New here advice appreciated

Hello! I'm new here and I'm 16 years old, noticed alot of people here are above 20 so I'm feeling weird haha. I have pulled ever since I was 10 , it started by playing a game of who could pull the most eyelashes in school, let's just say I've won. I only started to try and stop myself when I was 14 but failed and failed. This year I had a break through of 2-3 months pull free where all of my hair grew back and I was on vacation feeling my best and accomplished, but on the last 2 weeks I relapsed after getting a haircut and plucking out my forehead hairs that kind of give my face a heart shape. I debated whether I should pluck them out or not because I was afraid of relapsing and look at where we are I was right to be afraid ): it's been almost 4 months of pulling for me and I'm starting to see my hair lessen and some visible spots that are getting harder to cover with other hair and hairstyles. I want to stop because sometimes it stops me from studying and yesterday I pulled off 3 hours of pulling half the time half asleep at 2 am to 5 am. I ended up feeling like trash the next day and carrying on pulling throughout the day ): I always feel like my scalp is itching when I get an urge, it itches and it triggers an image in my head of pulling the hair from that spot because it's what I have always done for the past 5 years. I have tried showering more often or showering less often and neither worked, just can't get myself to play with the toys, diet isn't really a problem for me and a hat is the only thing that works so in grateful for it , sometimes I don't wear it fast enough at night though or I slip my fingers through the hat and pull the nearest hairs but that only happens when I'm extremely vulnerable. Any advice would be great , I've seen how really supportive this community is and I really want to have confidence and trust in myself again ): could people advice me on what has worked for them I know for everyone it's different but I would like to try out your ideas. πŸ˜„
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Comments

  • Hi Yurisen

    Welcome to the forum, I'm so glad you've joined us here!!

    Please don't feel like age makes a difference here - there are plenty of young ones around, I'm 20 now but have been around for some time. I actually started pulling at your age and really feel with you.

    Well done for the pull free stint you managed!! 🌟 Every day pull free takes so much effort and courage, so good for you on getting through all that. It must be so difficult that you've relapsed, I've been there so many times and it's tough, so sending love and good vibes.πŸ’• What's helped me come this far - 200 days PF - is the amazing support from my coach and buddy. Perhaps consider signing up for either of those via the coaching.care website.

    I don't know if you've tried any forms of therapy, but from my experience nothing worked very well until I started coaching with this program, and things have really been improving. I also use the app to report daily, which keeps me focused and moving forward. There are some apps to go sober that I know others have found helpful in keeping PF too. Fidget toys, feathers, plasters on the fingers and hats are also all great barriers from even getting into a pulling spree.

    I most relate to the hours you spend pulling at night. I used to be there too. It was awful. I felt like I was pulling myself bald, which I almost did a few times. It was just me, my stress of the work I needed to do, my pain, my hair, and the quiet of night. I would spend the night pulling and not get any work done then have to face school the next day exhausted and feeling like a wreck. I so get you. It's horrible. And makes you feel like a failure. But you aren't a failure and there is so much beauty and strength in you - look at you, you managed to do it all yourself for 2-3 months!! You can do this - take each moment as it comes and you can surf those urges. I believe in you!

    I think being young is also an advantage that your habit is not as set in stone as if you'd be older. I feel it often too - I have more strength to fight and go along this learning curve at a younger age. The perfect time to take control of yourself is NOW.

    I hope this was helpful. Please do keep posting on here to let us know how you're doing.

    Sending so much love and healing to you.
    xxxxxx, Joy

  • @Joy thank you so much for your response! Yesterday I did feel hopeless which is why I went hunting for a forum like this but today I'm feeling better (: I am hoping to get control of myself and self discipline myself now before it's a harder habit to get out of. I will try and keep an update here as to how I'm doing because the support here is awesome ! Today I'm going to add post notes to the places where I get triggered to keep reminding myself and also journal everything I already know about my Trich so I can fight back 🀍

    Thank you really and have a good day!
    (: Yuri
  • Day 4 of being trich free! Methods used:
    -Wearing a hat as a barrier (a comfy hat)
    -Wearing gloves when sleeping to avoid pulling facial hair as an exception
    -changing my mindset from "don't pull the hair" to "don't touch your hair"
    -focusing my day on educating myself to succeed in life and being healthy (exercise)

    I have decided to keep updating here too :)
  • edited January 3
    New ideas or lessons learned:

    - I might resist it once or twice but then the urge will keep coming back because my mind is not used to resisting it that much , it doesn't have the strength yet so the more I resist it the easier it'll be to move on from it so even after pulling a few hairs I need to keep trying to restraint myself so that I can exercise this "muscle" even more.

