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UnpolishedDiamond23 , 13 Jan 2018

Never ending

Hi, I'm new to this but thought I'd reach out and give it a go as clearly my own techniques aren't working. I'm 23 and been pulling my hair since I was a teenager. I did it so bad as a teen, I had horrific big bald patches so much so I couldn't find a parting which didn't have a wide look to it. It broke me. My dad used to laugh and my mum used to threaten me with a trip to the gp which horrified me that someone would know!! I remember crying and crying. I never knew it was a thing, I'd never seen or heard of it so I thought I was so so strange. Which made it all so much worse. If I knew it was an actual disorder I'd probably have been less scared to get help. My parents never mentioned it was a disorder either, I remember my mum telling me at least it weren't my eyelashes as they're so long!! I touched my eyelashes and couldn't even imagine pulling them out like I did my hair! I couldn't tie my hair back, or style it in anyway without revealing what I'd been doing. I remember starting to wear scarfs as headbands because they would conceal it as being at an all girls school, the last thing I'd want is someone knowing. In fact, one time in class I did it and got caught. A girl exclaimed you've just pulled your hair out!! I remember I managed to blag that I didnt or that it got caught and ripped out or something I can't remember it was many years ago now. For whatever reason, I managed to stop. I don't remember how or when but thinking back I remember big bald patches, then a stupid amount of fuzz where there hair grew through and then having all my hair back and no problem. But I'm 24 now and for the last few years it's back again. I tried to think back to when it started again and I think it was when I got pregnant at 20. I remember telling my partner at the time, that my hair was falling out as part of the pregnancy. When the truth was, I was pulling it out. My eyelashes! I didn't used to do my hair on my head when it restarted but I would do my eyelashes to the point I couldn't wear mascara because my eyelashes are so long it would be so noticeable the bits that were missing. And now I'm back at this stage again, on my right eye I have a huge gap with no lashes, with 2 stray lashes in this space which I don't know if it's just me but those two lashes are both my saviour and my enemy as they look more appealing. But I've managed to leave them. But with that being on one side I find myself making excuses for doing it like "well now I have to match the other side so it's not too noticeable" or "ive got more on this side so il have a quick go on this side and promise to not touch my bad side". When my eyelashes are like they are now, I will move onto my hair but since being a teenager I've never made bald patches from it. I will have long sessions on it though. And I've done my eyebrows too! I've got bald patches in them too but can cover this easily with makeup, has got to the point where I cant do much more without it being too obviously now though. I feel like such a freak. This makes me so sad. With no other health conditions or disorder I'm an average 23 year old girl and it's having such a big impact on my life now. I turned down a job interview because I knew I'd wear makeup and just know I can't conceal this gap I currently have. I try to stay hidden. I would really love to stop. I was always known for my really long eyelashes and I know my face just doesn't look the same. But even when they do grow back, it's just more reason for me to do it again because I've got more time before I need to stop again because it's too noticable. I live alone with my child now, so don't have my family there to stop me doing it most the time. I'd always do it in private, whereas now I'm currently fiddling with them whilst typing this on my sofa. Im sorry for the story, and I'm sure no one will read all this. I'm just feeling helpless. I need a miracle x

1 Answer
January 18, 2018
I did read the entire message.

Even though I'm on 121 days being pull free, I still come on here because I know from past experience the issue can and does come back with things like periods uncontrolled/unresolved stress.

I've had to substitute the pulling habit with some other "healthy habit" over time and it takes a long time to "un-burn" the thought pattern. For example, I have been exercising and every time I pull hair, I penalize myself by adding either more distance to the jog that's proportionate to the amount of time pulling hair or doing push-ups (similar to military drills) that remind myself there's a penalty involved with the behavior.

For example, each time you pull hair, you might want to drop and do 10 push-ups. Do any ritual to tell your subconscious mind pulling results in an immediate penalty and stick with the ritual.

Good luck.

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