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Caitlin , 26 Jul 2016

This is me

My name is Caitlin, I have been dealing with trich for almost 7 years. It started when I was in the third grade and I'm going into tenth. I used to have almost no hair on the entire top of my head, eye lashes, and eyebrows. People used to ask me if I do it on purpose or if I have cancer. I used to get teased at school and would end up staying home because I was too sad to focus. I would put my hair up in a spout type thing until it got to the point where I did not have enough hair. I then used head bands and makeup to make me look normal. Now I just part my hair over my bald spot so nobody notices. I was very depressed and told my mom I had suicidal thoughts, I was twelve. I begged her not to tell my psychiatrist but she did anyway. He then always asked me for a year or so why I wanted to do it. But it was just thoughts so he just made me feel worse. We did not have much money so my dad blamed me for needing medicine. My dad never liked me that much and he told me I wasn't pretty because of my hair. He told me some places wouldn't hire me. A month ago I read a poem to my class about trich and got mocked and laughed at. I went home in tears and locked myself in my room. I'm on this sight so o can meet people in the same situation as me and possibly make friends who can understand me. This is me.

2 Answers
July 28, 2016
Hello, Caitlin!

I'm sorry that you're going through such an awful time. It's a sad but true fact that kids in school can be outright terrible and don't understand what you're going through. Many people don't realize how trichotillomania works. They don't realize that most of the time, we simply can't help it- that it's a powerful and unyielding urge that comes up and nags us until we give in to it.

I started pulling my hair in the 5th grade- a little later than you did. I didn't have many friends- but the few I made were genuinely good people. If it helps, ask yourself this: Do you really want to be friends with people who would judge you for something like trichotillomania instead of for who you are as a person? It took me a long time to ask myself this question and it set me free. Those are not the people I want to associate with. I realized that my trich DID do me one favor: It helped keep bad people out of my life and guided me to befriend some wonderful people.

It may be a while before you find those people- but don't give up. As you get older and (hopefully) into college- things get better. You'll find that adults out there are probably far more accepting of you than your fellow peers in high school where everyone is trying to be 'cool.' I'm currently in my last year of college- and while I have managed to stop pulling for some time now- have never had any issues with people treating me differently because of my hair. So please- just hang in there!

If you want advice or just someone to listen to you, please by all means, feel free to reach out and contact me. I'd love to be of help.

December 19, 2016
My trich was probably triggered due to stress in 5th grade, so I know how you feel. My parents (specifically my dad) will usually tell me to just stop, and even close friends will continuously try to give me a diagnosis (e.g. "You know, hair pulling is a sign of stress!") and ask me why I can't just stop. I don't have it as severe as you (The worse I've ever had it thanks to my thick hair is a bald spot the size of a nickel, and an area on my hairline thicker than my thumb), but I can definitely relate. I've been considering doing a report/presentation on trichotillomania as well, since it's a BFRB and not very well known. One thing I've done recently to try and stop picking was to either continuously keep my hands busy, or if that didn't work, I shaved a small bit of hair by my hairline (where the hair was just too thin and wispy for me) and I rub that to feel the nubs instead of picking. Not 100% guaranteed to work, but it helps.

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