    - my mind has been programmed to pull when my scalp itches , to deal with this in the meantime I will use a scalp massager brush from a distance whenever I feel the itch, after being able to go 3 weeks trich free I will no longer need to do this.

    - I don't need to be scared to take off the hat when I sleep, when I'm doing it for the right purpose ( giving my scalp ventilation for growth) it's okay and I won't pull but only take off the hat when I wear gloves instead. This will stay the case because I don't have enough willpower when I'm tired to resist any urges in the middle of the night.

    - when my hand went up there I was first going through the hairs, I noticed this and before pulling a hair I stood up and went to get my glove to wear and I went to my brothers room before coming back to get distracted ( this helped me resist the first urge)

    -I have also decided to exercise right after breakfast because pulling gives you dopamine but so does exercise and doing it before doing anything else will kind of be like a replacement. I haven't tried this yet but I will update as to what worked and what didn't.

    I may have relapsed and pulled for the first day in 2021 but today I've learned the most lessons than I ever have and tomorrow is a day to look forward to :) I hope whoever reads this either benefits from this in some way or is not giving up until they find what works for them because I'm on that same journey

    - Yuri
  • Great post Yuri! Way to be positive and realistic in 2021!! Stay the course and keep posting!

    You can do this! We're there for you ☺️
    Stay strong & believe in yourself!!

    Talk soon,

    SleepySloth
  • @SleepySloth thank you! 3/1/2021 trich free :) and going to sleep soundly
  • edited January 5
    Day 2 trich free πŸ₯‚
  • Good work, Yurisen. That is a cause for celebration. You get a fresh start at any time, so dont be too hard on yrslf. Everyone slips up and you can always start afresh.

  • @kan thank you! :)

  • Day 3 trich free :0

  • Day 4 trich free :3

  • Day 5 trich free
  • @yurisen You're doing so well!!!
    Keep going hun, xxx

  • @Joy thank you it's all because of all of you here supporting and raising each other up!

    ~Yuri
  • Day 6 trich free (almost a week) feeling stronger
  • @yurisen as family we're always here for each other! Thanks for that!

    Well done on almost a week - you CAN do this darling, xxx

  • 1 week trich free and going ! :) Thanks @Joy
  • ONE WEEK!!! That's AMAZING Yuri!! You should be very proud of yourself! Keep going & keep posting πŸ€— You Rock!!
  • @SleepySloth thank you so much!!! I will keep updating 🀍
  • 8 days trich free
  • 9 days trich free - I noticed that the urges have decreased and when I get the "itch" my mind doesn't think of pulling it thinks of using the scalp massager to itch it! And I feel alot better after massaging it :3

    I still wear my hat during the day because my hair is still a distraction when I study and I can't tie it up because then the empty patches would show and family members come in and out all the time. Of course it's about confidence but I don't like the attention of my family in this aspect because I know they're thinking oh look at how many times she has already failed, trich free one week and bald patches the next ( My mom has actually said this so it's pretty obvious). However I do take it off when I sleep for ventilation for growth and when I exercise.
    At first I wore gloves instead of the hat in sleep but now my mind has settled into the no pulling so I don't really need it unless I notice myself itching my eyebrows or something.

    Other than that I've been exercising atleast an hour every week which I think has helped me focus on my life more and being more kind to myself.

    I think the problem which caused my relapse before was not having something to replace pulling, I just refocused my attention on something else and ignored it which left me hungry to pull them out - this time around I'm using the scalp massager.
    Another reason was tricking myself that pulling from areas which don't matter ( forehead ) or the side of my face wouldn't cause me to relapse, but it did because that was a lie I told myself, if there's hair that shouldn't be there I need to remove them like everyone else using tweezers or wax and not pulling.

    Ik that's alot but I hope it helps anyone reading it because it's what got me to over a week :)!

    ~Yuri
  • @yurisen I'm amazed at all that you've learned about what works for you!!!!
    Realising what works is so helpful, it will keep you going!!

    You've got this!!! Great work, keep it up, xxxxxxx

  • Thank you @Joy I'm happy that you're doing better with your sleep too!
  • Thank you, I appreciate that a lot. I'm really trying hard.
    Keep going, you are so inspiring, xxxx

  • 11 days trich free :3
  • 12 days trich free
  • 13 days trich free
    - almost at 2 weeks I'm so grateful for everyone's support :3!
  • 2 weeks scalp hair pull free :)
  • Big Big CONGRATS @yurisen!!!πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

    From here it gets easier!!! you can do it hun, xxxx

  • hi i seen you are 16 and im 17 and struggled with trichotillomania for over half a year but i have hardly any hair left from it and i really want to stop so i am trying to find ways to stop and i am going to try to stop hopefully it will work if i really try and reading your comments helped me a lot to give me ideas to stop and also to feel im not alone because i dont know anyone else the same
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