Studies show that Inositol helps many Trichotillomania suffers. I find that it reduces the urge to pull, which helps with my focused pulling. The Inositol also increases my awareness, which decreases my unfocused pulling.

Leading Trichotillomania specialist Dr. Penzel’s wrote, Inositol and OCD. He recommends the following regimen to begin Inositol: 

(1 teaspoon=2 grams, and be sure to use a measuring spoon) for an adult:

Week 1 – 1 teaspoon/2x per day
Week 2 – 1 teaspoon/3x per day
Week 3 – 1.5 teaspoons/3x per day
Week 4 – 2 teaspoons/3x per day
Week 5 – 2.5 teaspoons/3x per day
Week 6 – 3 teaspoons/3x per day

Following this regimen, I worked my way up and now take 18g each day. I do this by mixing 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon) of inositol in water 3 times a day. I have found the Jarrow brand powder (shown above) to dissolve well. It is available on amazon for reasonable price. I mix it with warm water as it dissolves better that way. You can add it to fruit juice or other sweetened drink. I simply mix the powder with ~3oz of warm water and drink plain as it has a mild sweet taste that I actually like. In addition to Inositol, l I take 1800mg of  NAC, which I started several months before the Inositol. I did not see much progress with that alone, therefore I added the Inositol. If you are considering both supplements, choose one to start with, otherwise you will not know which is helping and or causing side effects.

I have taken Inositol on and off for 2 years. When I first started the recommended regimen over 6 weeks, I noticed many GI side effects. When I unexpectedly became pregnant a couple months later, I had to lower my dose because it increased my nausea. That did not help so I discontinued the Inositol until my morning sickness passed. Reassured by my OB that Inositol is safe while pregnant and breastfeeding, I slowly reintroduced the Inositol. I only took 1-2 because it aggravated epigastric pain I had while pregnant. The lower dose helped a bit, but not nearly as well as the recommended 3 TBSP. Now that I am back to 3 TBSP per day (which I take in one large dose at night to help my insomnia), I am definitely feeling the benefits. It decreases my urges and makes me more aware of pulling.

Here’s more details information I copied from the article about Inositol use for trich sufferers, written by trich specialist Fred Penzel:

“Obviously, before you run out and try anything new, you should always consult your physician. If your physician recommends trying this, you might also want to mention the following information to him or her:

  1. It cannot be taken together with Lithium, as it seems to block its action.
  2. The chief side effects of inositol are gas and diarrhea. Some people get this for the first few days and then it clears up. Many of those taking it never have this side effect, and some only get it when they take more than a particular amount.
  3. I have heard reports that caffeine lowers inositol levels in the body, so if you are a heavy coffee drinker, you might consider cutting down or eliminating this from your diet. Actually, stimulants such as caffeine can sometimes contribute to anxiety, jitteriness, etc.
  4. It should be purchased in powdered form, and taken dissolved in water or fruit juice. It has a sweet taste, and is chemically related to sugar. If it is allowed to stand for about 10 minutes after mixing it, it seems to dissolve better. Vigorous mixing for a few minutes also helps. If it still doesn’t dissolve well (not all brands do), stir it up and drink it quickly before it settles. The use of powder is recommended, as the larger doses required could require taking as many as 36, 500 mg. capsules per day.
  5. Inositol is a water-soluble vitamin, so although the doses appear to be large, it will not build up to toxic levels in the body. Whatever the body doesn’t use is excreted. The average person normally takes in about 1 gram of inositol each day via the food they eat. There are no reports of any harm associated with the long-term use of inositol. Some of our patients have been taking it as long as eight years now, with no problems.6. It can be built up according to the following schedule (1 teaspoon=2 grams, and be

sure to use a measuring spoon) for an adult:

  • Week 1 – 1 teaspoon/2x per day
  • Week 2 – 1 teaspoon/3x per day
  • Week 3 – 1.5 teaspoons/3x per day
  • Week 4 – 2 teaspoons/3x per day
  • Week 5 – 2.5 teaspoons/3x per day
  • Week 6 – 3 teaspoons/3x per day

A child can be built up to 3 teaspoons per day over the same six-week period. Dosages for adolescents can be adjusted according to weight. In either case, it is best to allow side effects to be the guide. If they begin to occur, it is not considered wise to increase the dosage unless they subside.

