New to this forum, not new to Trich

My name is Kate and I am 22 years old. Approximately 8 years ago (around 2012) I started pulling my hair out. I remember the exact starting point, my mother pointed out a hair that was dark and more wiry than the rest of my hair, she offered to pull it out for me and I said yes. I started routinely feeling around in my hair for strands that were like this one. Soon it didn’t matter whether the hairs I was tugging on were different or not. I also moved onto my eyebrows, sometimes my eyelashes and also the fine hairs on the back of my fingers.

I began panicking when I noticed my first balding patch at the back of my head. Just by chance, a girl I used to work with came into the break room one day and mentioned she had been watching this “inspiring video diary from a girl with Trich” I asked what that was and was stunned to hear her explain exactly what I had been dealing with. I went home and began to research extensively, I had always expected it was just something unique to me. Honestly watching a number of videos made me feel bad at first, because I hadn’t done quite as much damage as others had, so I felt like maybe I was claiming to have something I didn’t. I think that’s the reason I also never tried to get help from professionals.

Over the last 8 years I have tried stress or fidget toys, I’ve tried getting my hair cut regularly (this used to work very well as I didn’t want to ruin my nice new hair cuts by creating bald patches), and the longest I went without pulling was maybe just over six months. I started studying at uni in 2018 and it all flared up again in a big way. I had managed to keep it at bay, to a degree, until the last few months which have been particularly stressful (not just because of the pandemic but other personal things). Pulling for me is something that happens more frequently when I am stressed, I’m sure this is the case for many people.

Today I realised the damage I had done recently and it hit me so badly how much I need to stop before I do any worse. This is my first time joining a forum, my first time sharing with anyone else who actually understands the condition (my ex used to tell me “just stop” and my mother didn’t quite seem to understand why it was so difficult to stop, but she is finally starting to get it I think). Today is day 1, this time I want to stop and I want this to be the last time I ever have to stop.

Thank you for reading, it is pretty freeing to share. I plan to see my GP once lock-down is eased, but in the mean-time I have just bought a couple of hats to wear during the day to stop me from pulling and to stop me feeling self conscious. If you have any other suggestions of things that worked for you I would love to hear, there may be some things I have never tried before...

Comments

  • Hi Kate, welcome :) . I hear so many people say that they don't feel they deserve to ask for help because "I'm not as bad as those images that come up on Google" for example and it is such a shame. If it's causing you problems, it's a problem, and you can absolutely ask for help.

    If you found anything that helped from the things you tried, give it another go. Nobody cracks this straight away. Keep a log of your triggers and places where you're most likely to pull and have things in those places to help keep you on track. That might a fidget toy, a handsy activity, an affirmation you've written, a pair of gloves - and just keep at it. Slip ups aren't failures, they're an opportunity to understand yourself better.

    Dietary changes can really help too - reducing caffeine and sugar - and maximising your sleep. The recordings here work well for many people to reduce pulling but they help with sleep and anxiety/stress too.

    Best of luck, keep posting and let us know how you get on :)

  • Hi there.
    I'm new to the forum but think I've had trich for about 10 years since my dad passed. I know I pull mainly when I anxious about something and sometimes I don't know I'm doing it when reading or watching the TV.
    It's been really bad lately and I've got two big gaps in my eyelashes on my right side and a small gap on my left.
    I've tried eyelash extensions when I was in a good place but I pulled all of those out too.
    I'm really embarrassed, it looks ridiculous. I can't wear make up as this just highlights the gaps.
    I've read some of the posts and feel really positive that I can have a pull free day tomorrow. One day at a time right??
  • Hi Anniea,

    Welcome to the website and I am so sorry to hear about your Dad, even though it was a long while ago - it still hurts, huh? Mine passed away when I was 19 and all these years later I still talk to him and miss him.

    You are right that yes, one day at a time works but for me it has been taking ONE MOMENT at a time which has kept me pull free since 2001. You can do this. Nobody said it would be easy, but it does get easier.

