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    Old 03-17-2005, 05:01 PM   #1
    Tewfiddy
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    5 yr old daughter pulling eyelashes

    Hi,
    I wasnt quite sure if this is the place to post this. It was hard finding the right place. I have read a lot about older kids and adults having "trichotillomania", but not so much about a child of my daughters age, 5. For about a month, she has been pulling her eyelashes out. I first noticed it right after she had a cold. One day I woke her up in the morning and was stunned to see almost all of the lower lashes gone. I began seeing her sitting in the bathroom, right up to the mirror, studying her eyelashes, and pulling them out. I try to talk to her about it, she just says they are itchy, thats why she does it. I took her to the pediatrician, who prescribed her allergy eyedrops with an antihistamine that didnt work. I took her to my family dr who prescribed her zyrtec, that did not work. So I then took her to a pediatric opthamologist who found nothing wrong with her eyes. I just had my first consultation with a phycologist and have set up three sessions of interviews/tests for my daughter. I try to talk nice to her, ask why she does it, tell her she is pretty, etc. But I have to be honest, My husband yells at her, tells her that her ****** eyeballs will fall out of her head and that she will look "retarted". He gets so angry about it. He thinks that is the right approach. Its to the point that my daughter hides from him, she is afraid he might notice she pulled more eyelashes. She told me she wanted a new daddy. I worry she is stressed at her preschool. She attends one at an elementary school, and I had her speach tested and she qualified as having a preschool disablitly of not so much her speach but the way she thinks and tries to put the thoughts into words. I know they are working on getting ready for kindergarten. Maybe its too much for her. I cant get any answers from her. I even noticed that a barbie doll she had that has real eyelashes was missing some eyelashes. She said she likes to pull those too. When she was younger, she has always been funny about coloring eyes. They would always be red. She has had a few nightmares lately about death. I dont know what to do. I am going on good friday to take her for her first testing session. Does anyone have any advice they can offer? Input or knowledge in this area? what questions should I ask her? Is it related to add? Am I even doing the right thing? My husband thinks it will go away on its own, and I am making too big of a deal about it, that she isnt crazy. Im so torn. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

     
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    Old 03-18-2005, 08:56 AM   #2
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    Re: 5 yr old daughter pulling eyelashes

    First off, if my dad said any of that stuff to me, I would want a new daddy too. Your daughter is 5? Who would say that to a child? I am sorry, but my dad used to say mean stuff like that to me and to this day I HATE him for it. YOu really should try talking to him and tell him it is not helping her one bit. He should be patient with her and attempt to speak nicely about what is going on. My advice to you is you should speak to her Dr. and have him recommend a counselor or someone besides family to talk to. She may or may not have underlying conditions, but it will probably be nice for her to talk to someone and not get critisized for what she is doing? Something may be bothering her and she is acting out.

    "Frequently, a stressful event can be associated with the onset, such as: change of schools, abuse, family conflict, or the death of a parent. The symptoms also may be triggered by pubertal hormonal changes. "

    Last edited by curious1979; 03-18-2005 at 09:00 AM.

     
    Old 03-18-2005, 09:03 AM   #3
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    Re: 5 yr old daughter pulling eyelashes

    I am an adult that has that same habit. I HATE it! I wish I had long lushes lashes, but they start to hurt and feel like a stye and when I pull the lash out it feels better. Thank God I do not pull the lower ones, but for the past 10 years or so, I have had that bad habit. I find I pull more when I am aggrivated or streesed out about something. That is what brings it on for me. I just tell my son and husband to correct me nicely when they see me doing it, and I usually stop.

     
    Old 03-19-2005, 12:45 PM   #4
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    Re: 5 yr old daughter pulling eyelashes

    Thanks you two for your replies. I know my husband talks to her and my other daughter terribly, but I wanted to not alter anyone elses opinion and see what they thought..... and since you think the same way I do, I assume its not just me. Sometimes I wonder if I over react. Anyway, I often wonder if his behavior is actually the trigger. Over the last couple days, she has pulled so many more eyelashes. Then she hides whenever daddy is up so he wont see what she has done. I asked her why she does it, now she says because she likes to look at them in her hand because they are shiny. I take her for her first visit/test to the psycologist friday. I hope she tells them as much as she tells me about her daddy. Anyway, thanks for listening and your thoughts. Keep them coming.