Once a person has reached either the maximum dosage, or the greatest amount they are able to tolerate, it is best to try staying six weeks at that level to see if there is any noticeable improvement. If there is none by the end of that time, it should probably be discontinued. As with any treatment, those who are absolutely positive that it will help are only setting themselves up, and may wind up more than disappointed. Everything works for someone, but nothing works for everyone.”

Trich Thinking Vs. Recovery Thinking

This is a post that I read on the UK Trichotillomania Support Site which originated at a site called Daily Strength and I have to emphasise is not my own, but it is a great resource.

Trichotillomania Way of Thinking vs. Recovery Way of Thinking

1. T: I have to pull out my hair. R: I can do some thing else that is positive.

2. T: Pulling out my hair is fun. R: What is fun about being bald?

3. T: The white/kinky/thick/whatever hairs must go. R: All hairs are good hairs. I need them all for a healthy head of hair, etc.

4. T: I’ll just pull out one hair. R: This is a lie trich tells me. I can rarely just stop at one hair.

5. T: When I get that itchy or “trich sensation”, I have to pull my hair. R: I can wash my hair or scratch my head instead.

6. T: It’s ok to use the mirror to find good hairs to pull. R: Why would I want to pull out my hair and create more bald spots? I will stay away from the mirror and temptation.

7. T: It’s ok to use tweezers to get those small hairs. R: Again, why would I want to pull out new growth and create more bald spots? I will use my tweezers for the unwanted hairs only, then put them away.

8. T: When I’m stressed I need to pull out my hair. R: I can take deep breaths, meditate or go for a walk to relax my body, or I can destress with a nice bubble bath. I can do so many other healthy things to relax my body instead of pulling. Pulling really doesn’t help me to feel less stressed any way, because I know that by pulling I will be creating new bald spots. Everyone has stress in life. I must learn to be with my stress with out pulling out my hair.

9. T: When I’m bored I need to pull out my hair. R: Can’t I think of some thing more fun to do than pull out my hair when I’m bored? Why not do a hobby, a sport, a puzzle, a craft…any thing but pulling!

10. T: When I’m tired I need to pull out my hair. R: I can go to sleep instead. How many times do I stay up way past when my body tells me that I am tired, only to start pulling out my hair? I must go to bed!

11. T: When I’m depressed I need to pull out my hair. R: I can get help for my depression from a psychiatrist and/or therapist. Pulling out my hair will only increase my depression, because I feel sad when I have bald spots.

12. T: I have to make both brows look the same. R: Symmetry is not important. New growth is! In time, once my brows have had a chance to come back, both brows will look the same. By trying to make both brows even, I risk pulling more than I want to.

13. T: Now that my hair is filling in, I can lose a few hairs with out any noticeable damage. R: No I can’t! Once I start pulling, I have a hard time stopping. A few hairs a day over time will still lead to bald spots. Small or large amounts of pulling are both dangerous behaviors.

14. T: I’ll quit pulling tomorrow. R: You know what they say…”Tomorrow never comes!” I will make today the day that I stop pulling.

15. T: I can play with my hair this time with out pulling. R: Touching my hair leads to playing with my hair, playing with my hair leads to pulling. I will keep my hands down!

16. T: I love to play with the hairs after I pull them. R: Playing with the hairs only reinforces my trichotillomania, so I must not do this. I must break the trich rituals in order to be free of trichotillomania.

17. T: Some day my trich will go away, until
then I will continue to pull. R: Trich is for life. It will not magically go away. I have to work at my recovery in order to break free of this disorder.

18. T: I can learn to live with this longer hair, even if I am pulling right now. R: When I am pulling, it is hard to stop. I must cut my hair short so that I can get a break from the pulling. I have no urges when my hair is really short. I won’t risk more damage to my hair, which will take longer to grow back.

19. T: My hair will grow back, so I can pull out my hair today. R: Just because my hair will grow back doesn’t mean that I can keep pulling. Why would I want to postpone my regrowth and my recovery?

20: T: I’ll keep on pulling until I see significant damage in the mirror. R: It’s not ok to keep pulling! Any damage means that it will take longer before I get all my hair back. Trich makes excuses so that I keep pulling! This is one I have told myself often.

