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My Story...

Where to begin. Im a female in my young 20's, I have my first child on the way, and I am ready for change. I have had Trichotillomania since I was three. However, it began differently then most cases, I would lie in bed at night and pluck the hairs from my teddy bears, the colored ones first, like around the feet and hands, then on to the next color...I did that untill my parents took away my stuffed animals. As far as I know, I stopped. But not for long, like most of you I clearly rember the next time I did it, I was in 5th grade math class, stressesd and not getting the lesson, I started rubbing and plucking my eyebrow hair with my pen, and thus it bagan. It only took a few weeks to completly pluck my eyebrows to nothing but stubs. It wasnt untill recently I relized the teddy bear and the eyebrows were connected. I just wish I could understand why...was it trauma? Genetics? A psycholigical disorder...and still almost 15 years later, no answers.

But that aside, Im ready to fight it. Im reading a great book "The hair pulling problem" I hope it will help, since there are virtually no local doctors who even know what I have. Ive been to psychologists, and been down the medication route. To no avail, most likley because I wasnt being properly treated. I guess its easier to say you have anxiety and depression issues, because there more common and easily treated...even though its likely I do have these issues in atleast a mild form, the pulling never stopped.

Its like my hands have a mind of there own. If I try to stop, my fingers and eyebrows start to itch, tingle or burn and my mind can foucs on NOTHING untill I finally just give in. Its a horrible helpless feeling. I cover up the missing spots with eyebrow pencil, but I still see it everytime I look in the mirrior. It was much harder as a child, in school, it was worse, harder to cover, and I couldnt learn to accept or understand why I would do this to myself. Older now, I can share my problems with close friends and my loving husband, who all support, even if they dont really understand. Afterall it is such a strange habbit.

I guess Im just hear to see if others feel and behave the same way I do. Like I mentiond esrlier I am currently pregnant, and would like to finally call it quits with my disorder. I know I'll fight it for the rest of my life, but now more then ever I'm motivated to change. Id love any comments or tips from fellow sufferers. Thanks for listening!

Sweetpeabrie Sweetpeabrie 21-25, F 5 Responses Sep 27, 2007

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i think my mother has this. everyone in her family has really thick eyebrows and she has plucked hers away. now there are about a cm long. she doesn't seem to be aware there is anything wrong. <br />
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i use to have dermatillomania all through highschool. i had keratosis pilaris and i woud pick at all the little bumps. now i do it about one day a year. i think its a matter of being able to stop focusing so much of your mind on a little spot. but maybe trichotillomania is different in some cases. <br />
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i know what you mean. i could not figure out what would cause this. well, my father seems to do it. and as i said my mother seems to have trich. we are disfunctional as a whole so maybe there is some internal cause plauging us all. <br />
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but i feel like its more of a void and the cause doesn't matter. being out of the environment of my family helps me. and just allowing myself to be vain to. if you fill that void with vanity or some other positive thing, you wont focus on a single hair.

I've had it 26 years, and yes it is genetic, my sister and son have OCD and I also skin pick. I've recently started taking St John's Wort for stress (8 weeks ago) and I haven't pulled or had the urge to pull a single hair since I started on them. They aren't for everyone, and you can't take them if you take anti depressants. I"m just so happy I stumbled across these and have hopefully cured my trich albeit by accident. Good luck, I know how tough and frustrating trich is. I'm planning on getting extensions on my (many) short bits soon, I can't wait. xx

hello <br />
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well.. i am a 12 year old girl who has only suffered from a mild case of Trich which started when i was 9. i have pulled my eyelashes, eyebrows and pubic hair out. i have found that going to psychologists and the help that they give you is completley worthless. what helped me end hair pulling for good was an internet sight with bloggers who had suffered from it themselves. <br />
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i identified that i pulled hairs mainly at night and therefore wore gloves so i couldnt pull. however, i would take these gloves of at night and go ahead. i would pull and pull until one day i realised a large infection in the pubic area that had come from pulling. the idea that they would laser it of was enough to scare me out of pulling once and for all.<br />
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now i am 12 and have been pull free for at least three quarters of a year.<br />
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i know the addiction that you are going through is hard and because of my age i understand if you do not take my story seriously but you can get infections from hair pulling which can become quite serious and lead to becoming blind if they occur on your eyelid. <br />
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congratulations on being pregnant and good luck with the resisting of hair pulling. dont let this issue control your life. i know you can do it and i wish you best of luck.<br />
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i know it feels strange being given advice by a twelve year old but i am here for you.<br />
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xx

Feel free to read about my experience. I started my pulling when I was pregnant with my 2nd child. I truly feel this is a stress coping skill for us. Yes it is also an anxiety issue but I do not believe that medicine can take this away, believe me I have gone down that route. I have researched this deeply and have my own conclusions as to why we do this. I think that we did not develope coping skills like others do. This would be equivelant to people who cut themselves, bite their nails down to stubs, etc. Just a different body part that falls victim.<br />
I have found some releif recently. I had created some bald spots low in my hair line, behind my ears, made my look a little odd. SO I got 100% real hair extension clips to hide the issue. I found that I could also sit and pull the hair out of the clips as well, and the urge felt satisfied. Wasn't my hair, this has allowed me to re-grow in those areas, now. I learned that it is mainly the texture of hair that I am targeting, not necessarily the fact that it is on my head.<br />
If you would like to try this yourself let me know and I will give you some tips on how to find these clips cheap.

There is a genetic component to trich. They are saying that it is on the Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum. Duke University is doing a genetic study on it right now. They actually flew someone over to me to draw my blood, after I filled out an extensive questionaire. Hang in there, there is hope for us yet. They had me think back to any other family members that had "skin picking" habits, or other OCD type behavior. I realized then that I have many family members that are affected in other ways other than trich. Congratulations on being pregnant!