     
    Old 03-19-2005, 02:29 PM   #5
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    Re: 5 yr old daughter pulling eyelashes

    You are definitly not over reacting. If my husband spoke to my daughter that way he'd get a size 7 boot up his a.. There might be something that is stressing her out. That would be my first thought. I have a 3 year old and she picks the skin off her top lip constently. She had really dry lips one time and they were really scaly so she just picks out of habit now. Keep us updated. Hopefully your hubby may get the gist that speaking to a 5yr old like he does is really not proper. The other posters are right, it's just going to make her and her sister more scared to the point of not liking him at all.
    {{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}

    Last edited by Poo2; 03-19-2005 at 02:29 PM.

     
    Old 03-22-2005, 10:14 PM   #6
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    Re: 5 yr old daughter pulling eyelashes

    Tewfiddy,

    I really hope that you read this post because what I have to say is going to be very informative. Your daughter has Trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling). I know because I WAS your daughter...and, unfortunately, I am still suffering with this disorder today.

    I am 27 now, but I started pulling my lashes (top only) when I was 5. I was always a stressed out kid and I remember liking the feeling of pulling them out, even at such a young age...it was a type of release. My parents fussed at me for doing it and told me that my eyes looked ugly. They used to put the mirror in front of my face and SHOW me what I was doing to myself and thought this would make me stop. But guess what? It didn't. I continued to pull even more and more, only now I was HIDING it from my parents because I was ashamed and knew I was doing something wrong. Of course they could see that my lashes were still missing and that my lids were often red and swollen, but I denied that I was pulling anymore and convinced them that my lashes were somehow falling out by themselves. They brought me to a dermatologist and I fooled her too...she diagnosed me with alapecia, which is hair loss for unknown reasons. Ha! I was only 5 and I had fooled a doctor

    I pulled my lashes until I was 13 or 14, when I started caring about my appearance and wearing make-up and really wanting to look pretty. I secretly did all kinds of things to stop myself from pulling my lashes...I sat on my hands or sometimes put tape on my fingertips. It worked, sort of. I stopped pulling my lashes, but somehow the pulling switched over to my head.

    At 27 years old I am seeing a therapist for weekly behavioral therapy sessions and I am on an SSRI (Paxil) to try and lessen my impulses. I am a compulsive hairpuller and also suffer with anxiety and depression. I have a large bald spot on the top of my head and my pulling interferes with my life. I can't get work done and often lose sleep because I stay up late in front of the mirror looking for hairs to pull and examining the bald spot. Yikes.

    I also pull things like your daughter pulls out her doll's lashes. For example, I pull out strands of the tassle on the end of the blanket that feel like they don't belong...tactile compulsions are part of Trichotillomania. Most docs will say that Trichotillomania is a form of obsessive compulsive disorder. I'm thinking the psychologist will say the same about your daughter.

    It is GREAT that you are taking care of this issue now while she is so young ... because in my experience, she will not just outgrow it. My only other advice is to do everything in your power to keep your daughter from feeling ashamed and to keep her from feeling "bad." Having to deal with this feeling only makes the anxiety, and therefore the pulling, even worse.

    Good luck with the doctor.

     
    Old 03-23-2005, 05:10 PM   #7
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    Re: 5 yr old daughter pulling eyelashes

    Georgina,
    Thankyou so much for all the time you put in your post. I'm sorry you are still suffering like you are. You have been so much help, its like my daughter speaking to me like I wish she could. Since she is only 5, I dont think she can put into words what is really going on. I know she hides and pulls her eyelashes, and I know she feels ashamed. I try to not make her feel bad, she tells me she didnt pull any and I get happy and kiss her. When she says she pulled, I just say why? How come?? And make sure she knows I am not mad, just disappointed. I take her friday to her first of three testing sessions. I know this is going to be a long battle. I am scared of her being on medication so early, Ive heard what thoughts it can make kids have even though she may be too young for thoughts of suicide. She hardly has any lashes left at all now. She pulled a lot this weekend. I take prozac myself. I know sometimes anxiety and depression runs in familys. You are going through so much. Is the therapy helping? Keep me posted and if you have anything else to add please let me know. Thanks for sharing your experiences, take care!
    Michelle

     
    Old 03-24-2005, 05:40 AM   #8
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    Re: 5 yr old daughter pulling eyelashes

    Your worry for your daughter is understandable. I was curious- is your husband cruel and short tempered in other areas of life, and was he like this before the pulling started? His behavior (yelling, cursing, name calling) is abuse, and would be stressful to anyone, most certainly a 5 year old. He is going to scar her for life.
    I really suggest a psychologist for your husband!!
    He needs to STOP.

