trichpbezoar removed - still pulling!

My 13 year old daughter just had major stomach surgery to remove a very large trichobezoar. The surgeon said she was fortunate to have survived such a large mass filling her stomach. She has been pulling for almost 4 years. I hoped that the surgery would be enough to will her to stop. However, she is still pulling. I wish I had a mom to talk to who has a similar circumstance to share with.

Hi there I'm a new member,

Hi there
I'm a new member, just joined. My daughter is 8, and has been pulling out her eyelashes for a year. At first I thought it was allergies, or itchy eyes. I took her to a pediatric opthamologist who said there was nothing medically wrong with her eyes. He said maybe it was triggered by itchy eyes, but turned into more of a "neurotic tic". I've also taken her to her pediatrician who told her to "try to stop" and try using a stress ball instead. For the past year we've just kept on eye on her, and had her wear gloves at night (which hasn't helped.) As soon as the lashes start to grow back, she pulls them again. Two days ago I noticed two bald spots on her head. I've just scheduled an appointment with a child pyschologist. I'm upset and wish I knew how to help her. I know she wants to stop. She's told me that she's "really mad at herself". It breaks my heart...

I am so sorry that you and

I am so sorry that you and your daughter are struggling with this disorder. IT IS EXTREMELY HEARTBREAKING. Sometimes I have felt that it is harder on me than it is for her. Not only do I feel her pain because I love her but, the shame and guilt that I have experienced have been difficult.

My daughter saw 3 therapists before we finally found one that actually has specific training to deal with this disorder. My daughter has been seeing this new therapist for about two months and I have already seen some positive changes. I would be sure to ask the psychologist if he or she has specific training to treat trichotillomania, if he or she has ever had a patient with the disorder, and if the patient improved under their care.

You may not be having this issue; but, for me, accepting that my daughter had a disorder that may be with her into adulthood or maybe forever, has been the hardest part. My daughter had the most gorgeous head of hair, truly, everyone said so. It was her glory. It is gone. I grieve that and I know she does too. It seems that mental illness or disorders have such shame attached to them - such a negative stigma. I have really had to work on not caring what anybody else thinks, to accept and love her just the way she is - even if she is bald forever. Acceptance was the first step toward healing for both of us.

Secondly, there have been a few things the therapist has asked me to do to help in my daughter's treatment. However, I feel I have let go and given her the responsibility of her own recovery from her disorder. I could not fix it. I tried many things. She had to be truly ready to stop pulling - just like an addict has to truly be ready to stop using. I support her and encourage her, but I have let go of trying to fix it myself. We mothers were made to be fixers, right?

I found a great source for information and support through The Trichotillomania Learning Center. I believe their web address is

I truly hope some part of this is helpful for you and your little girl.