ago and started keeping a journal after I realized what I had. I will now share these entries up until the last one. Journal entries will be in "quotations". Other comments in {brackets}.
"4/19/2012
Today I realized I have Trichotillomania.
...
When I pull I often go to the crown of my head. {usually the left side, though sometimes now I try to mix it up.} I feel around until my fingers find a 'good' bumpy hair. The coarser the hair, the better. After I pull it out, I feel this strange satisfaction with myself. I inspect the hair & if it's especially rigid and curly I feel 'excited'?
I haven't been doing this for very long, a couple weeks maybe, but I'm noticing a little bit of thinning in my main pulling areas. I don't want to have bald spots, or end up having to shave my head so I'm going to tell someone no matter how embarassed I may be."

Soon after I had written this I texted my friend Jasmine & told her what I had discovered.

"4/30/2012
I scared myself today.
In third period jasmine had a really good, rough hair that I saw when she was leaning over whilst taking a test. I wanted so badly to reach out & pull it. It's not even my own hair anymore, but my friends too? I'm sick.
I snuck a few hairs out in a couple of classes today too. How could I do something like this in public? No one saw. I think. I hope.

I never actually taped my fingers that night but I didn't pull any more. Soon after this entry I showed my journal to another friend, Tori. Best friends for 6 years, she told me we would get through this.
"5/7/2012
I've been keeping track on my hips {how many hairs pulled}. in the first week of may, I have pulled a total of 94 hairs. 51 tallies on my right hip so far, 43 on my left. It's gone down I believe. Keeping track is helping so far (I think) because I'm lazy & if I don't have my pen available sometimes I won't pull in case I forget to wright it later. So far, success! I just hope Rachel dosnt notice in the locker room, I really don't want people to know. It's so embarrassing. If everyone knew then every time I touched my hair I would get looks. They would ask me, ' are you gonna pull? Don't pull jessi! ' I know it would happen, sooner or later.
I don't know if I'll ever be pull-free. Then maybe I'll have to tell my parents. That would kill me. They don't need anything else to worry about. They would probably think I was nuts & Trich dosnt exist anyways. How could I be sure I had it? But how many people of their own free will sit & pull their hair out? Is it normal that every time I raise my hand it goes directly to the top of my head?
Whoops, make that 95.
Maybe I should go talk to ms.Julia {school counselor} she's free. Then again, what could she do? There's no cure. She's not a doctor & can't give me medication or treatment. All she could really give me is sympathy I suppose. She wouldn't know where to start on therapy. It's too uncommon, unheard-of & people know to little about it for anyone to really help me. So for now I guess im on my own.
96.
97."

I'm now thinking of going to ms. Julia again. Maybe she could give me a stress ball to use to keep my hands buisy.

"5/12/2012 {today}
172 hairs pulled in 12 days.wether this is helping or not, it won't cure me alone. Izabella found out about the tallies on my hips when my tank top came up in class last week. This is dangerous. I'm considering stopping but keeping track ensures more guilt. More reason to stop.
...
I'm on the verge of tears now. As I was writing that last bit twice I stopped & convinced myself not to pull. It was hard but I did it. Then, while writing the very last sentence I pulled a hair & didn't even notice until i was staring at the hair in my hand. Upset, I just pulled 3 more hairs. Make that 4. Just kidding 5. I hate myself. I want to chop off my hands & mail them to anarctica. 6.
Three friends now know about my trich. They say I can stop. I can do it. They provide little support, however. They don't know. They aren't the ones with the disorder here. 7. At the rate I'm going, a thinned or bald spot will definitely be noticeable by the end of the month. I need help. I need someone who understands. I need a friend in this lonely trich world. I WANT OUT.
8."

This is my cry for help. Despite all of my problems I'm happy. But when a happy 14 year old is stressed be it my alcoholic mother, my hoarding parents, my crumbling family, my weight issues, my friend issues, school stress or now my trichotillomania, sometimes this girls cracks a little. since typing this all out I have pulled 7 more hairs. Never mind 8 now.
If you have read to here, thank you for listening :) more updates to come, but for now, this is my story & is the start of my trich journey.
Jmau Jmau
13-15, F
3 Responses May 12, 2012

I totally understand what you mean. I pull huge bald spots daily, I pull hair hundreds or even thousands a day. I pull 24 hours a day. Tips: hats. ignoring the idiots. and keeping happy and stress free. these hints are not guaranteed but they work for short bouts of time:)

Two days ago after I had been sitting pulling for hours, I picked up the hairs that were all over my arms, floor & clothes & started untangling them all. I laid them all out & realized i could braid the amount of hair I had just pulled. That's the worst I have done yet. I stopped keeping track of how many I pulled & that may be a reason. Kind of like counting calories, you're more aware.

Thank you so much! I do find that when I wear my hair down more it's easier to pull. even if i'm writing or doodling I still pull because my left hand is free & my head's tilted down..plus i'm concentrating so i'm not paying attention to my hands. The worst is when it happens while i'm taking a test. That makes me feel so much better that someone relates. I will get better, & you will too! Don't lose faith

I can relate to you. A lot. I had trich for 3 years now and still do. I'm thirteen just one year younger. Stress balls worked for me and i took up knitting too. try wearing ponytails more often. or pull ur hair back with a hairband. I know what u mean by texture. im searching for one now. its disgusting isnt it? how u say ur gonna stop but ur mind thinks otherwise. its going to be alright. eventually ull get rid of this addiction. be strong and dont give up dispite ur circumstances.