     
    Old 03-24-2005, 05:45 PM   #9
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    Re: 5 yr old daughter pulling eyelashes

    Wow! We are going through the exact same thing with our 5 year old daughter! She has pulled her lashes occasionally before and we have not said much except that if she wants to wear makeup (mascara) one day, she needs to have eyelashes. This seemed to work until recently. She came in a couple of weeks ago and I was horrified at how many she had pulled out. We talked about it and I thought she was done and then on Sunday she told my husband that she pulled some more. She barely has any lashes up top now. It is so upsetting! I went through so much with my older child (boy) that I thought I wouldn't be thrown for a loop with the others but boy did she prove me wrong! I'm not sure why this happens but I have read about trichotillomania. I pray that this is not what is going on. I too will be calling the doctor tomorrow to start the process. I'd love to hear what they say to you. I don't have any answers for you but at least we can relate to one another.

     
    Old 03-25-2005, 09:26 AM   #10
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    Re: 5 yr old daughter pulling eyelashes

    Michelle-

    Pleae keep us posted on how things went with your daughters appointment. I will keep her in my prayers...hopefully things will be better soon.
    Laura

     
    Old 03-25-2005, 07:07 PM   #11
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    Re: 5 yr old daughter pulling eyelashes

    Tewfiddy,

    I am so glad that I could share my story with you and just hoped that maybe I could give you a little insight into what your daughter was feeling . Your daugher and I have even more in common now that I know you suffer from anxiety and depression . . . my father has been medicated for anxiety and depression his entire adult life, as have his 2 brothers and his father. You are definitely correct when you say that it "runs in families."

    I am sure the doctor will know best whether your daughter needs medication or not. You are right, though. I have seen terrible stories on TV about the effects that these antidepressants are having on kids! My behavioral therapy has been going pretty well, I must say. The main focus of my therapy has been habit replacement therapy (HRT), making a conscious effort to avoid situations when and where I pull and also finding other things to occupy my hands. Example: I know it sounds silly, but I'll squeeze a stress ball in both hands while watching TV so that my hands won't unconsciously go up to my head. I am sure that a therapist who specializes in children's therapy will be able to work with your daughter in ways similar to this. It IS a constant effort, though. It is taking me much concentration and determination to keep myself from pulling.

    Please keep me posted about the results of the doctor visit. I will keep your daughter in my thoughts and prayers.


     
    Old 03-27-2005, 05:07 AM   #12
    Tewfiddy
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    Re: 5 yr old daughter pulling eyelashes

