About Me

I pull out my hair. I have done for many years. Pulling from my scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes… Crazy it may seem, but impossible to stop the compulsion. Here I will write about my struggles with this disorder in the hope of raising awareness!

I am a university educated girl who you would never expect to have trichotillomania. Mental health problems are often hidden, I am not someone (in my opinion!) who looks like a typical ‘loon’. I write anonymously because I work in mental health services and I feel it is not appropriate to have my real name etc on here as it could be my patients reading this which could compromise myself and their treatment. I have a passion for promoting mental health awareness and well being and want to provide support to others out there!

I am also dyslexic, so please don’t start going on about my poor English/spelling/punctuation! I am trying my best because I enjoy writing!

Responses

  1. “…I have worked in Mental Health Services.”

    That’s great, there’s a real need to hear from people who have worked in the system, or who have knowledge of the system.

    I noticed you have ExChimp in your blogroll, another blog you might like is ‘Pink Jelly Baby’… she’s a “cutter” as well and has a decent handle on her life: http://pinkjellybaby.wordpress.com/

    I hope your blog brings you some answers, solutions and a sense of community.

  2. I, too, used to pull out my hair constantly. Everyone would always tell me to stopdoing it.
    My head would get bald in places from doing this.
    I had a lot of emotional issues and still do, but somehow I stopped doing this horrible thing to myself. I believe it is a way of relieving stress inside ourselves..awful thing to do to ourselves to relieve stress, isn’t it?? I pray a lot to Our Dear Lord Jesus and He has helped me tremendously through everything. I will pray for you, also. My friend also told me her daughter did this to her eyebrows. Bet there is a lot of people who do this, but won’t tell.

  3. Thanks for creating this blog! VERY HELPFUL INFORMATION. I too continue to struggle with the obsessive desire to pull my hair. I am hopeful that I will eventually STOP!

  4. Thank you for writing about this. I’ve always twirled and pulled at my hair as a nervous habit. It wasn’t until this year (I am in the process of completing of 50 hours worth of college courses in one year) I realized that it is a problem. If I get stressed or even just bored, I examine the ends of my hair and pull apart the split ends, rip off damaged ends, and pull out any other odd colored or coarse hairs. I’ll twirl and pull and crunch the ends of my hair all day. I’ll rub the ends of my hair on my face. I do not pick bald spots, however I do have week long headaches from all the tugging. It’s a constant search for an area of hair on my head that I have not tugged on. I, too, have often examined the roots of my hair and stressed over little black hairs on my arms and stomach. There is no better relief than to have pulled those hairs out (it will literally bother me all day until I can get to a pair of tweezers). It is a strange fascination that calms me more than anything.

    Luckily, I am an extremely self-disciplined person and have valiantly been working towards stopping this habit. My hair has become noticeably thinner along the ends and obviously unhealthy. I have always had long hair, usually always past the middle of my back. Just today, I admitted to my hairdresser about my habit and we decided to cut about four inches off my hair to get rid of the extensive damage that I have caused. This is going to be an on-going effort–I have asked my boyfriend to point out when I play with or tug my hair and I have been wearing my hair in a clippy to avoid tugging while studying.

    This is a serious condition. I am glad that there are sites like this where people can talk about it. I realize that I am not as bad as most, but it is bad enough to have an effect on my life. Good luck to everyone struggling with this.

  5. I”m very glad to hear you’re a health care professional. I want to switch careers and go into oncology nursing, but I am extremely nervous about a hospital noticing half of my eyelashes missing and not hiring me because of it…

  6. i am so glad i have found this website, i have been pulling my hair out for 8 years and i am 18 now. now i finally know that there are more people with this condition than i thought so glad i’m not the odd 1 out. i tend to wear a wig these days because when i went to school and even now i get really badly bullied for it off people that know me in the street. i feel that and wish that i can wake up one day and i wont get that horrid temptation. i only ever pulled hair out of my head for some reason but still it it has put a hell of a lot of pressure in my life. i hate going out or leaving my bfs side because i get paranoid that people know or there staring at me. its completely ruined my confidence and my independence

  7. while I don’t pull my hair out I can relate, because I have a picking problem. It seems that I am powerless over picking at my face. Your blog has a lot of love in it and I wish you the best

  8. Everyone has said it, but again, thank you for being so open.

    Just reading all of this is really helping me to face my problem rather than just being ashamed and trying to forget that I do it.

    I pluck in two places, and I also look for the follicle. I pull ALL of my eyelashes out. I hide it very well with black eyeliner-I don’t apply a lot, just a thin line on upper and lower lid and it’s rare that anyone notices, and even more rare for them to mention it.

