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  • DO ya Pull ya Hair?? Trichotillomania??

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    Old 03-07-2006, 08:23 PM   #1
    pertygirl
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    Lightbulb DO ya Pull ya Hair?? Trichotillomania??

    I'm not sure if any one has posted information on Trichotillomania.....BUT because I have this disorder, I decided to see if there's any one else who "struggles" with it.

    From the website [url]www.trich.org[/url] I pulled the Intro "Trichotillomania (TTM) is an impulse disorder that causes people to pull out the hair from their scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, or other parts of the body, resulting in noticeable bald patches. It is currently defined as an impulse-control disorder, but there are still questions about how it should be classified. It may seem, at times, to resemble a habit, an addiction, a tic disorder or an obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is estimated to affect one to two percent of the population, or four to eleven million Americans. "
    From around 14/15 years of age (i'm 19) it's juss become an awful habit where I pull out my eyelashes.....and yes it's noticiable.....I mean sometimes i only leave like 1/4 of my eyelashes left, I do believe its more than a tic and that it is unconscious anxiety..cuz "supposively" it relieves anxiety..lol...but i dunt think it really relieves my anxiety, but juss makes my anxiety apparent.......I've pulled hair from other areas, head, eyebrows, arms, etc....But mostly eyelashes...Any comments..?

    BTW Trichotillomania IS a mental disorder, it can be stemmed from anxiety, OCD, depression....and treated with SSRI's & cognitive therapy...

     
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    Old 03-07-2006, 09:32 PM   #2
    GatsbyLuvr1920
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    Re: DO ya Pull ya Hair?? Trichotillomania??

    I do occassionally, in spurts, but I don't have full-blown trichotillomania, though. I do, however, have compulsive skin picking, and yes, I'm a long-time sufferer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, so the two naturally go hand-in-hand...
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    Old 03-07-2006, 09:42 PM   #3
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    Re: DO ya Pull ya Hair?? Trichotillomania??

    I do that. I pull one hair out of my head at a time. Usually from different places though so I never get bald spots. I do it on my arm too. I never knew it was a mental disorder.

     
    Old 03-07-2006, 10:16 PM   #4
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    Re: DO ya Pull ya Hair?? Trichotillomania??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GatsbyLuvr1920
    I do occassionally, in spurts, but I don't have full-blown trichotillomania, though. I do, however, have compulsive skin picking, and yes, I'm a long-time sufferer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, so the two naturally go hand-in-hand...
    -GatsbyLuvr1920-
    So what is ur compulsive skin picking like? I should look that up...cuz it really bothers me...Do u like pick your face/pimples or what not? B/c i do, I always have a mirror up and my face, always pickin at my face/pimples, i want to and try to stop, and now i have a lot of acne scars...i mean dang i made my face worse ...so is that wat u do??? How are u tryin to get over ur compulsive skin picking...i would like any of ur advice!

     
    Old 03-07-2006, 10:20 PM   #5
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    Re: DO ya Pull ya Hair?? Trichotillomania??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by unintended
    I do that. I pull one hair out of my head at a time. Usually from different places though so I never get bald spots. I do it on my arm too. I never knew it was a mental disorder.
    Well I'm glad you learned something! U should research it more, and see how much u identify with it, and how you can help yourself ...b/c u are aware of it...But why do u do it? Do u have an anxiety disorder? OCD? Is it juss random...

     
    Old 03-07-2006, 11:12 PM   #6
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    Re: DO ya Pull ya Hair?? Trichotillomania??

    I'm not entirely sure what I have. But, what I've read I'm leaning towards an Autism Spectrum Disorder. I usually do it when I'm frustrated or anxious.

     
    Old 03-08-2006, 03:00 AM   #7
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    Re: DO ya Pull ya Hair?? Trichotillomania??

