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Rahrah , 12 Apr 2018

2 time trich sufferer? Desperate for advice

Please help as my young daughters are showing signs of trich, and I’m Sorry it’s so long but I want to give my full History and story for the best advice possible : in 5th grade I started pulling my eyebrows out, I was going through a lot with my family. I remember exactly when I started pulling and remember how good it felt the first few times I pulled. I pulled only my eyebrows and pulled them all out, if you could see a nub of hair about to come through I would pull it. I was bare and bullied TERRIBLY. This was late 90s/early 2000s. The doctors never formally diagnosed me with anything relating to my trich, just anxiety and depression. It was the summer going into my freshman year at high school when my mom bought me in for a check up at the doctor. I never fully admitted I pulled I always would tell my doctor that my eyebrows itch and I rub them, that’s why I had none. But this doctor visit was with a different doctor in practice. He came in and asked me slightly about it, alls I said is I pull, and for the first time I’m scared because I notice they are not growing back like they were before. He told me that if I could have damaged my growth permanently. And prescribed me Tretnoin cream (Retin A) told me to rub it on my eyebrows once a day. I stopped pulling my eye brows that day and never had the urge to pull them again. It’s been 13 years since that appointment and my eyebrows grew back somewhat but never how they once were, and I never once had the urge to pull them again. Trich part 2: I remember when I was sitting in class my senior year and looked down and saw split ends on my damaged hair, I grabbed them and picked them off. It wasn’t because I was anxious or depressed, the look of the split ends just drove me nuts. So this started, and I wouldn’t even classify it as trich at that point. But the picking become obsessive. I picked all my ends (roughly a half inch or less) when I did pick. My hair is really coarse and damaged, even with hair cuts the split ends never stopped. I picked and picked, my hair never grew passed my collar bone. The split end picking continued until I was about 23, until one day I felt my hair and there were these extremely thick coarse pieces that felt like hay. So I picked out the whole hair. And for the last 5 years I have been picking whole hairs out of the top/back of my head since. I am almost constantly feeling that area of my hair for those thick bumpy hairs, and pulling throughout the day. But now instead of just feeling that terrible guilt for my inability to have any self control, my 7 year old and 4 year old daughter have shown some red flags. A person without trich probably wouldn’t notice, but I notice when my 7 year old is nervous I see her feeling strands of her hair, or when she is bored watching tv. The thought of them even going through a quarter of what I dealt with having trich makes me sick to my stomach. My heart starts pounding out of my chest. I feel like the ultimate failure. Even tho I try not to pick in front of them, I know they see it, esp when I’m not noticing that I’m picking myself. I am so heartbroken and sad and welcome any feedback as to help stopping the picking. I feel as though my picking started off as a stress relief type of thing, but when I picked it up again later on it was for a completely different reason. It is definitely more of a texture thing now. I don’t pull more during any specific time, just knowing those hairs are there is what makes me pick. I have tried all the common suggestions you hear, nothing seems to deter it or help. I journal my pulling, and tried many little knic knax to keep my hands busy. And failed. For the sake of saving my girls from the hell I’ve put myself through please please offer any and all advice. Even advice to help prevent those lone hairs from growing in the first place would be greatly appreciated. I am so depressed about this, I can’t believe I let this happen, and I will be the only one to blame if my daughters develop trich. Which makes this even worse.
-signed a scared and heartbroken mama

1 Answer
May 08, 2018
my heart goes out to you! this line really resonates with what i do "I am almost constantly feeling that area of my hair for those thick bumpy hairs, and pulling throughout the day." i have been struggling with trich since i was 15 (i'm now 28). although i don't believe my mom picks or pulls her hair, she definitely picks her skin/cuticles/nails in a way that is related. it drives me crazy, because i see myself in that behavior and it has been such a struggle for me. that said, she also gave me life and that is incredible. i'll take it, even if i've had some bald spots along the way. everyone inherits good and bad things from their parents. it actually sounds like you are in a really good position as a parent - who else could be more empathetic, understanding and helpful towards finding resources for trich than someone who has trich themselves? most people in this forum were misunderstood by their parents, friends, doctors, authority figures, etc. the first step is overcoming the guilt because it is not your fault and it will not be productive. you didn't choose trich, it is statistically one of the hardest things to quit and it will not impede your ability to be a loving parent or raise exceptional people. good luck!

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