    I started in first grade, and I am 19 now.
    My mom never wanted to help me throughout all these years & she would actually restrict me and tell me that I couldn’t go out until they grew back… among other threats.
    It’s been hell, and honestly, until the past year I had never even thought to research it.
    What actually made me think of doing so was during an appointment for a hair cut…I was having my hair shampooed and the girl mentioned it and asked me very bluntly why I didn’t have any eyelashes..I was stunned and just said ‘I just never have…’ She told me that she knew someone in high school that didn’t have any and that she asked her and the girl told her that she didn’t want them and thought she looked better without them. I didn’t believe that of course, but it made me realize that there must be other people with the problem. I always thought that I was the only person in the world that did it of course…even though it’s awful you and all the other people do also, it is nice to know there may be hope or help out there somewhere.
    My own family doctor has never even mentioned it or offered to help…she just looks at me funny everytime she’s close enough to notice and my mother even mentioned it to her during a visit once and she just avoided it completely…she didn’t know anything about it I guess.

  9. i do the same thing..pull a perfect one..i like the ones with blood on the tip they are crunch!

    • duuude i thought i was the only one who thought thatol

  10. yes thank you, it’s nice to see that I’m not the only one who is feeling this way, hate to do this to myself, when my hair is nice and I can get it cut without worrying about what may be said? – it makes me feel better in side. not seen my gp about any of this, would like to sometime when feel better bout it, I have depressive, on citalopram and amitriptyline to help me sleep. my boyfriend know’s about this, but he don’t know how to help me about it so we never chat about it, I’m moving in with a good friend – I’m worrying about this so am pulling more, when I worry I do it without knowing what I’m doing, living with a friend I hope will hlep me get better, would love to go back to work as am on the sick. I’m 22, would like to chat to anyone who may help with this. thanks all. shell

  11. This is great blog.
    I do this, especially when on the computer in a trance-like state.
    I was tugging at some hair on my head when I stumbled across your blog somehow.
    I always knew this was some kind of “dis-order thing” but didn’t know it had a name.
    Found this article too on COGNITIVE/BEHAVIORAL TREATMENT OF TRICHOTILLOMANIA: http://westsuffolkpsych.homestead.com/trich_cbt.html
    Take care,
    Mike H.

  12. My name is cheryli have had trich since i was 17 and im 32 now.ive worn so many wigs in my life.i started on my eyebrows then eyelashes.i stopped when iw as in grade 9.then one night sitting alone in my room infront of my mirror i starte dto pull my hair from the top of my head.it has this cool looking root.i pulled again oooh it feels neat.i just cant stop.ive been pull free for a month once.but then it just relapses.i really wish i could stop.my bf tells me “quit pickin” all the time.right now i aim for the greys but i also get some blacks too.i liek the ones with teh blood on teh tips of the roots.makes them crunchier.weird i know.i dont think mental health can help me as im not despresed.,i have a great paying job and a geeat bf.please if you could give me some incentive.

  13. I started pulling in 5th grade, am i’m currently trying to break the habbit (rising freshman) I have found a few of these things helpful:

    1. When you get the urge, put a hat/cap on

    2. wear gloves when possible

    3. be optimistic

    4. set a cost for every hair you pull (ex:25cents ea.) and @ the end of the week, give the money to your least favorite person in the world

    5. keep your hands busy…… like knitting or something

    6. set a goal and reward yourself (ex: wat i’m doing is everytime i go a week without pulling one hair, i’m buying clothing or ice cream, etc.)

    7. You can get through this… I know you can

    =D Good luck on your journey to break the habit

    • I just read your tips for hair pulling. i want to thank you. I really want to stop but it’s so impulsive I can’t. The hat idea is wonderful. I am going to try it. Hopfully it will work. Thank you again!

    • Lollipop,

      You seem so positive in your outlook to stop your trich. I have been pulling for about 4 years now. I am 20 years old and am a junior in college. This is the first time I have said anything online about it to anyone. I liked reading about the different things you do to try to stop the urges when you feel them coming on. I think it would be good to talk about it with someone else…. If you have any other ideas or could talk, message me back. Talk to you then 🙂

      Virginia

  14. I’ve been pulling out my hair since I’ve been around fifteen years old, now I’m fifty one and I still do it, not as bad as when I was younger, but bad enough. When I was young I always had longer hair, but now it’s short because every time it starts to grow I start pulling it out. I know how it feels to go to the hairdresser, imbarrassing!! I talked to a doctor years ago and she just laughed at me, I felt so ashamed and alone with this problem. Now I know it’s just not my problem. Has anyone ever come up with an idea to stop this? Please let me know. I’m glad there’s someone to talk with, my husband doesn’t even know I have a problem, he just thinks I’m crazy!!