21. T: I have to check the mirror to see if my hair is regrowing. R: This is obsessive and obsessiveness leads to pulling. I take pictures of my hair now once a month and stay away from the mirror and obsessing.

22. T: Concentrating on individual hairs makes it fun to pull and keeps me in the trich way of thinking. R: I concentrate on thinking of my hair as a whole unit. I need all those hairs to make a full head of hair, a set of brows or a set of lashes.

23. T: I need to pull out my hair when I procrastinate. It bothers me that I am not doing what I need to do, which creates a stressful mood and then I want to pull. R: I can get up and do 5 minutes of what I need to do. I can do some thing for 5 minutes! Then once I am started, it will probably be easier to keep going and I will get what I need done and feel good about myself. Even if I quit after 5 minutes today, if I work 5 minutes on what needs doing each day, soon it will be done, therefore eliminating my stress and helping me to feel better about myself.

24. T: My hair will never grow back, so what is the point in trying to stop pulling! R: It takes 2 to 6 years for hair to grow back for some one who has pulled for 20 years or more, but the good news is it will come back, which is great!

25. T: I can’t tell any one about my hair pulling, because then they will think I’m crazy and stop liking me. R: By telling others about my trich, I will lose my shame and guilt associated with it. It is not my fault that I got trich or have a hard time dealing with it. By telling others, I see that having trich is no big deal. Every one has something! And most people are very understanding and supportive once they find out more about this disorder. This was the big surprise for me when I “came out”. Also in letting others know about my trich and have them accept me any way, helps me to accept and love myself.

26. T: My hands have to go to my head and pull! R: No they don’t! I can keep my hands busy with trich toys such as a koosh ball, silly putty, stress ball, grabbing both hands, holding any thing or doing some thing to keep my hands busy in a positive way instead of pulling, such as rug hooking or other crafts and hobbies.

27. T: Every thing that I do must be perfect, if it is not, then I get stressed out and want to pull out my hair. R: Every thing that I do does not have to be perfect! No one else is perfect and I don’t expect them to be, so why should I expect perfection from myself? I can lighten up and enjoy life!

28. T: If I stop pulling, who am I? R: I am still a person who has trich, only I am in recovery.

29. T: If I stop pulling, will I do some thing else that is equally destructive? R: I won’t replace my trich with another bad habit, if I realize that this is possible. I will work at replacing my trich with good behaviors and habits.

30. T: When I am on the phone I have to pull. R: I don’t have to stay on the phone with a person that is stressing me out. I can end the conversation and therefore end my need to pull. I can also play with the cord instead of pulling, when I have to be in this stressful situation and continue talking to this person.

31. T: I am a compulsive hair puller. R: I am so much more than a person that pulls out their hair. I am some one who enjoys hobbies, sports, leisure, relaxation, work and fun! I can choose what will define me and hair pulling is not what I want to be known for.

32. T: If I pull out my hair, I’m not worthy of love. R: Yes I am! I am worthy of love whether I pull out my hair or not. Hair pulling is not all that I am. I am worthy of love from others and from myself!

33. T: What is the point of trying to quit, when I will just start again? R: I know that everything takes time to learn and I will learn to not pull out my hair. I may have setbacks, but with each successful attempt at not pulling, I get closer to quitting pulling forever!

34. T: Trich is bad! R: Trich is good. When my hand goes to my hair, I know that some thing is not right with in me. I am either bored, tired, stressed, have dirty hair, am procrastinating, am depressed, etc. and I need to do some thing about it. Trich the is first to know, long before I know these things consciously.

35. T: I have an urge to pull, therefore I must pull! R: The urge to pull will pass if I do nothing at all. I will not die from this urge. It’s ok to get urges, but I don’t have to act on them. I can take a deep breath and relax.

36. T: I’ll never be able to stop pulling! I hate myself! R: I can learn to stop pulling by learning all that I can about trich and how it affects me. I can learn what my triggers are and what to do when I get them. I can learn that beating myself up for pulling and hating myself because of my pulling only makes my pulling worse. I can learn to use positive self-talk to help decrease the urge to pull. I can learn to love myself even if I continue to pull out my hair. I am worthwhile for who I am, not for how much hair I have.

