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Jen , 01 Mar 2023

Stop pulling for 4 months, after 27 years

Hi there!

I wanted to talk to you about my experience. I have pulled my scalp hair since I was 8 years old. Now I'm 35. I have been in psychoanalysis for the past 12 years. It's been a blessing. I have tried everything before that, every medication, every therapy. But Freudian psychoanalysis has been amazing. It's been a very difficult process. But for the past 3 years I have had 3 no pulling at all episodes, each of them lasting more every time. Last time I spent 4 months without pulling not one hair. And I'm not talking about taking extreme measures to stop pulling. I'm saying that the urge to pull went away completely. It's amazing. I was able to go the hair salon, to style my hair as I wanted. I even forgot about the hair pulling.

And my relapse has been devasting. But I'm trying to stay confident that, that moment will come again. I felt like a different person entirely, I felt free from trying and trying not to pull, I felt myself ( whatever that means). 

I wanted to share my experience because I have always thought that this cannot be done. Psychiatrist and psychologist have always told me that this cannot be done. That the urge doesn't go away, that there is no cure, just control and good and bad periods. But perhaps there is a cure, perhaps there is a life where the urge doesn't exist and you don't have to fight with yourself all the time, feeling helpless and guilty.

I hope this helps someone and I would love to hear your opinion and experience. 

1 Answer
October 30, 2023


If there was a like/love button here, I would definitely click on it.

Well done for all your hard work, commitment and dedication into managing your behaviours. You are right, it is not always easy, and often the road to healing can be a bit difficult. But it is most certainly worth the effort.

It is so crucial to remember that this journey is not a straight line. It won't always be up, and you may not always be pull free. Instead, it is a mix of good and bad days. But therapy, self-love, kindness and self-compassion, can help you get through those bad days. And it is normal to experience disappointment, sadness, frustration or even anger when you experience a slip (relapse). But also acknowledge that you have succeeded before, and through both the successes and slips, you are better equipped, more knowledgeable and stronger in moving forward.

Thank you for sharing your experience. Sometimes we are unaware that just speaking freely of what we are going through can provide hope and inspiration to others.

Wishing you well!

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