NEW and ashamed.....
Hi everyone I just joined so I thought I would share a litte bit.
I am a teenager who currently struggles with trich, but also am figuring out I may have other BFB's. I have been struggling with trich for about two years now, but did not know I had it or what it was until fairly recently. I do not remember the exact time it started, however I remember being so stressed out about school and my sport/ my friendships falling apart, that I began pulling my hair. It started off as running my hands through my hair, and when greasy my fingers would get stuck, so the hair would break off. I did not intend to pull my hair out, but when it broke off I found this sense of comfort and calming. The sensation of the hair being pulled off my head soothed me. For months and months I continued to pull the same spot underneathnear the nape of my neck, in class, at home, and thought nothing of it. Then I began noticing that a patch of hairs was getting extremely short, and even revealing a small bald spot on the back on my neck/head (even more unfortunate the little hairs curl up and are visibly noticeable if I put my hair up, or wear it a certain way etc.). I began to realize that maybe this was not normal. So then I turned to the internet and came across Trichotillomania. I was shocked and in denial, as I did not know it was a real disorder, and the internet always makes things sound terrifying. I was petrified, ashamed and embarassed. I hid it from my family and friends, and when my mom would occasionally braid my hair and see them she asked if I had cut them on accident; I lied and told her I had. My stress and anxiety was so bad I pulled my hair constantly, and would pull out eyebrow hairs as well. It was not until I began seeing a therapist for my anxiety that I opened up about my struggle with trich. Although I am still embarassed and ashamed, I have been able to accept it more and attempt to curb it and my desires to pull. I have told two close friends, and my mom found out through my therapist and offered her support, although with good intentions she does not quite understand why I pull along with my close friends who think it is just a small habit such as cracking your knuckles. Then I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder as well as OCD. I began taking meds that were supposed to help with both disorders, and since trich is a complusive behavior, I was told it should help all three. In the first month or so, I saw no difference and still struggled every day with pulling, but the two months after that I finally started to feel less urges, maybe only pulling once a week. My hair began to start growing back, and I felt a sense of pride. However, last week I had an extremely stressful week, and pulled viciously every single day, so much that I pulled out the entire section I had waited so patiently, and worked so hard to grow back. I feel defeated, and continue to have the urge to pull everyday as it is the only thing that seems to soothe my anxiety and stress. I have vaguely read up on some toys, but many of them seem more of a squishing sensation than that of pulling (which for me the satisfaction comes from the release). If you have any tiips for how to curb urges to pull, or anything that has worked for you, please let me know I really want to overcome this, but everytime I try I end up failing.
I was wondering if hair Twirling is a form of trichotillomania. I have been doing it since business school back in 2005 and perhaps longer. Seems to get worse the more stressed I am but also happens when I am calm. It's just a habit that I can't seem to resist.