Successful Medications / Coping Mechanisms?

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Successful Medications / Coping Mechanisms?
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I've been living with trich for almost a decade now. Lately it has gotten so bad that I lose 4-5 hours a day picking my face and split ends. I am posting here to see if anyone has had any success with any medications or coping mechanisms?

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Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 09/01/2017 - 05:33
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Hi, i pulled for about 22 years. I stopped 26 days and 22 hours ago.

Some strategies that worked for me:

Because I tend not to pull when I'm around other people, I committed to stop the day that I left to go on vacation with my boyfriend, because I was going to be around him pretty much constantly for the following two weeks. The distraction of a vacation also helps set aside the urges. Pulling doesn't even occur to me when I'm setting up a tent or riding my bike through a beautiful landscape, etc. so I went two weeks without pulling at all, without even having to try, and that helps a lot. I recommend it.

Once I got back to my routine, I was definitely more at risk, because it's by definition a more boring environment with lots of unstructured time. So I put in place phase 2 of the plan. Because pulling is such a sensory stimulus, I figured I should try to replace the response to the stimulus (pulling) with a different sensory stimulus. I made a list of things that would have a neutral or positive impact and still give my brain that sensory boost: chewing gum; taking a sip of icy flavoured water; putting on pleasant-smelling hand lotion (with the added benefit of making my fingers too slippery to pull); looking at a pretty image; listening to a song I love, etc. That's my battle plan for dealing with the urges when they come.

But I figured it's not enough to just deal with urges. I need to address my underlying anxiety also. And to do that, I'm spending a lot of time writing in my journal, because that's my way of analyzing my emotions and organizing my thoughts in a way that I can deal with them and cope with stress. I also sought out information, and read as much as I could about the disorder, its causes, its treatments, and the experiences of others.

I found online hypnosis videos specifically focused on trich, and I also downloaded soothing "nature-at-night" soundtracks to help calm me and help me fall asleep.

I made a plan to reward myself with a small treat after a certain amount of time has passed successfully pull-free, such as my favourite ice cream to celebrate one month, etc.

But the biggest factors for me are a) coming to the realization that there are many people like me who have this disorder, which has helped me to not feel ashamed of it (and myself) anymore, and b) getting to the point where I refuse to accept that this will be a part of my life moving forward, as opposed to thinking that this is just my reality and that it can never change. For me, it came down to no longer giving myself permission to settle for living like this.

I hope these things help you as well. Hang in there! You can do it!

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Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/31/2017 - 06:01
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Nep2ne wrote:

Hi, i pulled for about 22 years. I stopped 26 days and 22 hours ago.

Some strategies that worked for me:

Because I tend not to pull when I'm around other people, I committed to stop the day that I left to go on vacation with my boyfriend, because I was going to be around him pretty much constantly for the following two weeks. The distraction of a vacation also helps set aside the urges. Pulling doesn't even occur to me when I'm setting up a tent or riding my bike through a beautiful landscape, etc. so I went two weeks without pulling at all, without even having to try, and that helps a lot. I recommend it.

Once I got back to my routine, I was definitely more at risk, because it's by definition a more boring environment with lots of unstructured time. So I put in place phase 2 of the plan. Because pulling is such a sensory stimulus, I figured I should try to replace the response to the stimulus (pulling) with a different sensory stimulus. I made a list of things that would have a neutral or positive impact and still give my brain that sensory boost: chewing gum; taking a sip of icy flavoured water; putting on pleasant-smelling hand lotion (with the added benefit of making my fingers too slippery to pull); looking at a pretty image; listening to a song I love, etc. That's my battle plan for dealing with the urges when they come.

But I figured it's not enough to just deal with urges. I need to address my underlying anxiety also. And to do that, I'm spending a lot of time writing in my journal, because that's my way of analyzing my emotions and organizing my thoughts in a way that I can deal with them and cope with stress. I also sought out information, and read as much as I could about the disorder, its causes, its treatments, and the experiences of others.

