Parental suggestions.

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Parental suggestions.
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Our daughter currently 11 yro has been pulling since she was approx 7. It began at the start of 3rd grade ironically the first year of our states SOL testing. At first my husband and I tried counseling and even several
counselors looking for one that could guide us. After a while we gave up and just determined it would be her life. As middle school approached we became more worried about teasing and things so we made the decision to seek help again. We have been seeing a psychiatrist and she have been taking medication to attempt to help. We had mild succes prior to the start of the school year but that quickly spiraled out of control.

As a parent to a brilliant young girl who had gorgeous eyelashes to match everything with her gorgeous self both inside and out I'm crushed. She lies about whether she's pulled or not. She's resorted to "rubbing" which then irritates the skin or mats her eyebrows together. I feel like a failure as a parent it's a stressor to our family and I feel lost and alone. Is there anyone with any suggestions????

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Joined: 01/10/2017 - 05:24
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Hi worriedmomma...I'm worried too. My daughter started at 9 years old. She is now 15. I have sought out 4 therapists who claim they can help but honestly I think I'm a better therapist sometimes but I can't handle this. My daughter started with her lashes lied alot about it...I bought her fashion glasses which helped to determine her. Now she pulls her hair. I use extensions, hair pieces, 1000. Wigs...going broke at the moment! I would suggest getting her a box with sensory items she can fidget with or even softly rub her face with. I have cotton gloves for her to wear at night, a rubber ball with stretchy things to pull, soft cotton puffs, medallion coloring books, goal diary planner with stickers you can get at michaels and sensory stuff from the dollar store. It's hard not to get upset especially when she is upset and feels like a failure but God have I felt that way in the past as well. I hope these tools help. Try trichwebsites buy books and would strongly suggest a treatment clinic...which is my next step...think I should not have waited so long...I wish you the best!

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Joined: 02/06/2017 - 18:40
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My daughter is 12. To make matters worse, she is an identical twin, so people are constantly comparing them. We just found a cognitive behavioral therapist for her. I bought her a fidget toy which seems to help and she uses Emla cream (basically lidocaine). Also, I am now working on getting her a service dog to interfere with the pulling action. It's not option for everyone, but there are non-profit resources if that's the obstacle. My daughter's poor head is bad...a 3 inch swath across the back from ear to ear...and now at both temples and eyelashes. She has open sores which terrify me, so I have been using peroxide and ointment twice daily.

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Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 03/09/2017 - 06:41
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It's not your faults ladies. I have been suffering since 2002 and I would never blame my mom. Situations may have led to the pulling but it could never be in your power to start your child in this terrible habit.

You know it's one thing to pull your hair out and look different. It's another to feel completely different from normal people. I'm only saying that so you can know your children will feel out of place at times. I'm not really sure what my mom could have ever done to help me, although she tried. I don't know what advice I could give you but to be very understanding. It's very much a mental illness or can help lead to them although we are usually 100% intelligent. We just feel different and want to be understood although it is probably the most embarrassing thing to talk about because no one truly understands it like the ones who do it to themselves.

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Now that I think about it, keep your kids as active as possible, put them in sports/activities and make them distracted physically because when they are sitting down alone is when most vulnerable.

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It is very important to not put pressure on them about it in any way or make it seem like it's a really big deal/problem. If you do this it can feed the problem by adding additional stress and anxiety to the situation. Even though you are trying to help you might be making it worse without knowing. My stepmom pressured me into getting out and doing things but I didnt feel comfortable getting out at all because my problem was noticeable and I didnt want my bald spots being seen. Even if they weren't noticeable when you have this disorder it lowers your self esteem, security, social skills/abilities so you really don't want to go out anywhere. I understand she was trying to help me but sje didn't really know how. My step-dad and mom told almost everyone who came in the house like some kind of greeting. Which made me feel like it was some kind of contagious disease nobody wanted to be around and sadly after they were told that's how they started acting. Therefore I started isolating myself cause after that I could tell nobody knew how to be around me and we're just as uncomfortable as I was. Both my stepmom and step-dad tried keeping me busy and never alone, I mean never which just stressed me out more because I wanted to be alone not to pull just to not be around anyone I was tired of being judged and treated like a freak. A freak that my parents had to tell people my problem behind my back because it was so serious. They even told my best friend and had her follow me into the bathroom to make sure I wouldnt go pull, which made me want to pull even worse. That was the only time I had to myself that and the shower which they limited me to only 5-10 minute showers to make sure i wasnt pulling in there either. I understand how they were trying to helput but they made it very stressful which only delayed the pulling until another time. The more stressful they made the situation, the more anxiety I got and the more I wanted to pull. For me the more delayed they made the pulling the worse it got overtime. Since they had made normal situations so stressful pulling was I could think about until I got the time away to do it. You can't make them feel like they are isolated or different in any way and dont make them feel like you are doing things with them just to keep them from pulling.