    • It is embarrassing to go to the hair dresser! which is why I haven’t gone in the past few years (I trim my hair at home). Don’t worry, you are not alone. I’m almost 15, and have been dealing with tric for about 3-4 years. It was TERRIBLE! I look at the pictures where it was heavily noticable, in 6th grade (eyebrows plucked, eyelashes gone, short hair growing over my eye… ya it was really really bad). I personally think it was because of the stress i had gone through (buying a house, changing schools, moving from my whole life, etc.). Luckily, i grew out my eyebrows, eyelashes, and the hair in the FRONT. I still picked from the back. After attending a powerful christian camp (it transformed me), I felt the need NOT to pull. I put my will in my faith, and now i’ve gone over a month pull-free!!! I’m so proud of myself (it used to be at least 20+ hairs everyday). I trust that you can get over your tric. I could, and I have almost no willpower. My advice to you is to: 1. Invest time in your faith. 2. wear hats… THEY HELP A TON!!!!! 3. stay in public (for me, I would only pull while alone). 4. Sometimes logging/sharing my experience (for example, this wonderful site) helps

      GOD BLESS YOU!!!
      remember, you are beautiful! and NOT insane!

      Good Luck Girl!!!! =]

  15. UGH! Bad week… I had just gone about 2 months pull free then i just started again… I’ve stopped going to salons and i never let my hair down.. some days i just feel so…. ugly. It sucks thinking that i’m a freak to all other eyes. I’m only 14 (almost 15) and i’m pulling my hair out… it sucks… any tips??

    Love you guys with all your support and posts!

  16. For twenty-five years I pulled out my hair and ate it. I liked to feel the texture – so I would search for the hair with the most kink.

    Anyways… It’s been a year since I’ve pulled. I searched for answers. In doing so, I found a modality that helped tremendously – specific acupuncture points.

    I’d love to tell you more. just email me at kelly@teslabox.com

  17. This goes out to glitterseason and hopefully everyone else who responded. I came across your blog post and I just want to let you know about Dr. Chad Oler at the Natural Path Health Center. He’s a naturopathic doctor, and he’s had a great deal of success treating neurotransmitter imbalances in trichotillomania cases, resulting in nearly a 100% success rate. This isn’t meant to spam – I spend time looking through the blogsphere to find people we can help. Please take a look at our approach and let us know what you think at http://www.stoppullinghairout.com. If you know of other people who are suffering, please have them come to our site. I personally have had my family helped by Dr. Chad – he’s a naturopathic doctor with background training in chemical engineer. The man knows his stuff, and really wants to help his patients. Sorry if our url sounds hokey -we’re doing our best at the this internet marketing, and you’ve got to use keywords that people search on. Thanks, and best of luck to all of you.

  18. Thank you so much for this wonderful site! I have had trich for over 28 years. I can very much relate to the stories and experiences I read here. I have begun my own blog on trich and have linked to your site. I hope this is ok. The more the information gets out there, the more likely there will be more research into this disorder and hopefully, someday…a cure.

  19. This was a very helpful blog for me. This is the the first time I have researched this topic, because I also thought I was the only one in the world with this this nervouse tic. For me it began with plucking my eyelashes, all of them, at about 14-15 years old. I am now almost 30 and have narrowed my picking to my top eyelid. my plan is now to research the subject to death and beat this stupid thing thats bringing me stress, anxiety, and low low self esteen. This site has helped me begin to climb out of that dark hole that I was hidding in and help me face this problem. Thank you all for sharing your stories, and bringing attention to this subject. I feel a calmness about expressing this, even though I have kept it a secret for 15 years. Thanks again and good luck to everyone

  20. I just posted and read through all of this and wanted to say Thank you for creating this. I just ended a relationship because he was getting too close and started to notice my pulled hair. I was mean and broke it off with him and blamed him for it. I have so much guilt that today i was really feeling hopeless. I am 46 years old and have been pulling since i was 8. My goal is to look here every day and try and get support and try hard to stop this awful hair pulling. Thanks!!!

  21. Im in Brooklyn, New York. I pulled for 35 years and I was able to finally stop. I attribute the onset and the ending to hormonal changes. I still have the thoughts though. Who’s in Brooklyn?

  22. May I simply say what a relief to uncover somebody that actually understands what they’re talking about over the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people ought to look at this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised that you’re not more
    popular because you most certainly have the gift.

  23. I like to sit and tweezer out the hairs on my chest, I also like to pull the skin from under the heels of my feet, the pulling of the skin on my feet I started when I was about 7 years old and I used to do i with a needle and thread and I remember sewing three stitches on my feet,I now just like pulling my skin off with tweezers, and I know this sounds gross but I like to put it in my mouth and chew it between my teeth before spitting it out.
    I also like to use tweezers for pulling out the hairs on my chest, I collect them in a small pile and when I get a small pile of 20 to 30 hairs I wet the tip of my finger and collect them all up and rub the hair in my fingers, I sometimes collect the hair on a small hand mirror and then collect it off the mirror and rub it between my fingers.
    I have no clue why I do these things and I would like to stop. I have been doing these two things for the last 46 years and have just realised how hard it is going to be for me to stop.


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