    Keep talking and join us on the how are you feeling thread for more support.

    Love and pull freedom
    Neo

  • Hey Kate,
    I totally understand what you are saying because the same feeling is what I went through. But I found out about Trish from Grey's Anatomy on one of their episodes and when I started googling and watching videos I felt I was not as bad as what I saw out there and I too felt I was assuming that I had some condition. So I let it go for a couple of years until recently the pulling has gotten quite intensive. I'm 23 right now and I've been pulling since I was 14. I did try a bit of different hair styles to see if I'd stop pulling but it would only last for a couple of weeks until the next thing that stresses me out just pops in.
    I am living with my parents now because of quarantine and my pulling has intensified quite a bit and I'm starting my Post Graduate Program in Fall and I am super worried I am going to go back into a full pulling mode when my classes start. I'm more worried for myself that I am not going to be able to fight those urges because no one is going to be there to stop me when I am at University, living alone.
    Massaging your hair with essential oils really helps calm the urges. Rather than doing it for yourself, maybe ask a family member to massage you. Exercise has actually helped me quite a bit in the last month so you could try that. If you're not someone who works out maybe try dancing, that gets me pumped up as well. Keeping your mood light and calm is a way to start.
    I am 2 days pull free right now. I was 6 days but then I caved, so I've decided to reboot and be more alert if and when I have the urge to pull.
    Let me know how you progress.

    Lots of love to you
    Kitty

  • Hello Everyone,

    I think i definitely have this trich issue. I do it while working, watching movies due to this i am not able to grow full beard. I have to shave my beard every week because i have plucked them already from mustach or other parts then i start feeling embarrassed about it so i have to shave it.

    Never tried that any solution like keeping logs or try any stress ball or something. Hopefully i will try that stress ball from tomorrow because of these online reading about this kinda motivates me.

    Thanks.
  • Hi Kate
    I totally get what your saying ! It is difficult to stop but congratulate your self the days you don’t do it . The CD is really good and I have had hypnotherapy before which has helped me in the past. Iam bit pull free yet and I agree excercise helps a lot too . Sending love xxx
  • I have been pulling and eating for possibly 40 years now. My hair is very thick and I keep it long to hide bald patches but I never go to a hairdressers because it would be too embarrassing. I'm more worried about what might be happening in my gut - I know the stomach does not digest hair, and even though I bite it really small, it's probably lodged in there. I suffer weight loss and bowel problems but am, once again, too embarrassed to get it seen to.
    So, reading all your comments gives me hope, although I honestly don't know how to start giving up. After 40 + years it's hard to break a habit. One thing that does help a bit is swimming- and using lots of conditioner on wet hair, as it takes the crinkly texture away. As mentioned before, exercise really helps- although I sometimes find myself walking down the road pulling my hair!
    This has been awful for my posture too, as I lean to the right and use my left hand to pull. Result: herniated disc on the rhs...

  • Hi Fran, I had to have that conversation with my doctor once, because I was getting very fearful about what eating my lashes might be doing to my insides. I ended up with the scopes and the tests and there was nothing in there. It was a lot less difficult to have that conversation then it was to worry about it all the time, because worry just causes more pulling for me. Anyway, there are a lot of things that our stomach does not digest, fiber being one, and so it just passes through the body as waste. I think a conversation with your doctor would make you feel better. And it something is lodged, they could help you get it out safely. A blocked bowel is very dangerous so if you are not able to pass anything, you should see your doctor sooner than later. I only assume you posted this comment because you are concerned.

    There are plenty of people here in the same situation as you are. I am glad you are here for support. You should have hope! We are all fighting the battle together and there are tools that will help you.

    I've been pulling for 33 years, so I'm not new either. But, I do have the ability to grow back all of my lashes and brows after all of those years. I just have to work at it. But, I'm worth it. And so are you.
    Glad you are here.
    Heather

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