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smetz , 14 Jun 2017

8 year old daughter pulling out hair

I'm posting this in hopes of some understanding and solutions to could help my daughter stop her hair pulling.

My 8-year-old daughter started pulling her hair out about a year ago when my wife had a couple surgeries. Thankfully my wife was okay but my daughter started coping by pulling her hair out. We've taken her to counselors but its hard to get an 8-year-old to explain her feelings.

Could anyone give me some insight or solutions that have helped you?

Thank you,

2 Answers
June 23, 2017
Hi shawn I personally started pulling at age 9 so I know what to do/ not to do from her perspective

well first of all (and i'm not saying that you do but this is what happened to me) don't yell/call her out at her about it especially not in front of company or in public instead gently say her name loud enough so she hears you or simply put your hand on her arm to let her know what she is doing,
second get her lots of fidget toys find one she likes best and get a couple of those (my favorites are the tangle, the spinner, and the fidget cube)
third let her know you are there for her no matter what if she is doing good or bad
And my last and probably most important tip let her know (is you haven't already) that this has a name that she is not alone and depending on where you live maybe look into some support groups with kids that also have bfrb
I personally didn't learn about what i had until i was 14 thats when i finally started to feel like i could actually stop this now until then i felt like a total freak i don't want any other kids feeling the way i did about trich
June 24, 2017
Hey Shawn,
I get what that can be like, I started pulling at 6 or 7 for a while. It was really confusing and scary. I don't remember when it started I just remember doing it and people starting to see it. One of the absolute worst things was people making fun of me. It was actually my family that did that. They weren't trying to hurt me, but they did. I remember a couple of occasions very clearly. One was me and my family eating dinner after some event my Mom had taken pictures at that day. While going through them she kept making remarks about how I had no eyelashes and her and my Dad and brother were making fun of me. I remember them laughing and her saying you could count them I had so few. This is actually my first memory of trich and has haunted me for years. Ever since then I have absolutely hated my picture being taken, even though I stopped pulling from age 7 or 8 to age 13. Picture taking can be really stressful for me, even just thinking about someone taking a picture of me. I don't want proof of the pulling. I would talk to your daughter about this and anything else that makes her uncomfortable. That way you can avoid those situations or be preemptive when you know one you can't avoid is coming up, like school picture day. Another one was in the car with my Mom and Grandma. They started talking about it and asked me why I was doing it. I didn't know how to answer. I had no clue why I did it besides it felt good. I didn't want to say that though, so being 7 the only thing I could think to say was I didn't like the color black so I didn't want them. This made my Mom really mad and she started saying things like you need to stop this it's weird and that's stupid you can't just pull them out because they're black. Then she said if I didn't stop they would never grow back trying to scare me out of doing it. BIG MISTAKE! Don't ever try to scare a 7 year old out of doing something they can't control! I was terrified. I wanted to stop more than ever after that, but I couldn't and that made it so much worse. I actually started using one of those hairclips to put on my eyelashes to pull them out because my fingers got so sore. I don't remember how I stopped either, it was just gone just as suddenly as it came. Sadly when it came back in middle school it wasn't just eyelashes, but my eyebrows and hair too. I'm 16 now and it's finally starting to go away again. I'm actually 8 days "sober" right now. Please don't assume that it's ever gone for good. I did and it came back with a vengeance that has caused so many issues. In 8th grade my Grandpa died after months of him being very sick in the hospital. That's when it started. It got worse when I thought I had breast cancer because it turns out I have hormone issues so I get cysts sometimes, though luckily over the years that has gotten better. Because of this I had developed really quickly in 6th grade and had a lot of self confidence issues. To make it worse I was worrying about the possibility of breast cancer during finals in my first year of taking honors level classes. (This is something else I would look into, because hormone issues could be a problem for her too) Then that summer I found out my best friend was moving to another state. All of this propelled me into a state of depression, social anxiety, and panic attacks in 10th grade. Life gets really stressful in middle school, there's no way around it. Trich will make things like this 1000 times worse so keep an eye out for it then. Also like Knm81497 said let her know it's an actual disorder and that she's not alone. It really helped me last year when I saw a therapist who had trich too. She was absolutely amazing and is one of my heroes. Because of her I was able to get through 8 months without pulling, I only started again because I have no friends at my school (I pretty much became a hermit last year pushing everyone out, watch out for this too) and the loneliness finally became too much during finals. It's really just a matter of finding things that help you stop, getting good at figuring out what bothers you or triggers the pulling, and finding people you can talk to about it that you're comfortable around. This is rarely your parents so don't try too hard to try to make her talk to you, and don't take offense or make her feel bad if she doesn't want to. It's really hard when you're that young and dealing with it because you can't really talk to friends about it because other little kids don't know what to say. I would recommend finding a therapist who actually has trich, it makes a HUGE difference! I hope this helps, and that you're daughter is able to break the habit!


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