37. T: I often pull with out realizing it and zone for a long time before I am aware of my pulling. How can I help myself if I don’t know I’m pulling? R: Awareness takes time and practice. In time, I will become aware of where my hands are and stop them before they start pulling. I will give myself the time and patience to learn the new behavior of awareness.

38. T: I’m the only one that does this. R: Nope. Millions of people pull out their hair, some where between 2 and 5% of the population pulls their hair. This covers all walks of life.

39. T: Slips are bad. R: Slips are a way of learning. I ask myself why I was pulling and then try to do something different next time to either avoid that situation or to change my response to that trigger, one that is positive and not negative like pulling.

40. T: Quitting pulling is too hard. R: Quitting pulling is not too hard if I take it in small steps, have patience with my recovery and give my recovery the time that it needs to succeed.


Please visit the site for more information, or for support if you think you have any form of Trichotillomania. This can be pulling from any area, large or small amounts, which I will post more about soon.




Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.

~ Warren Buffett



We all have habits. In fact, many habits, such as putting on your seatbelt or brushing your teeth, are beneficial. But those suffering with Skin Picking Disorder and Trichotillomania have habits that are anything but beneficial.

All habits – good or bad – include three components:

  • A cue, which triggers the habitual behavior to start.
  • The behavior itself, such as picking or pulling.
  • A reward, which “reinforces” the behavior, thus leading you to repeat it in the future.

This is called a “habit loop” and it is a crucial principle in understanding these conditions.

Habit Reversal Training (HRT) is one of the most important strategies used in changing your behavior and breaking habit loops. The first step in HRT, as discussed here in previous installments, is building awareness of your picking and pulling. Once a trigger is identified, it can act as a warning sign that you are about to engage in a destructive behavior.

Using HRT, you learn to instead use a competing response to the trigger, rather than picking or pulling. This competing response should ideally be something that actively engages your hands, and which can be done easily in most situations. The immediate goal is to make picking or pulling more difficult, or even burdensome. Some examples of competing responses include squeezing a stress ball, knitting, writing, or painting. Basically, anything that keeps your hands away from your skin and hair!

By introducing this alternative behavior as a replacement for your habitual behavior, you interrupt the reinforcement, start the process of breaking the habit loop, and begin developing a new, non-damaging habit in its place. Additionally, some people use habit blockers such as gloves, to act as a further impediment to their picking and pulling.

It may take some time to find what works for you, and some things might work better than others depending on the given situation. As a result, you may at first find it difficult to consistently implement HRT, and may grow frustrated with yourself. But with repeated practice, you can learn to replace a destructive habit with one that is neutral or even positive. While HRT is seldom a solution in itself, it is a critical component of a long-term process of challenging these destructive, habitual behaviors.


1) Create a list of the situations that often trigger you to pick or pull.

2) Create a list of different competing responses you might use this week when you feel the urge to pick or pull. (Hint: The TLC Foundation for BFRBs website at sells many inexpensive “fidgets” that can keep your hands busy.)

3) Keep a log of which competing responses work and don’t work for you this week, and try to come up with alternatives for those times that the competing behavior you try is not helpful.


Weekly Tip: Remember that when you first start using competing responses, you might feel frustrated because you are using it so often, or because HRT is simply not working in that moment. This is a normal reaction, and it is important to keep trying new ways to break the habit loop. You might find that you will have to try several replacement behaviors, or to repeat the replacement behaviors numerous times before you start to experience success in breaking your habit loop.


OCD Center of Los Angeles

(310) 824-5200

Written by
Kelley Franke, BA and Tom Corboy, MFT

© 2016 OCD Center of Los Angeles

Small Victories

I made it 10 days without pulling my hair!


We are often hardest on ourselves so after pulling a few hairs, I’m giving myself the same advice I would offer another trichsters who stopped pulling for any length of time and then pull again.

Don’t stop celebrating that victory just because you slipped up.


Although it seems like all that work was for nothing, it’s not in vain. Every time you resisted the urge to pull was a small victory, another step closer to recovery. You are building strength and training yourself not to pull.

