Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling Disorder)
Hi everyone! Today I want to talk about something other than food. I want to talk about a hair pulling disorder called trichotillomania. Trichotillomania is a condition in which a person has a very strong urge to pull out their hair. It may sound ridiculous but many people suffer with it including myself. I’ve been doing it since I was in around fifth grade. I think it’s important to talk about as many people have it. This way people know they are not alone in this. Plus I think it will be much easier to quit if we talk about it and have support.
Unfortunately this awful hair pulling disorder has been a huge part of my life. I started pulling when I was in elementary and I remember the very first time I pulled out an eyelash. It hurt but also felt good at the same time. People who don’t have this condition will think I’m a weirdo but those who are also pullers understand perfectly. I don’t talk about it much because it’s embarrassing as this disorder leaves me with bald patches on my eyelashes and eyebrows. However late last year things got worse and for the first time ever I began pulling the hair on my head and I now have bald patches on my scalp.
I first began pulling at the back of my head and the damage was easy to hide. But recently I decided that my favorite spot was at the top of head. Now I have to wear headbands any time I want to leave the house. I’ve included some photos below so you can see the extent of the hair loss.
As you can see my eyebrows and lashes are a hot mess. I’ve grown them out successfully many times in the past but I only get to enjoy them for about a week before pull them out again.
I’ve tried so many things in the past to help me stop pulling including spending hundreds of dollars on the eyelash serum Latisse. I thought if I could get them to grow long I would like how pretty they looked and would definitely stop. HA! No! They didn’t even grow because I continued to pull. Now when I’m trying to grow them out I use castor oil. It definitely works but like I said I always pull them out once they’re long again. I’ve tried putting a rubber band on my wrist and snapping it whenever I realized I was about to pull but that didn’t work either. I’ve even tried wearing gloves all day but that doesn’t really work when I’m cooking, cleaning, and taking care of kids all day.
Every year since I was a teenager I’ve been saying that I was going to stop pulling. But here I am 25 years old and still pulling. However this year I really am determined to stop pulling. If I don’t stop now I will be bald soon and that really scares me. Writing this and sharing my struggle with you makes me feel accountable for my actions and I hope that it will finally help me quit. I would really like to hear your story if you also struggle with trichotillomania. Many people don’t understand it that’s why I enjoy meeting people who also struggle with it. I know I’m not alone in it.