    Hi,
    First of all, thank you so much for all of the kind words and support that I have received from everyone. This has been a hard and trying time. I took my daughter to the dr, she saw a woman. Im not sure what (title) she had. My daughter is going to see three women for 40 mins each and let them talk to her and kind of test her. Then a report will be generated for the psychologist to review and go over with me at an appointment. So this was the first of the three testing appointments. When my daughter came out of the apt, the woman would only tell me that she did indeed talk about her eyelashes and that it was good, most kids her age do not know why they are even supposed to be there. When I got her in the car, I casually asked her what they talked about. My daughter only says she cant remember. My sister in law asked her later that next day, and she said the woman told her that other kids pull their eyelashes too. And that they colored. I take her to the office again tomorrow, monday.
    As far as my husband goes, I do think he is verbally abusive.. He is not aware that he is though. He says he has to be so hard on the girls because I am too easy on them.. He says he is the diciplinarian. He has always been this way. I also have a 10 year old daughter who doesnt pull eyelashes.. She is going through this thing with her weight though and he isnt very supportive, only criticises her for eating too much.Anyway, my mother is convinced the only reason I put up with him at all is because I am on prozac and I am not letting it fully "hit" me or allowing me to respond to the situations as I normally would. My older daughter has said she doesnt want her mommy and daddy to get divorced. But even she is scared of him at times and I dont think she likes him very much.
    I dont think my younger daughter has pulled any more eyelashes out in a couple days, but its not like she has many left. She did say however that she wanted to soo bad, and my mom told her to sit on her hands and try not to think about it, and she said "but I cant help it, I want to soo bad". This was while in the car driving to the mall.
    I filled out a "test" for the psychologist, true and false questions about my daughters behavior and home life. I had my sister in law go over it, who made me make several corrections because I wasnt being totally honest. I was afraid to make it look too much like it was my husband who was being mean, or that our marriage wasnt perfect. So it will be an honest test thanks to her!! She has helped me so much.
    Pkraft, I sure do feel for you, and keep me posted what your drs tell you. I had to go to a few before they would rule out any eye disorder. Isnt this so scary? I dont have much I can say to help, other than to get her the help she needs and let a professional tell you how to handle things. People tell me to just ignore her pulling, to punish her, to smack her hand, to just accept its a nervous habit and she just wants attention. I am in no place to be offering help just yet, but give me a few weeks and I might have gained plenty of knowledge by then!! Take care and hang in there!
    Thanks again everyone for all your concern, it helps so much!
    Michelle

     
    Old 03-28-2005, 09:52 AM   #13
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    Re: 5 yr old daughter pulling eyelashes

    I hope all is going well for you and your daughter. I have been thinking of you this weekend, and just the thought has been keeping me from doing the same thing to myself. I find as long as I am not nervous and stressed, I don't tend to pull as much. I am so thrilled when I have enough to actually put mascara on and my lashes are showing. This is just one of those things we take for granted that other people just dont understand about us. People think we are nuts and just laugh, but its just not funny. I truly hope all goes well for your daughter, I think she will feel alot better just knowing that she is not alone. I sure do! Take care. Keep us posted on her progress.

     
    Old 03-28-2005, 05:38 PM   #14
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    Re: 5 yr old daughter pulling eyelashes

    Tewfiddy- I'm glad to hear that your dr. appt went well. I know that it probably feels good to at least be doing something. Not that that makes it easy though. We went through all sorts of testing with my son last year who has ADHD. It was different though because I pretty much knew that he had it going in but I was finally ready to face it and do something about it because he was essentially being mistreated by his teacher at school and he was sufferinig a loss of confidence because she yelled at him a lot. I know that with your daughter (and mine) it's scarier because it's not as common and we really don't know what's going on. Who ever thought having kids would be this tough? You hang in there and I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Please keep me posted as to your progress with everything.

    As for us, we are constantly talking about it and we're setting up some incentives for when her lashes grow back. I am also having her wear socks around the house when she's not doing something active with her hands. We draw a lot more now too. But when she wants to be upstairs watching tv and when she goes to bed I have her wear the socks. I read about doing that somewhere and I actually had a friend whose daughter pulled her hair out when she was 1 and that is how the doctor's told her to handle it. I'm hoping that the socks will also remind her not to pull her lashes. I'm really hoping that this is just a habit that we need to break....is there any chance that that could be all they are going through? Did the doctor give any insight into that? Oh well, sorry for the long note, but this is constantly on my mind lately.

    I truly feel for you and your family and I will pray for you. As for your husband, I'm not there to hear how he speaks to them so I will not judge....alll I'll say is that I do think it's tough for the dads sometimes. My husband is much more short tempered about things than me and doesn't like to do a lot of "talking through things" I think men just don't communicate well. I have to remind my husband constantly of the "right way" to speak to the kids . He is very receptive though, so I have to give him credit for that. It's just that he forgets by them time he has to deal with something again.

    Hang in there......

     
    Old 03-29-2005, 09:35 AM   #15
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    Re: 5 yr old daughter pulling eyelashes

    Pkraft,
    I have heard about the sock thing too. I will have to try that although I think my daughter wouldnt have luck with that. She has done a lot better the last couple days. She says she hasnt pulled any, and I cant tell that she has either. I have one more visit with psych. and then they will get a report together and let me know whats going on. Im glad it seems to be working for your daughter though. Whatever it takes! Thanks for thinking of me, and I will be thinking of you as well. Keep me posted.
    Michelle

     
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