It’s a long hard process, but you’ve already done a lot of the work. You are learning ways to be aware and self-sooth without pulling. It didn’t start overnight so it will also take time to fully stop. Next time it will be that much easier. 💜



As an introvert, I sometimes struggle to express my feelings and needs.  In the past this was compounded by my low self-esteem, which was in large part due to trich and my depression.

In therapy, I learned about I-statements. They are a great tool for communication, as they allow you to be direct and assertive.

Years later, I still need to remind myself to stand up for myself and do this in a non-aggressive way. The following blog does a great job explaining what I-statement are and how to use them.

Communication Skills: I-Statements

Pop quiz — how do you feel as you read the following statements?

  • “You’re always late.”
  • “I feel anxious when you show up late.”
  • “You never take me out anymore.”
  • “When you take me out, I feel connected to you.  I’m sad we haven’t done that lately.”
  • “You jerk!”
  • “I feel really angry right now.”

I’m guessing you felt tense and defensive as you read some of the statements and neutral, relieved, or even relaxed as you read others.

Reader, meet I-statements.  I-statements, Reader.  I think you two could do big things together.

If you’re looking to improve your communication, I highly recommend adding I-statements –also known as I-messages – to your toolkit.  I-statements encourage openness and ongoing dialogue, while you-statements tend to incite anger and defensiveness.

I-Statements versus You-Statements

Here’s a handy dandy chart outlining the differences between I- and You-Statements:

You-Statements I-Statements
May be/include: Example: May be/include: Example:
General “You didn’t clean up like you promised you would! You upset me so much!” Specific “I feel angry that the trash hasn’t been taken out yet.”
Blame “You make me feel so unattractive!” Taking responsibility for one’s feelings “When you don’t compliment me on my appearance, I feel insecure.”
Focuses on the problem without offering a solution “You’re just not understanding!” Identifies what one wants/needs “I’m feeling sad and could use a hug.”
“Oughts” and “shoulds” “You really should look for another job.” Focuses on the present moment “I’m noticing that I feel anxious right now as I’m listening to you talk about work.”
Labels “You’re so selfish!” Labels one’s feelings rather than another’s character “I feel sad when you choose to spend time with your friends on Friday nights.”
Thoughts only “You’re so forgetful.  You must have ADHD or something.” Thoughts andfeelings “When you forget things I’ve said in conversations, I feel hurt and forgotten.”
States an opinion as though it’s a fact. “This is stupid.  You don’t know what you’re doing at all.  We should just give up.” Acknowledges others may have different opinions. “I notice I’m feeling frustrated and want to give up.  How are you feeling?”

A Powerful I-Statement Formula

Here’s a great formula for expressing yourself using I-Statements:

  1. When you___________,

Start with identifying the behavior that you would like to communicate about.  Be as specific and concrete as possible.

Example: “When you don’t call me to let me know you’re going to be late for dinner…”

While this statement includes the word “you,” we can avoid the pitfalls of you-statements using specific, non-judgmental language.  This along with a calm, neutral tone of voice and body language can help prevent defensiveness.

  1. I feel___________.

Name the emotion that you feel when #1 happens.

Again, be as specific as possible.  Avoid vague terms like “upset” and “bad” and opt for words that will allow your partner to understand exactly what you’re feeling, e.g. sad, angry, afraid, exuberant (side note – you can remember these four basic emotions using the acronym SAFE.  Most emotions are spin-offs and combinations of SAFE).    Check out a feeling chart if you need help naming your emotion.

Note! Beware of the disguised you-statement pitfall, which usually starts with “I think that” or “I feel like.”  For example, “I think that you are trying to make me jealous on purpose” and “I feel like you just don’t like my family” both start with “I” but focus on the other person in a blaming, judgmental manner.

Example: “When you don’t call me to let me know you’re going to be late for dinner, I feel anxious and frustrated.”

  1. I imagine___________.

Empathy is one of the best ways to keep a difficult conversation flowing.  With this statement, you’ll step into your partner’s shoes and guess at the good reason s/he acts this way.

Example: “When you don’t call me to let me know you’re going to be late for dinner, I feel anxious and frustrated.  I imagine you’re caught up in work, something you work hard at because you want to give us a good life.”

  1. I need/want___________.

Identify what you want and need in this situation.

