Does anyone else have trichotillomania?

nottrying23

nottrying23

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Yesss!!! I do!! I say that with exclamation bc tbh I'm glad you made this post. It's something that I don't find is talked about too often so peer support around it can be a bit difficult to find.

That being said: I've struggled with it since I was a child maybe around 10 or so. (In my 20's now)

I've picked out whole sections of my hair. In the last 3 years, I've shaved my side My hair goes back p. Fast and having 4C hair kinda helps to hide it??
I find it so difficult to style bc it's so uneven.
like the back is so long but the sides and front are not so much.

I feel gross in general when I pick out my hair. I feel gross seeing all the hairs on the floor.

I've learned not to beat myself up about it too much, looked into hair growth products and I out a durag/bonnet/headscarf over my head when I know I'm having a hard time with it. It def helps.

Recognizing for me when it comes up helps as well. Alas, it is a compulsion so im currently typing this while needing to vacuum my room.
 
Gnip

Gnip

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As soon as I was forced to unnaturally sit still and quietly for hours on end at age six during first grade, I would nervously and endlessly twirl my hair, from my assigned desk at the very back of the class. Even though there was no reason whatever for the teacher at the front of the room to do so (nobody else could see me), she would mock me relentlessly, taunting me with "Is that all you're going to do? Sit there going 'Diddle/daddle. diddle/daddle, diddle/daddle!' with your hair?"

She was my very first bully, the one who taught the other kids it was okay to bully me.

Ever since, I have been convinced that the cure for societal bullying is to shut down the public school system, like the great Karl Hess told Playboy Magazine's Sam Merrill on pages 64 and 65 in the July 1976 issue.

Getting a then trendy crewcut simply caused me to switch to compulsive tongue clucking in third grade, but fortunately I had my first teacher who was not a bully, somebody who never picked on me. (Unfortunately, after my first and second grade teachers had savaged me relentlessly for nothing, the playground by third grade had turned into a war zone with me as the primary target, I was also being targeted on the school bus by the driver and other student passengers, and a notorious loudmouthed bully of a new principal was also taking aim at me, somebody who has remained a notorious bully everywhere he's been over the decades since.)

Tongue clucking ended after third grade, but the nervous habit of handling my subsequently longer hair returned until it gave way to chronic nail biting and other compulsive nervous habits.


You're very far from alone. And if you were to develop a condition like alopecia where you no longer had any hair, then the odds are you might develop another compulsion to take the place of trichotillomania.


I temporarily stopped biting my nails a few times with the use of Thum nail biting cayenne pepper extract with lacquer. That behavior always returned until late 1996 when Prozac was beginning to work for me. I brought the bottle in to show my psychiatrist, and she seized on that to urgently suggest, "Oh! Since Prozac is used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder, try using Thum now, and maybe the habit will go away for good!" She proved right, and even though Prozac stopped working for me around a year and a half later, my nail biting habit went away permanently. (In fact, I now need toenail clippers to cut my fingernails.)

When Prozac stopped working, a ferocious weight gain rebound effect which wasn't yet associated with SSRI antidepressants kicked in, and I became a compulsive nervous overeater, more than doubling my body weight to the present day

Obsessive compulsive disorder is what the presence of trichotillomania can indicate, as well as other repetitive nervous habits. For me, those habits were always more pronounced when I'd try sit still to focus and concentrate on tasks, with the severity of my attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. You can try to replace the compulsion of trichotillomania with a "healthier" habit like exercise (at one point during my middle teens, I was compulsively squeezing medium resistance hand grips, making me MUCH stronger than I looked with no additional muscularity), or you can try targeting the ODC itself. Trichotillomania is a symptom with an underlying cause, and the cause is often liable to be OCD.
 
BitterlyAlive_

BitterlyAlive_

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@nottrying23 No worries about the enthusiasm, I knew you were excited to see someone with the same issue. :) I'm glad you've found ways to manage the trich, that's lovely. I don't usually pull off hair on my head, but I know that's a very common place for others with trich. I can spend a lot of time "grooming" and taking care of "imperfections" I see in hair on my head like perceived split ends, and I end up pulling some out anyway. It still seems compulsive, purposeless overall. But slightly different. I do pull hair...um, on my legs. Can spend a very long time doing it, have lots of sores and scars from it. Ugh.
I pull out my arm hair quite a lot of that's the same thing.
It can be, yes. :hug:

@Gnip I don't understand why people think it's okay to bully someone for things like this. It's not like the person really chooses to do it, lol. Crazy how even adults can stoop so such low levels. Pathetic, really.

Mm, you're absolutely right about how once one habit ceases, another tends to start. You see it with people who quit addictions, like smoking or gambling. It's the same for these sorts of things. I don't think my trich is a sign of OCD, but I think it could be a result of my anxiety. I also struggle with an eating disorder, go figure.
 
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LittleBabyNothing

LittleBabyNothing

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Anyone else have to get the root as well and not just the hair? I caused myself severe bold patches as a teen. On the plus side it saves me going to salon, my vanity has taught me direct urges and to pluck body hair not head hair.
 
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BitterlyAlive_

BitterlyAlive_

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Anyone else have to get the root as well and not just the hair? I caused myself severe bold patches as a teen. On the plus side it saves me going to salon, my vanity has taught me direct urges and to pluck body hair not head hair.
You mean the follicle itself?
 
sadgirl2002

sadgirl2002

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Oh my god... I didn't even know this was a thing! When I was 16, I always used to pull hairs one by one, from my scalp. I didn't know why I did it... I remember I had to walk around with bobby pins on the top of my head to keep the regrown hairs intact, it was awful.
 

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