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Nep2ne , 01 Sep 2017

My story in a nutshell, and some of my ways of coping with urges

Hi, I've been a trich sufferer for more than 20 years, with a few periods of remission, none lasting longer than 18 months.

Until very recently, I felt deep shame, guilt, and regret about my disorder. I am a perfectionist, and I tend to blame myself and judge myself sharply when I feel I've failed at something. My expectations for myself are not realistic and unattainable, and I think this has contributed to the vicious cycle of my disorder.

I tend to pull when I am under-stimulated and when I am facing a task that seems insurmountable or challenging. Initially, I think I pulled in an effort to remove hair that I perceived as "different" from the others, or from my idea of perfect hair. But once it became a habit, I think I pulled primarily to satisfy the need for that second-long pleasant sensation.

My disorder has limited my ability to be my true authentic self. I have had to hide my disorder from friends, family and loved ones. I have lied to them rather than reach out for their help.

I am on the path to recovery now, although it's very early days. I feel very anxious and I worry that I will let myself down yet again. I want to stop. I want to be able to wear my hair any way I want. I want the freedom of being outside on a windy day with my hair down. I want to feel my partner's hands running through my hair without the immediate thought that I have to hide it from him. More than anything, I want to get to a point where this is in my past, and I don't even think about it anymore. It seems impossible now, but I need to make it happen.

Some of the things I'm trying:

Keeping a journal of thoughts and feelings, and being 100% honest with myself in it;

Replacing sensory stimulus with neutral or positive stimuli, for example putting on nice-smelling lotion on my hands, drinking very cold, flavoured water, anything that is a pleasant sensation for sight, smell, hearing, touch or taste while having no negative impact on my health, to try and satisfy that urge without causing any damage;

Keeping track of successful days with no pulling in my agenda and journal, and planning small rewards for milestones;

Repeating mantras like 'Every hair belongs on my head', and 'I want a full head of hair more than I want to satisfy this immediate urge.';

Trying to remove the shame and blame aspects of the disorder so that I can deal with it objectively.

Would love your thoughts!


1 Answer
September 14, 2017
I just used the word "insurmountable" too which summarizes is the overwhelming stress levels at work which caused me to relapse into pulling my hair again this summer.

Let me know how logging has worked too. I am keeping track daily of when I take biotin daily as a mental reminder to let the hair grow back and stop pulling. While I am touching my head a lot, but at least have not been pulling for 4 days. I also have bad thumbnail that keeps on receding and a purple toe-nail from bad tennis shoes and jogging in it, so hoping the biotin will help all 3 issues faster.

All the best!

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