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JessicaR , 06 Feb 2018


Hi my name is Jess I’m 28 years old and suffer with Trich, I actually don’t know when I started with this but it’s been a good few years now it came out of know where it’s not something I’ve suffered with all my life
I do it every day I leave my self with bald patches I do it and not even know I’m doing it unless I get shouted at to stop picking my hair by my husband or mother in law ect it’s only my scalp that I seem to be doing it to to the point il create scabs on parts of my scalp I’m so embarrassed by it as it’s getting to a point my hair is everywhere becoming to the point it’s hard to have it just in a pony tail as I’ve got so my wispy bits of hair that stick up all over the place it does get me down but I just can’t stop i tell myself to stop but I’ve not come across anything that has helped me.
In fact when I think about it I’ve kind of just ignored the fact that I’ve got this I was told by the doctor a good few years back that I had this but never researched on it or anything until recently!
Does anyone have any kind of strategies that helped them to calm down or even stop in some way?
Kind regards

2 Answers
February 07, 2018
Hi Jess,

I am the mother of a child who recently developed this. In August of last year my 10 year old daughter had a full, thick head of hair. Fast forward just a few short months and she has pulled out almost all of her hair with the exception of her bang area, the base of her neck and the right side seems to have more hair than the left. She too struggles to cover up the new growth and or bald patches with what little hair is left. Looking back to what happened in August/September timeframe she started her period for the first time, her father remarried a woman who has a child (transition of blending two families), and school started back for the year after a summer break. So, she had a lot of changes that triggered her to start hair pulling. But as i think back over her life I remember that she used to bang her head in her crib (a rocking motion) to the point of causing a large bald spot on the top of her crown. She also had to be touching, twirling and rubbing her particular blanket over her nose and mouth until the age of 7. When she put the baby blanket down at age 7 she started doing sign language (she just knows the alphabet) with both hands all day and night. She's gone through periods of nail and cuticle biting as well. So for basically her whole life she has had some coping mechanism to relieve stress that involves the senses. She recently started counseling, and was put on an SSRI (Prozac) to help. While we have not seen a miracle happen yet we are hopeful. One of the things i have noticed that has helped the most is for her to "dump" any worry at all that is on her mind in a mom/daughter talk or dad/daughter talk (depending on which house she is at that week). No worry is too small to mention in these talks we have at night, as we have discovered that regardless of how small the problem is it seems to amplify in her mind as she is trying to go to sleep. Trying to go to sleep alone in her bed seems to be the hardest time for her to avoid pulling. She has agreed to let us use a code word when we see her pulling. This draws her attention to it during the times that she is unaware that she is doing it. other times she is aware that she is doing it and those are the times when she is hidden in her room with the door shut because she has the urge to pull. These times are typically when she does the most damage to her scalp and pulls the most hair. So we are trying to limit her alone time and if she is feeling the urge to pull privately she is asking herself if there is something bothering her that maybe she needs to say out loud to her dad or me so she can get it off her chest. Usually when she acts on this it reduces the urge to pull. But she doesn't consistently use this coping mechanism yet. We are also using a workbook (1chapter a night) called The Hair Pulling Habit and You: How to Solve the Trichotillomania Puzzle. It is for kids and adults and would be a great read for anyone who loves and cares about someone with Trich. We got ours on Amazon. Have since ordered an additional one for her dads house and one for her to keep with her at all times. One of the first things i remember reading in the book is that over 5million people in the US suffer from this to varying degrees. So, you are NOT alone! I have also sought out some people who have conquered trich and when they tell me I'm on the right path to helping her it gives me hope. I think the hopelessness, shame and guilt that come along with the hair loss from pulling actually make the pulling worse. So i try to get her to focus on the fact that she is not to blame and that she cant stop pulling without help the same way a patient with cancer needs chemo. There is no shame in this! No reason to feel guilty. It seems we take two steps forward with all we are doing and then one step back when for instance she pulls out the hair that had just started to grow back and was finally laying flat on her head again. But as long as we are taking more steps forward than backward there is progress. May be slow progress but it's progress none the less. Sometimes i think it's important to remember that it is getting better even when her hair doesn't show it. Easier said than done but try not to measure your progress on how much hair is left on your head or the number of bald patches because this isn't really a reflection of the work being done on the inside. This is a very visible disorder bit the image in the mirror doesn't always match the healing that's going in inside. I know i may not have offered a lot of tangible advice but i wanted to share our story with you and anyone else who is reading this. I know reading others stories has helped her not feel alone (me too) and being surrounded and supported by those who truly understand also has tremendous healing power. I wish you all the best in your search for answers. Prayers to you and everyone suffering from trich.
March 11, 2018
Hello Jess.

I am suffering like you. I pull out my hair. I am only ten years old but also have pulled out my eyebrows and eyelashes. It started when I was seven. I also don’t know when I’m doing it. There are bald patches on the sides of my head, which I cover up with the hair I still have left. I am noticing that I am slowly stopping, because my bangs are starting to curl again. I’m sorry that you have to go through this. It’s not pleasing. I suggest a way to practice to not pull out your hair. Have someone else in the room, sit down on the floor with legs crossed, hands in lap, make your arms stiff, now sit there making sure you focus on not letting your arms raise or hands touch hair. If you start to notice your arms raising push them back down. I also suggest wearing hats as much as possible. I know I’m just a kid but it helps me.

Sincerely, Stitch8989

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