Example: “When you don’t call me to let me know you’re going to be late for dinner, I feel anxious and frustrated.  I imagine you’re caught up in work, something you work hard at because you want to give us a good life. I need reliability and consistency in our relationship.”

It can be tempting to say “I need you to…,” but this is a disguised you-statement.  If you struggle with identifying I-statement needs, take a look at this NVC inventory of needs.

  1. Would you _________?

Here you can make a request of your partner.  Remember, specific and concrete is best.

Example: “When you don’t call me to let me know you’re going to be late for dinner, I feel anxious and frustrated.  I imagine you’re caught up in work, something you work hard at because you want to give us a good life. I need reliability and consistency in our relationship.  Would you please call me at 5 p.m. each day to let me know how much longer you’ll be?”

Your request can also focus on the present moment.

Example: “Would you please hug me and, if you’re open to it, reassure me that you’ll call if you’re late?”

Using this formula can help you communicate clearly and assertively with your partner without sacrificing heart or instigating conflict.


As with anything, this tool takes practice.  I encourage you to share this article with your partner and begin practicing with one another.  If your partner is resistant or you need extra support, find a buddy or therapist to practice with, as this tool will help you feel empowered, clear, and loving in the midst of conflict.

Persistence not Perfection

Trichy Insights

Let’s strengthen those weak muscles!  

Just persist until you are successful!

My solace tonight as I persist in my journey to recovery from trich comes from comments of some of the people on the Fairlight Bulletin Board posted on Amanda’s Trichotillomania Guide.

Definition of Success

I just wanted to add another observation to all that has been said about making a commitment to not pulling. Think of it as exercise. When I started walking a couple of months ago, I thought a mile was forever. Now that I’ve been walking regularly, my stamina has increased, and a mile goes by quickly. I can’t run a marathon (yet!), but I am stronger. In the same way, as we practice not pulling, we’re building “muscles” that make it easier not to pull. The first couple of weeks are horrible, but then it gets easier–if you persist. I’ve slipped a couple of times…

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Anxiety is a major trigger for my pulling and mood swings. I used to suffer from panic attacks. I have learned to manage my anxiety before it gets to that point.

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When in therapy, I learned to chart my anxiety level on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being a panic attack.  This chart included information on what happened before the episode and the steps I took to calm down. The charting process helped me understand underlying  factors and early signs of anxiety.

The most helpful strategies for me are very simple: take a 5 minute break, pray, or take 10 deep breathes. There are many other relaxation strategies I use when I have more time. Some of these include progressive muscle relaxation, calming music, tea, a bath, relaxation color books, fiddle toys, stress balls, head massager, etc. 2014368078-Anxiety

I read this today and thought it was helpful for anyone struggling with anxiety. I’m definitely adding these verses to my toolbox. 🙂

3 Simple Verses for the Anxious Mom

Here are 3 simple verses to reflect on when anxiety creeps in:

1.  Psalm 34:4 – I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

How can you seek the Lord?  Through worship, prayer, and Bible reading.  Focus on these key disciplines during your most anxious moments, and He’ll show Himself strong.  He’ll either deliver you from the fear and anxiety, or show you His strength by carrying you through.  He’ll give you the wisdom to move past fear into a place of peace.

2.  Psalm 86:15 – But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

His compassion is for YOU. He is gracious towards YOU. He is not angry with you, but rather He loves you with an extravagant love and he is faithful to see you through your struggles!

3. Philippians 4:11 – I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

There are times I’ve had to resolve in my mind that I was going to be content with where I was, regardless of the circumstances around me. I would worship despite the thorn in my side. I would pray,”God, if it’s not Your plan to change my situation, then help me be content. Help me pray through this. If You won’t change _____, then please change me. Give me the grace to get to the other side and give You glory.”

Precious mama, you are not “less than” or damaged goods.
None of us are perfect. We all have struggles. Satan will try to whisper lies in your ear; fight them with prayer and the word.

God has a plan for you! You are fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who loves you more than you could ever imagine!

In grace,

Jaime, Like a Bubbling Brook



(Note: If you feel your anxiety is severe and could be more than a spiritual struggle, you’ll find my post on depression and chronic anxiety helpful. There may be other causes to consider, such as hormonal imbalances or vitamin deficiencies.)