I found online hypnosis videos specifically focused on trich, and I also downloaded soothing "nature-at-night" soundtracks to help calm me and help me fall asleep.

I made a plan to reward myself with a small treat after a certain amount of time has passed successfully pull-free, such as my favourite ice cream to celebrate one month, etc.

But the biggest factors for me are a) coming to the realization that there are many people like me who have this disorder, which has helped me to not feel ashamed of it (and myself) anymore, and b) getting to the point where I refuse to accept that this will be a part of my life moving forward, as opposed to thinking that this is just my reality and that it can never change. For me, it came down to no longer giving myself permission to settle for living like this.

I hope these things help you as well. Hang in there! You can do it!

What helpful and thoughtful comments! I think that I can get through this too! I went on vacation for Labor Day with a group of 5 and noticed I didn't hair pull 1/50th as much!

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Last seen: 1 month 1 day ago
Joined: 10/17/2017 - 19:29
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Hey! I just wanted to say that I am in the same boat as you. I've had Trich for 12 years, literally all of my adolescence and adulthood.
I've tried nearly everything...therapy for 4 years, several anti-depressants, vitamins, hand fidget toys, etc.
I've finally found 2 big things that WORK!

1. NALTREXONE!
it's a medication that is used to treat alcoholism and opiod addiction. It works by blocking off opiod receptors in the brain, and making addictive behaviors less pleasurable. In the book Trichotillomania by John Stein, they tested the medication on dogs who overgroomed themselves to the point of having sores and scabs. It showed significant improvement for the dogs! I have pulled less than ever before since starting Naltrexone! The urge is simply in the background, and is becoming easier to ignore. I can stop mid-pull and not feel compelled to continue.
Take the evidence of Naltrexone to your doctor! If they don't listen, find a new doctor who is open minded and will listen! Mine gave it a chance, and it's already done wonders for me.

The other treatment that is working wonders:

2. I got a sew in weave to cover my major bald spots (it was primarily like a halo of missing hair, the typical "friar tuck" pulling zone)
This method is very pricy, and takes a specialist to sew the weave in differently than usual. She sews most of my hair into braids, and sews a net over my bald spots, then sews the extensions into the netting, thus creating a barrier between me and my new growth! On the plus side: I HAVE BEAUTIFUL THICK HAIR! This method costs me about $300 plus tip every 8 weeks. And you have to buy the hair every so often too (go with the highest quality hair you can, so it lasts). But since the hair is unable to be touched with the weave on, it's been growing over 1 inch per month underneath!

The downsides to this:
The price
and unless you get a full weave, you will have some of your own hair left out (called "leave out") that is used to hide the transition from real to fake hair.
You have to be very careful not to pull all of your remaining hair out! Because then it will be very hard to cover the transition, and will obviously be counterproductive. Plus leave out is in the front of your scalp, and it's very hard to hide bald spots there.

Keep trying! I gave up for the longest time, and thought there was no hope. But once I decided to fight this and look further for answers, I found what worked for me! DONT GIVE UP!

I'd also recommend trying:
The amino acid N-AcetylCystein, it has shown major improvement for many people in clinical trials.
High doses of Inositol (use the powder form and mix with water)
Both worked somewhat for me, but nowhere near as good as Naltrexone.

Good luck and God bless!

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Last seen: 2 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: 10/31/2017 - 18:45
Posts: 8

Hi,

I’ve had mine for nearly 40 years now I’ve tried medication etc nothing works, mine started with my parents starting divorce when I was 11 years old I couldn’t cope and I had nervous breakdown this followed and been with me ever since. It’s got better over the years, I’ve tried everything even color books on iPad etc just try and do things when it’s going start, it’s not every day for me now like it was it can be weeks then start for no reason. I can probably think I’ll have to the day I die now as I can’t ever see me getting rid of it now since I’ve had nearly all my life.

If some here finely get peace and it goes I’m happy for you all