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Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
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It is very important to not put pressure on them about it in any way or make it seem like it's a really big deal/problem. If you do this it can feed the problem by adding additional stress and anxiety to the situation. Even though you are trying to help you might be making it worse without knowing. My stepmom pressured me into getting out and doing things but I didnt feel comfortable getting out at all because my problem was noticeable and I didnt want my bald spots being seen. Even if they weren't noticeable when you have this disorder it lowers your self esteem, security, social skills/abilities so you really don't want to go out anywhere. I understand she was trying to help me but sje didn't really know how. My step-dad and mom told almost everyone who came in the house like some kind of greeting. Which made me feel like it was some kind of contagious disease nobody wanted to be around and sadly after they were told that's how they started acting. Therefore I started isolating myself cause after that I could tell nobody knew how to be around me and we're just as uncomfortable as I was. Both my stepmom and step-dad tried keeping me busy and never alone, I mean never which just stressed me out more because I wanted to be alone not to pull just to not be around anyone I was tired of being judged and treated like a freak. A freak that my parents had to tell people my problem behind my back because it was so serious. They even told my best friend and had her follow me into the bathroom to make sure I wouldnt go pull, which made me want to pull even worse. That was the only time I had to myself that and the shower which they limited me to only 5-10 minute showers to make sure i wasnt pulling in there either. I understand how they were trying to helput but they made it very stressful which only delayed the pulling until another time. The more stressful they made the situation, the more anxiety I got and the more I wanted to pull. For me the more delayed they made the pulling the worse it got overtime. Since they had made normal situations so stressful pulling was I could think about until I got the time away to do it. You can't make them feel like they are isolated or different in any way and dont make them feel like you are doing things with them just to keep them from pulling.

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Joined: 02/06/2017 - 18:40
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My daughter is doing much better. I gave her the option of shaving her head and told her that it likely would t be a cure, but let her know that I would support whatever decision she made. She invited all her friends over and we had a head shaving party. It has taken some time, but her spots are filling in. After we shaved her head, I finally saw my daughter again...the happy, bubbly girl I know. Her shame had been so great she had stopped looking in the mirror, and after the shaving, she was all smiles again. She has decided to try to let it grow back, and the CBT is helping her manage anxiety in other ways. She wears a scarf often, especially when we go out in public, and I let her tell people whatever she wants to tell them. She definitely still twirls and plays with her hair, but she doesn't pull. This has been a long road so far, and I know it's only the beginning. Her dad has the same issue, as does his mother, as did her mother. So I have seen how the issue never really goes away. I'm hoping that intervening early and learning as much as I can will help her manage it more effectively in the future.

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Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/07/2017 - 03:40
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I'm so happy to hear that especially since people who usually try shaving their head, relapse as soon as it grows back long enough to pull. Just because she had stopped for now doesn't mean it's permanent make sure you still keep an eye out for symptoms. She could also redirect her trich to a different area so please be carefully watching as she grows older. People stop when they are younger then start again when they are older due to life getting more stressful, there are more triggers. I with pray for you and your daughter that she won't have this problem again in the future. I truely wish you guys the best.

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Joined: 08/28/2017 - 22:07
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Hello,to the worried mothers,don't take your eyes off your kids but don't make it obvious you are policing them...this will only make them want to look for a quiet place to pull...growing up,I realized that my stress levels increased most times when I was home from school and my mom kept urging me to go out more and have more friends and stop locking myself indoor all day reading novels and stuff.she didn't understand my sudden self esteem issues as I used to be a very outspoken and troublesome child before the onset of puberty and the whole pulling thing...it got worse as I grew older and although at first I didn't hide it from anyone,I used to go about with a very visible bald patch on my head and I even used to invite my friends to assist me in pulling the strands I couldn't get out..lol
But as time went on and more people began to ask ridiculous questions and come up with their own ideas of the underlying problem,I realized I became more withdrawn and began to look for ways to mask the hair loss,wearing ponytails all the time,spending hours in front of the mirror trying to mask the bald parts,eventually I just had to cut it all off and I would rest awhile until the hair grew again,it's gotten so bad over the years,sometimes I just have prickly stubbles that are just rising above the surface of the scalp and just because they itch,I'll try to pull them all out....I'm just so good with a blade now,anytime I've pulled too much and gotten to that point where I just snap,I only have to pull out my blade and scrape my whole head clear of hair....it's sort of become my own personal coping technique but albeit one which makes my boyfriend want to go into a crazed frenzy himself....I've been a bit lucky to have people who just accept me for who i am,but that doesn't diminish the depression or anxiety I feel most times...I just know I feel some sort of relief during pulling,even though the pain I feel later is so much more than the pleasure .i just hope I'll be able to stop someday...I've accepted my abnormality and hope to work on it.
Pulling is bad,the bald patches are worse,but the worst feeling is suffering stigmatization and taunts from people,even strangers....because you know that no matter how hard you try to explain,they just won't understand...I also just found out yesterday that this condition is suffered by a lot of people and I'm not alone,so yes,I am happy I'm not alone and I haven't pulled all day today...but I did pull badly for over four hours last night..it was one of those nights,sad.but the more I learn about this,the more I want to stop for good.and I know with time I will stop.ive been pulling now for almost ten years.

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Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 09/01/2017 - 05:33
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Hi there,

I started pulling as a teenager, back when there was little to no information about trich. I told my friends first, but they didn't know how to help. I told my mother, and it was the single hardest thing I ever had to say to anyone. My mom was at a loss of how to help me. I don't think she could wrap her mind around the fact that this wasn't something I was doing to myself willingly, and it made it hard for us.

I guess if I could give you some advice, it would be to:

- find out as much as you can about trich from credible sources
- make it clear to your child that you know they aren't to blame for their disorder, any more than they would be responsible for getting he flu
- let them know that you will take on this disorder as a team.
- seek out professional help, even if your child tells you they don't want to. Trust me, if they told you, it's because they want to be helped. I was reluctant to get professional help because I felt deeply ashamed and absolutely didn't want anyone else to know.
- on that note, help them to not feel ashamed. Show them this forum, full of other people just like them. Find YouTube videos of other young people who struggle with the same thing and who have overcome trich. It helps so much.