Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling) Support Group

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Life Sentence...At Least It Feels That Way

I have battled trichotillomania for 29 years.  I am 41 now and it is a daily battle.  I have recently moved to Florida and left all of my family, friends, and complete support system behind.  I am looking for people like me who can relate to this uncontrollable desire to pull, as well as any "life hacks" to getting through each day without pulling.


Replies

condo4
condo4

I want to start off with saying... keep your chin up!! As an individual that has suffered from trich for 21 years (I'm only 23, but it started when I was a baby, my mother used to have to dig hair out of my throat that I would pull out and eat it). I used to shrug it off and say "it's just an odd mannerism" but then I became aware of my pulling my first and second years of college and I hated that I did it. I was lucky enough to be able to see my college's school psychologist. She armed me with many different coping mechanisms as well as behavior therapy.

The thing that I take with me everyday is that trich is usually triggered by an external stimuli that is causing stress. If I catch myself pulling, I take a look at my surroundings. I make mental notes of people and items that are around me. I then ask myself if any of these are triggering stress. Most of the time I can pick out one or two items that are causing the stress build-up. After I acknowledge that I am experiencing stress I use coping techniques that I was taught in counseling. One of the ones that works best for me is to remove my hands from my head / area of pulling. This could be putting my hands in my pockets, sitting on them, or giving them another task to do. This removes the object that does the pulling. After I remove my hands, I take 3 deep "Signal breaths". I inhale, hold for 3 seconds, exhale (repeat). This allows me to regroup myself. After I have regrouped I document the instance. For the longest time I carried around a pocket notebook. Anytime that I pulled I would stop and write down these 5 things. The day, time, what I was doing before I pulled, what I was thinking during, and how I felt after. With this documentation I was able to pick up on patterns. When you see those patterns you can better help yourself to try and resist the urge to pull.

I can empathize with you on how you feel leaving your support system behind. I relocated after college and I left everything behind that I loved and was comfortable with. The trich flared up. I just had to remember that I overcame the urges before, I just needed to work really hard to overcome them again. To this day I experience the urge to pull. Quite honestly, I still participate in the act of pulling. But the second my hand goes to my hair I go into "battle mode". I know what I am doing is an unhealthy way of dealing with stress and then I work with myself from there and I do what I need to in order to lessen those urges. Please keep in contact! I am not a medical professional by any means, but I have the experience of overcoming and relapsing.
Andrea_3000
Andrea_3000

I don't want to sound like a commercial but you should maybe give habitware a try? https://www.habitaware.com/ I have been pulling my eyelashes and eyebrows out for over 10 years. Tried everything under the sun to stop pulling and nothing would work. Then I came across a video for this product, its called Keen and its a bracelet (kinda looks like it would be a health/ steps bracelet but its not) I noticed an almost immediate difference, and haven't pulled any hairs since I got it 3 weeks ago. While zero pulling is not my goal, this will absolutely help me pull alot less. I have been reading numerous support group sites over the years and one major theme is that no one has found a decent solution to help combat this. Keen brings awareness to your behaviors every time your pulling action is performed. This may not help everybody, but I have noticed a major difference. hope this helps!
wutusaygoes
wutusaygoes

I have had this since I was 5 and my mom would get beaten up by my dad. I was told by my grandmother once, that a girl she knew had it and stopped when she was 26. My life was a horror story until I changed it all at 26. Weird how that stuck in the brain. And I left all the toxicity, was in the best shape and happiest of my life. Full beautiful eyelashes, and a new outlook on life. Until my children's father killed himself that year. Now I am 42 and have been pulling since. I know there are no tricks or "techniques" to keep me from pulling. I don't pull when I am happy. I don't pull when I feel I am in charge of my life. No one has ever supported me, they never understood that it really is like biting nails. It's stress. I use fake lashes and when I don't, I have great make up. Most times people don't even notice. You have to find fulfillment in life. I truly believe that is what makes the difference. My second act is coming soon. I know I will be happy again. Good luck to you!
Soccermom14
Soccermom14

Wow , I got the habit ware like Andrea a month ago and have not pulled a single hair . It's amazing , try it !!!!!
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