5 Important Lessons About Trich

Tasneem Abrahams
Dec 21st, 2016

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Trichotillomania, difficult to pronounce and even more difficult to live with. The disorder is characterised by the strong urges to pull out their own hair. It can affect people of any age. People with trichotillomania pull hair out at the root from places like the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, or pubic area.

Learning Life Lessons 

It is said that everything we come across in life has a significient purpose and teaches us something important. Although trichotillomania is not something to wish on anybody, one blogger, Emilie Bélanger, who has lived with trichotillomania since she was 8 years old, says there are important lessons that she learnt from the hair pulling disorder and they are as follows:

1. Patience

There have been moments when I barely had any eyelashes or eyebrows. I really wanted to be beautiful, but I would have to wait. Makeup can cover it, but it doesn’t seem authentic. It could take about one month for them to grow back. Although this may be frustrating, it is also a learning curve for most people with trichotillomania, you learn that frustrations lead to more stress and anxiety and that having a little bit of patience can have a positive impact on your wellbeing

2. Modesty

Once my eyelashes and eyebrows grew back, I finally had a chance to be like everyone else and perhaps feel beautiful. Obviously, those moments didn’t last very long, as my compulsions would take over me again. I had to accept I wasn’t perfect, and that’s OK.

Accepting that youre not perfect does not necessarly mean that you are happy with the disorder, it simply means that you are aware that you have a problem and you are working on getting treatment and finding ways to reduce things that triggers your behaviour

3. Perseverance

I have not given up yet, even though I failed again and again at overcoming this disorder. I have tried nail polish that will be scratched if I press my nails together to pull out any hair, I tried Band Aids on my fingers, gloves, and stress balls. I keep on trying new suggestions, and I have not given up.

Rest in knowing that you are not the only person who has the disorder and that other people were able to overcome the disorder. As more awareness is being raised around the disorder more medical research is done and hopefully, someday effective mediacation for trichotillomania will be discovered

4. Self-acceptance

My brain is sick, and that’s OK. In the past I have felt like I was the only one going through this disorder, but my optometrist noticed my lack of eyelashes and said several of her patients have this problem. She sold me a heat pad to put over my eyes and activate my hair follicles.

People tend to treat you according to the way you present yourself, being confident starts with self acceptance , accepting your flaws and simply loving yourself just the way you are.

5. Confidence

I am unique. I have been through a certain set of obstacles in my life that made me a smarter, stronger person. I no longer care what people say of my appearance and just recently when someone noticed and commented on my lack of eyebrows, I told the truth for the first time. I should have done this a long time ago.

Confidence builds a very strong self esteem, when you are confident it becomes easy for you to educate people who don’t know much about the disorder either than breaking down when they ask you. 

Tasneem Abrahams


Tasneem is an Occupational Therapist, and a graduate of the TLC foundation for BFRBs professional training institute. Her experience in mental health includes working at Lentegeur Psychiatric hospital forensic unit (South Africa), Kingston Community Adult Learning Disability team (UK), Clinical Specialist for the Oasis Project Spelthorne Community Mental Health team (UK). Tasneem is a member of both the editorial team and the clinical staff on TrichStop, providing online therapy for people who suffer from Trichotillomania and other BFRBs.

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