I need some help and advice

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Joined: 03/16/2016 - 08:59
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I need some help and advice
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Hi I am 16 years old and have been hair pulling since around the age of 10/11. However, unlike many trich sufferers my main place of hair pulling is my hand and fingers. I've been reluctant to seek since I always thought mine was a mild case and it was just a 'phase' I was going through yet now I am aware it is not just a phase.
I remember how it started, I burnt my left hand one day while making a hot drink and it resulted in quite severe burning and a scar on my hand where my skin is nowhere near as sensitive as before. I remember one day just pulling one hair out of my hand and thinking, that didn't even hurt, in fact that actually felt quite relaxing and nice and it then continued from there.
At first I could sort of control but now I can't help doing it in public, college, around friends and family and it is not something I can easily control anymore.
Since I started my A levels my anxiety has been getting worse and worse by the day and over the past couple of weeks I have been pulling hair out of my head without even realising until afterwards what I had been doing.
I just wanted to find more people who share this condition and to see if anyone would be able to offer me help and advice, thanks.

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Last seen: 2 years 5 months ago
Joined: 11/23/2014 - 22:57
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Hi xjoanne123

Thank you for your question. I am sure there are many trich sufferers who haven't sought out help for this disorder for exactly the reasons you describe. But there is no shame in reaching out no matter how small you think the prblem is. The only gauge is whether or not you want the support. If pulling is bothering you and you want to stop, or it's standing in the way of you doing things that are important to you or fulfilling your goals, then absolutely you need help and support. 

While not everyone pulls at the same areas, there are millions across the globe who do have one or other form of body-focused repetitive behaviors, including trichotillomania.

Of course there is not quick answer or advice to give you on a forum, but I will say that a good place to start is to educate yourself. Read up as much as you can about the disorder to try to understand it and to understand what the root cause of your picking is. You already mentioned that stress increases your pulling and that you do so without being aware sometimes, so it would be a good idea to perhaps keep a pulling record. Each time you pull you should record the place and time, describe the context, what you are feeling at the time and where and how long you pulled. I would also urge you to consider seeking professional help, but more importantly reach out to someone you trust like a friend or family family member who you can talk to about your concerns. Wishing you all the best!

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Last seen: 4 years 5 months ago
Joined: 04/05/2016 - 11:17
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I think that the best decision is to see a doctor and he will propose you one of the following methods of treatment:
Hypnosis

Hypnosis is conducted by a psychotherapist. He inspires the patient that he experiences intense pain when pulling hair. Hypnosis helps to reduce the overall anxiety and get rid of the habit.

Behavioral Therapy

During this therapy, people are taught to replace a bad habit by other actions: in order to pull hair, a person must strain the forearm and make a fist. Such exercises can be carried out in any situation, over time trichotillomania will be cured. Various studies prove the effectiveness of behavioral psychotherapy.

4 Medication

Taking meds should be combined with psychotherapy – this combination is the most beneficial in getting rid of the disease. Trichotillomania treatment includes the following drugs:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – they increase the concentration of endorphin and serotonin in the brain, which improve mood, eliminate anxiety and discomfort. Fluoxetine is used, the improvement occurs after a week of taking.
Tricyclic antidepressants have an effect similar to the previous group of drugs but unlike them, they affect other endorphins: norepinephrine, dopamine.
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Home Remedies

Home treatment requires a lot of motivation. In order to treat trichotillomania, it is important to accept oneself. It is necessary to master relaxation techniques in order to get rid of anxiety. Yoga and meditation are perfect for it.

In addition, it is recommended to use herbal decoctions with sedative effects (motherwort) and take them three times a day.

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of therapy photographs before and after are used. Prevention of trichotillomania is not established since the cause of this disorder is unclear.[url=http://undepress.net/trichotillomania-why-do-people-pull-their-hair/]More information[/url]

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Last seen: 2 years 5 months ago
Joined: 11/23/2014 - 22:57
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Great suggestions Katrin-ru, thank you!

xjoanne123 if you search through our articles database under the treatment category you will see more information on each of the suggestions Katrin-ru has made. She has so aptly reinforced the importance of consulting with a doctor. Best of luck, please keep us updated on what you have decided to try.