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So I'm getting frustrated with patchy spots in my beard and I'm trying to take the first steps to stop this behavior of pulling (mostly) my beard and mustache hair. Part of making this post is to try to put into words my pattern of behavior so that I understand it better, partly to reach out for support, and partly to take a first step in making myself accountable for my actions in an effort to stop.
I've had at least a goatee from a pretty young age (15-16 years old) and can remember sometimes pulling out the hair below my lip with my teeth and eating them, but only occasionally. I'm 32 years old now and wear a full beard and have probably been plucking my beard hairs and eating them for about 10 years, give or take. Sometimes my eyebrows and sideburn hairs too.
I generally only go after hair that has a rougher texture than the rest of my hair. My beard is kind of a mix of red, brown, black, and blond hair. Kind of unique I guess. My head hair is all dark brown, and it gradually transitions in my sideburns to be more red. I oftentimes run my hands through my beard, like a lot of guys do, and when I find a hair or a few that have a rougher texture or coarser texture (most usually the black hairs), I have a hard time not plucking them out and eating them. I do a similar thing with my eyebrows as well.
It doesn't look too terribly noticeable, just that I have areas of my beard that are fuller than others, but I would of course prefer to have a much fuller beard with a less patchy look. If I keep it pretty short, it's not as noticeable.
I think I'm only slightly OCD. I don't have any ticks or repetitive behavior. I'm particular about some things, but so is everyone I guess. I can definitely control my urges when in public or with friends and other social situations, but when I'm alone I find myself mindlessly doing this, whether I'm upset or just bored. I've tried finding other ways to occupy my hands but that only goes so far.
I feel like if I really try hard I can stop this behavior, but it's so easy to do. I'm thinking of shaving off my beard so that I can let some of the areas regrow over time (I hope!) but I know I would just end up plucking my eyebrow and sideburns hair more.
I really don't want to go on any medication since I don't have depression or other psychological disorders, but I may consider therapy of some sort if I really can't stop.
Like I said, this is a first step for me to try to acknowledge my behavior and reach out for help and try to make myself more accountable. Thank you for listening to my rant and for any advice/tips anyone can give me!