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Herecomesunshine , 30 Mar 2019

How to snap out of pulling trances?

Do you know what I mean by " trances"? It's a feeling of being completely hypnotized into pulling so much so that hours can go by and it doesn't even feel like you're breathing. I've been plagued with trich for over 20 years and its definitely the worst it's ever been now. I've tried everything in terms of medication and therapy to no avail. Sometimes it even made it worse. At the end of my rope, what else can I do or try to get myself out of these trances? Thanks so much for your help and for responding.

9 Answers
April 06, 2019
I have the same issue. Watching a movie for 2, 2.5 hours and pulling the entire time. Fully aware, but unable to resist the urge. I'd call it a "trance" as well. Can anyone suggest replacement behaviors that might help... thank you in advance.

April 06, 2019
Ms. WMS,

Thank you so very much for responding! It's very rare to find someone who gets into the pulling trances as well. Most pullers have more self control I suppose: (....lucky. my trances can come as many as 50 times a day. Lasting up to a hour sometimes. Always when I'm alone but still terribly strong. I've tried everything for a replacement behavior (clearly none truly helping, Sadly) find that playing with silly putty or moving my fingers through a hair brush and pulling the bristles sometimes takes the edge off. I would love to talk to you more about this, please feel free to email me anytime at protzkok at Yahoo. Com
May 08, 2019
I get into trances as well. I think maybe why it continues is because I know I’ll be upset when it’s over (frustrated, disappointed with myself, shameful)- so instead of stopping, I delay those awful feelings.

I have found a tremendous amount of help from simple affirmations. My routine to stop pulling now is this- I notice my hands and sometimes even look at them (for some reason this grounds me). I place them gently, flat on my head and tell myself some loving affirmations: “it’s okay”, “I love you”, “I love my hair”, “I deserve love”, “I am capable”, “I am strong”, “I can do this”- whichever of these resonates with me that day. Simultaneously, I take three deep breaths- 4 counts in, 4 counts out. If I need to breathe longer I will. Then, I try to refresh my surroundings- stand up if I’m sitting- get out of the room- move on to the next thing. I find I pull when I’m avoiding something I need to do- even if it’s simple, so sometimes I take that opportunity to make a to do list, or if I know what I’m putting off- to try to get it done, or take one baby step in the direction of getting it done. Or- if you have someone you can talk to- opening up to them. Letting someone know you feel frustrated or anxious and leaning on some support.

Email me if you want to keep in touch! Trich is so isolating... I feel like I am finally making some breakthroughs :)
May 18, 2019
Thank you so dearly for responding! Your message was very insightful. When you mentioned: "I find I pull when I’m avoiding something I need to do" that 100 percent resonated with me as being something I do as well. Since my fiance dumped me the trich has spiraled way out of control and I risk having to wear a wig to cover the growing bald patches. It being summer soon that's something I absolutely don't want to do but I may have no other options if I keep on where I am, sadly.

Thanks again for reaching out! Please feel free to email me anytime!:

July 11, 2019
I think when the tension /anxiety/sadness we are experiencing is really bothering us a lot we go into those pulling sprees or trances. I was always aware I was doing it but kept doing it. The last time I had a pulling frenzy I stayed up all night pulling and got no sleep. I undid all the new growth I had. It was very short, but coming in nicely. I was so upset with myself afterwards. When I started the pulling that night I was really upset with my husband, the way he was speaking to me in angry tones. He has anger issues. I have had trich for many years, most of my life, with some years of not pulling and other years of having to wear a wig. Right now I have been wearing a wig for the last 12 yrs. So I was really desperate after that all night pulling spree and joined trichstop and even though I can not really afford to, I paid up at trichstop to join the program for helping you to stop pulling. You have reading material, worksheets to fill in and an online counsellor gives you feedback. This commitment to the program has really helped me stop pulling. Since signing up in the wee hours of July 1st, I have had just two incidents where I pulled for a second and stopped. Basically pull free for 10 days. I think joining the program has helped me become grounded, and to become more aware of what I am doing and why, and thinking of what I would like my life to be like instead. It is a deeply ingrained addictive habit and a reaction we are so used to doing when feeling upset. I have learned to accept that the urge to pull is a result of stress/anxiety/ depression/ feelings that bother me so much I do not know how to handle them. But now I accept that I may still have these feelings a times but it does not need to result in pulling my hair out. I am choosing to learn a new way of thinking and a new way of living. So although I couldn't afford to be running up my credit card, I couldn't afford not to seek some help, so I did.
August 19, 2019
Totally relate to trance pulling, either driving or watching a film as previously mentioned by someone else...a situation where I am sitting still and my mind has the ability to slip into that trance state where all I do it pull. Subconscious and at points I am aware I am doing it, feels too good to stop and I will think to myself.. one more pull and then I'll stop but I never do! Until i get a dead arm or my husband tells me to stop it and I look down at my shoulder and see the amount of hair I have ripped away and I just feel guilt. This forum makes me feel like I am not the only one that does this, what a relief!!!
August 23, 2019
It’s really REALLY difficult, but after years of practise, I’ve taught myself to simply delay the urge . I say to my Trich “give me 5 seconds, just 5 seconds, to stop and breathe. Then I can pull as much as I want after that I promise” and I sit on my hands. but after the 5 seconds, I tell myself to wait just another 5. And if I can do that, I can go another 10. Until I’m snapped out of the trance enough so that I can run downstairs, distract myself quickly, go for a walk or go talk to whoever is in the house.
December 11, 2019
I SO badly wish there was like a bootcamp for helping severe cases like me beat this
Pull McCartney
May 04, 2022

You need something else to do to occupy your hands. Take up the guitar or piano, or do some gardening. Idle hands are the devil's workshop.

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