    pertygirl- My skin picking isn't really acne, but on my scalp and cuticles, mostly my scalp, though. About three years ago, right after my sophomore year of high school finished, I guess I had some sort of pimple at the top of my forehead. I picked it until it bled, but it left a huge scab, so I kept re-picking it. Gradually, over the next few weeks, it moved to the top of my scalp, directly where your scalp and forehead meets. I picked that same spot for almost two years until it healed. Whenever I would pick it, it left a huge divet in my skin. Now, instead of one big area, I have three smaller areas. I honestly don't know how they formed, but it was just over this past year. I think they formed from some normal bumps/malformities in my skin. They're spaced out so they're like a triangle: one is on either side of my scalp, a few inches back from the original (it was in the center), and the third, which is pretty minor, is at the apex of my scalp, where my hairline is. This is the reason why I pull my hair sometimes- when the scab grows back, my hair becomes really sore, and it exudes a lot of pressure on my scalp. To relieve that pressure, the hair must go. Note that it's not a perceived pressure like most trichotillomaniacs feel, but an actual pain. So, this past summer, when I was trying to get rid of this pain, I accidentally pulled out a huge chunk of hair. Well, that started me on a new habit. I really liked the feel of the hair when it would begin to grow back- bristly and prickly-like. I'd feel it with my wrist, and since it was such a small spot, I'd obsessive-compulsively feel around on my head until I found that spot, and I couldn't quit until I did. Now, however, there's about an inch that has that feeling, so I don't have to constantly search for it. Also, when I began pulling out greater chunks to get this prickly feeling, I noticed that, the harder you pull, the more root of the hair you get. So, sometimes, I won't quit until I get a follicle that is "perfect", and yes, there is a certain formation that I like. Again, I don't have true trich because I don't pull every day, but I DO compulsively skin pick every day. I watched a documentary on trich a few months ago, and the thing that struck me was how similar the two are: this one girl's mom described how the daughter would just randomly start pulling (or, in my case, picking) without realizing it, like she was in a trance. She wouldn't even notice that her hand would be going up to her head until her mom yelled at her to stop (this was obviously before the mother knew what was wrong). This was my situation: my mom would always yell at me to quit picking, but over the last six months, whenever I come home from college, she barely says it any more than a warning because she knows that I can't help it and that it's my OCD. Really, I don't do anything to try and stop it. When I started CBT last summer, I told the therapist about it (I have a new therapist now, and she, too, knows), and they (both) said that CBT, or any technique for that matter, isn't very successful for compulsive skin picking. The reason that trich and skin picking are so hard to cure with the traditional techniques used for OCD is because they aren't actually a part of the OCD, per se, but are their own individual category entitled Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders (OCSD). So, yes, unintended, there's not only an autistic spectrum, but an obsessive-compulsive one as well, and I'm just so fortunate to be on both! Hope this helped!
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    Old 03-17-2006, 11:47 AM   #8
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    Re: DO ya Pull ya Hair?? Trichotillomania??

    I have done this behavior since I was very little. In fact, there are pictures of me with a small bald spot on the top of my head at the young age of only 3 years old! I am very aware of it, as are others (such as people who have cut my hair--though I never actually tell them that this is the problem), and I have managed to stop at some points in my life, though it seems to be a struggle. I have read books that point to how it is sort of like you get stuck in a pattern of thinking (called "brain lock"--I believe this is also the title of one of the books that I read on this subject), and you just start doing it out of habit. Well, it also tells the reader, at these moments, to refocus your thoughts onto something different (such as a different activity like playing the piano or something). By doing this, you actually can retrain your brain to not get "stuck" in this pattern of thinking, and actually avoid doing the behavior in the future. It makes a lot of sense to me, having studied psychology in college, and I have been trying to remind myself to do this when I feel the need to pull. I absolutely hate this behavior as I love my hair very much. It's a distressing behavior that I hope to be able to break myself of completely one day.

    ...Also remember that we are works in progress, and we need to realize
    that we are always learning and developing ourselves, so go easy on
    yourself ...

    Good Luck!! Keep Posting!

    ~Colleen

    P.S. I also suffer from slight anxiety and depression, so these may be linked with this behavior.

    Last edited by Musical_Muse; 03-17-2006 at 11:54 AM.

     
    Old 03-17-2006, 11:10 PM   #9
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    Re: DO ya Pull ya Hair?? Trichotillomania??

    I'm not trichy myself, although I pull dead or nearly dead hairs. I just sort of run my fingers along a strand of hair and see what comes free. I get dead hairs all over my desk at work because I do it while I work. I'm always amazed at how in a couple of places, several will come at once, as if they're all growing at the same times and dying at the same times. I don't pull live hairs--if it hurts, it stays in.

    But I have a similar problem to trich--nail biting. It's not the nervous habit of just nibbling at the ends. My goal is to not have any dead nail on my fingers, basically, and to "straighten out" the edges and lose the little loose ends that form when it doesn't all come free. Of course, those loose ends have led to the nails not growing back right--effectively having damage at the base--so I lose those messed-up layers with scissors (scraping, not cutting). Once, I lost practically all of a nail in one go, although it took work to finish off. Much like with the hairs, if it doesn't hurt, it may be a candidate for removal. Heh, I always think it's interesting how much damage you can get away with causing.

    I pick at zits and pick my nose and am really into plucking chin hairs now. And I'm usually seeking out scalp flakes, too. Oh, and then there's my blepharitis, which means I'm picking at the eye goop and crusts that form...lordy, I sound pretty odd when I write it down.

     
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