I am a 21 year old female, and I have been hair pulling/tugging since I was around 9 years old.
It wasn't until a year or two ago that I thought to myself, "Hm, why do I do that? That's a bit weird," so I started doing research online. I have only ever pulled my hair to the extent of baldness once, and it was a spot so small it eventually grew back.
I've found that:
- It usually occurs in (but not limited to) females, beginning during puberty.
- Occurs not only on the scalp, but in eyelashes, eyebrows, arm hair. Anywhere there is hair.
- Is considered (proven?) to be a mental/anxiety issue, not a physical issue.
- Is allegedly triggered by stressful situations
- Most often, the person doesn't even realize they're doing it.
- Can be 'treated' with therapy. (Therapists usually suggest stress relief practices, and forcing yourself to pay attention and correct yourself when you find you're doing it.)
But I still have a host of questions. I have yet to consult a doctor (I have asked a doctor or two in passing- one thought it was bizarre, the other referred me to a psychologist).
I have heard theories and claims that trich is not just limited to hair pulling. If trich is indeed what I am experiencing, then I experience the sensation in several places, such as my two middle toes (underneath the nail), my right ring finger (underneath the nail), my tongue (inside my tongue, near the tip), as well as my eyelashes, the crown of my head even my pubic area.
It is nearly impossible to describe the sensation that makes me want to tug at my hair, chew on my tongue, pull at my nails, etc. To my credit, I have controlled the issue to the point where I do not pull OUT my hair, just tug on it to relieve the sensation. Its much like a mosquito bite that is somehow too far underneath the skin to itch.
I also find that my hair areas are the least bothersome, unlike most people who suffer from trich. I have pulled off BOTH my toenails several times in an attempt to ease the sensation. I have absolutely daydreamed about getting my tongue pierced if only cease the weird feeling.
But most times I don't really recognize I'm doing it until I've hurt myself. Just the other night I found myself with a sewing needle in hand, digging at my right middle toe, wondering why I was bleeding all of the sudden.
It is very difficult for me to accept that this is a mental/anxiety issue because for me it is just so physical. I had always thought perhaps I was just wired wrong or something.
Any information anyone has on this issue would be very helpful. I will have to see a doctor about it, I know that for sure. But I prefer to go into the doctor's office loaded with information so they can't just blow me off.
If anyone has heard of any other disorder that sounds like it might fit better with what I am experiencing, that would also be helpful.
I'm a 24 year old female and I've pulled out my eyelashes since I was around 9 years old. At first it was just one or two, but it progressed to being all of them within a few months. There have been times when I've had enough control to let them grow back, but then I purge them. They don't grow back like they used to, and so I pull those ones out as well.
I used to pull out scalp hairs one at a time to the point of bald patches, but I get around that now by combing my long frizzy hair in the shower. Some hair comes out (naturally) and the tugging of de-knotting alleviates the need to pull most of the time. I can't stand split ends or knots in individual strands and I'll search for them and remove them.
I dig at ingrown hairs on my legs, and will sometimes tweezer out nose hairs I can get at even though they don't protude.
I've never had much luck with doctors or pshycologists, so I just live with it.
No one seems to notice apart from a few good friends who have known me since primary school and of course my family. I don't like to talk about it and I'm paranoid they talk about it behind my back.
Just commenting, it's kind of funny that most people I've heard of with trich (including myself) are female. Maybe it's the certain kind of stress placed on females in this society (pressure to be beautiful), or female biology that causes it?? I wonder if anyone's looked into this...
As for myself, I'm somewhat like lid, with the eyelash pulling and leg hair. I've pulled all of the hair from my eyelashes and eyebrows, and usually cover it up with makeup. The only time it gets really "trichhy" (excuse the bad pun) is when my eyelids scab up and then I just keep picking at the scabs because I don't like how hard they feel and how hard it is to read when your eyelids are stiff. And I like to read A LOT (going to be an English major next year, whoohoo, represent! ). My eyedoctor thinks the trich might be exacerbated because I put so much stress on my eyes (and I have to wear bifocals now... even though I'm 18 y/o... ^^ from reading and computer. I also have this problem with my eyes when I'm taking a test at school where they'll go all fuzzy and dry after about an hour or so, and then it gets really hard to see the test and I make more stupid mistakes on math exams (English is not so much of a problem, because I could pretty much write with my eyes closed after I've read the prompt). Hopefully this will improve once I get my pair of real reading glasses... progressives kind of suck for heavy reading.
Yeah. But anyway, I tried going to therapy for a year,and that did absolutely nothing to help (except for a place to vent), but that might be because my therapist was more of an addiction/recovery specialist than an OCD doc. Pfft. Stupid medical beurocracy...
So I'm trying some "herbal" supplements b/c I don't want to take SSRI's. I've got a "Nerve Tonic", some Spirulina (blue algae pills), vitamin B, Evening Primrose oil, and that stuff in turkey + warm milk that I can't remember the name of right now (supposed to be especially good for OCD). Also flaxseed. Everyone should be eating flaxseed, if you ask me. It makes your skin/intestines feel sooo much better. If anyone's interested, I might come back and comment in a few weeks if I've noticed any changes.
Oh! Almost forgot! If you find yourself spacing out pulling during something important, tie a rubber band around the fingers of your dominant hand. This helps a lot, because it keeps you from pulling and also gives you something to pull on. The only issue I've had with this is that most of the time I'll just take it off again and pick anyway, but sometimes I'll just fool around with the rubber band and then I'll at least be able to see whatever's goin on without my hand in front of my eyes. o.x
I would like to know. I have suffered from hair pulling since I was small. I did not do it too much in my 20's I was so affraid someone would find out. I have never ever told anyone that I do this I am 44 and have hid it from everyone. I just starting pulling my hair under my bangs two years ago, my eye lashes, eye brows and pubic area and I am having a hard time stopping. I pull just enough then I hid it with my top bangs I hate it and would love to try a herbal rememdy.
im 18 im still in high school ive been pulling and plucking my hair since i was 7... i just thought it was normal.. but my mom found out and told me it wasnt. other kids at school would ask me about it and i just told them i fell or my brother did it.. i tried hidding it i dont like my school.. i get so stressed out all the time.. so i guess i just started pulling cause i was stressed or something... any ways i would love to talk to others who have this problem too..
I'm 23 and Ive been twisting/pulling out my hair since I've had hair!! I never really knew it had a name. I usually have my thumb in my mouth when I do it too... it's relaxing. The weird part that I've never heard of anyone else doing, is that I'll wrap the hair around my finger and roll it into a ball. It is really weird but I've done it my whole life and don't know how to just stop. Has anyone else heard of this?