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aquirk , 16 Feb 2017

Eyelashes, eyebrows, nails, and anything else you can think of

I'm Audrey and I'm new to this website. I'm 21 years old but I have been dealing with one BFRB or another for as long as I can remember. It started with nail biting and thats all it was until around 12/13 years old. I started wearing mascara around that age and became obsessive about making sure there were no clumps on my eyelashes and would pull at the mascara to get rid of the clumps. Every once in a while an eyelash would come with it, but I never thought much of it. Then after my mascara obsession was going strong I decided I hated how my eyelashes weren't the same length or thickness and I justified pulling at them to even them out. After a while it gave me a sense of satisfaction when they would come out. I don't remember my eyelashes ever getting to the point where they were noticeably sparse in high school except for one or two times. I moved off to college and it got worse and worse. After my eyelashes were gone I would pull my eyebrows, then I would pick at my skin whether it was the occasional pimple or just black heads, then I started over plucking my eyebrows, now my recent thing (an attempt at a less noticeable habit) is to use tweezers to pluck my leg hairs. My skin has never been perfect but I never had terrible acne. I was home for a month for winter break and I looked like I had the worst case of acne I had ever seen, just from picking at my skin. I started getting acrylic nails in high school to stop the biting and it helped but I also think that may have been when the hair pulling got worse.
A little background about my mental health in general, I was diagnosed with GAD and panic disorder when I was about 15 or 16 and I went to therapy for years to learn to cope with it. I then moved to college and experienced anxiety but felt I had the tools to cope. I transferred out to a school in Texas about a year and a half ago and spiraled into the worst state of mental health I've ever been in. In the spring of 2016 I rarely left my dorm room and didn't talk to many people. I was given antidepressants which ended up making me feel a thousand times worse than before. The school I transferred to proved to be too hard for me which was never something I had experienced before. I started seeing a psychiatrist from home whenever possible and over the course of about 8 months he diagnosed me with ADHD and OCD. I'm being treated for my ADHD but I asked to hold off on treatment for the OCD because he wanted to use SSRIs and my last experience with them was awful. I dropped out of college after spring of 2016 and have yet to go back. I never ever saw myself not finishing school in four years, much less potentially not finishing school at all...
This past week it has been worse than ever. It has gotten to the point where it has caused a significant strain on my relationship with my roommate (who also suffers from anxiety/depression). I used to have the most beautiful eyelashes and they were one of the very few things about my looks that I was really confident about. As of now I barely have any eyelashes, very thin eyebrows(I'm very very blonde as well so that doesn't help much), and my skin looks terrible. I don't want to leave my apartment or see anyone. This "habit" has proven how much of a hold it can take on my life and it has been taking its toll. I've finally broken and I'm just hoping to find some support or ideas on how to deal with it without using a therapist (I have nothing against going back to a therapist but my insurance only covers me in CA and I'm not in any financial position to pay for one right now).

I apologize for the lengthy post but I'm sure I'm not the only one here who has had such a rough time. I look forward to hearing y'all's stories and getting to know more about our disorder.

1 Answer
A Dying Storm
March 09, 2017
Hello, I am sorry to see no one has reached out to you yet. I made a post about my story as well if you wanted to read it to know that I am pretty much in the same boat.

I too feel there is no one that understands this around in my life, I also have a roommate with severe depression and everyone is different in their depression but what makes me angry is when they compare everyone's suffering to their own.

I know you are looking for ideas to help, or maybe someone to just talk to and vent to. The only thing I really found that ever helped was distracting myself as physically as much as possible. The times when I pull are when I am alone or even with people in the room but the thing is I have to be doing nothing in order for me to pull them. Nothing could be so much as sitting on the couch watching a movie. I mean physically doing stuff is the only way to really distract myself anymore. I know it's hard to do for a long period of time, but I mean if you try at least you may have some sort of benefit from it.

I recently started going to the gym because I have been so depressed and feeling like a shell that I need to spark some sort of fire in my life in order to survive. Running a treadmill, pedaling a bike, lifting weights, playing a sport in a gymnasium, swimming, a group session of some kind, martial arts, yoga, going out afterward and killing some time at a mall or park or somewhere public where you are forced to do something. That will help you. I know it will. Also finding something that makes you happy and distracts you. It can help big time. I currently have a pretty bad diet but I'm sure certain foods can help you as well. I have nothing that really helps me in my life besides my cats as a distraction sometimes but I know if some day I can just follow my own advice consistently and try to shake out of the low energy and depression, the work will pay off. It has to and It might very well for you too. Hopefully, I gave you some kind of advice to work with. Good luck.

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