Health Diaries > The Trichotillomania Blog

January 20, 2007

The Trichotillomania Blog

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I have a daughter who is 15 who has had Trich since she was 11. It is breaks my heart to see her struggle with this. She is in therapy and on Prozac and talks. Grows her hair back, loses it. Tries to hide the fact she is pulling her hair again, you name it. I would go to the ends of the earth for her, and have. I feel all the Dr.s I have gone to (around 8-10) have all relied on my knowledge of this disorder to guide them. It is exhausting and frustrating. I feel so lost sometimes, and sad all the time for this precious girl. Her present Dr. keeps calling her "a success story"! She is still pulling her hair out! Just because she is a beautiful blonde knockout and doesn't currently have bald patches, I guess in this Dr. mind she is a "success story" yikes! Yet, she still pulls her hair out and uses hair products and bobby pins to keep everything in place to cover it all up

I have it and I go to doctors and take medication and everything, but I can't stop.
Everyone is telling me I have to want to stop and I have to do things to make it stop, but I can't. I just can't, no matter how much I want to. IN fact, I don't even want to stop. I like pulling my hair, it feels good to me. But a huge bald spot on the top of my head has now grown. And it's getting really bad. I don't know what to do.

Hey Isis:

I have this too, except I pull out my eyebrows. I keep getting the same remarks: put something over them, so you can't pluck or pull. Cut your fingernails short so you can't do it.

Bottom line is, I do it anyway. This article was interesting to me: http://www.salon.com/mwt/col/tenn/2009/01/06/trichotillomania/

I've never been to a doctor about it, but I have been thinking about going for a couple of months. I understand what you mean about it feeling good. There's a certain satisfaction you get with each hair or strand. And still, you're unhappy with the effects of this weird thing you do. I feel like an alien or something.

What have you learned from going to the doctor? Anything that has helped?

My daughter has had symptoms since age 7. She is now 11 and suffering a great deal socially, as I knew she would eventually. One tip we picked up that has helped somewhat is to use acrylic nails. She can't grab her eyebrows or eyelashes with the nails on. She now has her full eyebrows, she lost some eyelashes a few weeks ago when she went a couple of days between taking the old set off and getting a new set. Her scalp is actually a little worse, I think the long nails have contributed to a bit more scabbing on her scalp, unfortunately. She was on SSRI meds for a year with absolutely no improvement, so we have stopped seeing the psychiatrist. I read about the studies being done with NAC, so I took her to a naturopathic doctor. He ordered blood and saliva studies, and we are going in this week to start treatment. I am so hopeful that this will help, but after years of disappointment I'm scared to get my homes up too much...

Hi,
I am 34 years old and have suffered most of my life with this disorder. I remember starting when I was in about 3rd grade but it became much worse in my college years. I have tried everything...the acrilics, the mascara to keep me off my eyes, fake eyelashes, psychiatrists, anti-anxiety meds, behavioral therapy, tattoos on my eyebrows and many other things.
I agree that telling people that love me for who I am and not my faults has helped me deal with the inner suffering and was the first step in me freeing myself of the pain of this and just accepting that this is part of who I am and a cross I have to bear.
I really think this is a genetic issue and that research needs to be done to help this disorder. Because it is so rare there doesn't appear to be enough research on it. I think there are a lot more people that have this than say it. It took me until I was 24 years old to tell someone about it and that is when I learned what it was. I was a master at covering it. It was a lot of shame, though, to carry on my shoulders. I thought I was the only person on the planet with this freakish issue.
Over time and as I have matured, I have realized more that I can't control this. It controls me. I can't say that about anything else in my life...just this.
I pull at my eyebrows and top eyelashes. I pull from my scalp too but not too much and I have that pretty controlled. So, it is my eyebrows that would be the most noticeable so I got tatoos there and I go through remissions/relapses with my upper eyelashes. For me, it is all about the texture of the hair and I have kind of a ritual in how I play with the hair. I don't have the root thing or pull from any other locations. In recent years I have noticed that I get a little bit obsessed with other people's hairs too. ie. if my son or daughter or husband have a loose eyelash on their face I feel a huge urge to remove it.
Some people think it is a habit like nail biting. I disagree. This is not a habit. If anything it is more like an OCD or an addiction or a tic.
I am excited to read about the Latisse..never heard of it so I am going to check it out. Also, what is NAC?

God bless u all as u work to find peace with this too!



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