Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hair pulling: Just another form of self harm? or a disorder in itself?

This is an interesting perspective on trichotillomania. I agree that trich is different than other forms of self-harm such as cutting and burning. In addition, the information referenced is outdated as this is an old post. Trich is now classified as a BFRB and not a self-harming behavior. Glitterseason I relate to your perspective as I am also a recovering cutter. I have not experienced the urge to cut in years. My battle with trichotillomania is completely different. As you said, it is more subconscious and can happen anywhere and in front of others, unlike cutting.

pulling out hair

Ever since I first started read about Trichotillomania, it was always linked back to self harm. It was always explained as ‘more then a bad habit, it’s a form of self harm like cutting’. (Taken from ‘Love saved me from self harm’, Company Magazine, 2003) It is true that pulling your own hair out is an act of harming oneself, but is it really self harm or is it a disorder itself?

Self Harm classifications: 

In 1986, Favazza (author of Bodies Under Siege: Self-mutilation and Body Modification in Culture and Psychiatry)distinguised self harm into three catorgaries; Major self harm (eg castration, which is rare and seen in psychotic patients mainly), Sterotypical Self Harm (eg head banging seen in autistic children) and Superficial or moderate self harm. This last category includes cutting, burning, skin picking, bone breaking, hitting, small overdoses and pulling your own hair out.

Then in…

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25 Things people with Trich are Sick of Hearing

This is a great post about the top 25 things we are sick of hearing about trich. I related to each one of these.

Kylie and Kit Review It

This post has been inspired by the many things we trichsters have to listen to on a daily basis, and we really are just sick of hearing. If you’re not sure what trichotillomania is yet, you can read THIS POST for an in depth description, but it’s basically a Disorder in which the sufferer pulls hair from various locations without being able to control it.

1. Stop.
This simple one word sentence is the worst. If it was really as simple as that, I wouldn’t have ever suffered from trichotillomania to begin with. We want to stop but it’s not that easy. This isn’t something you can just wake up one day, decide you don’t want to have trich anymore, and magically overcome it and move on. This is our real life, if we had the choice we wouldn’t have chose to have this disorder.
This one is especially hard…

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Remission: Finally Catching a Break

Every Trich in the Book

Every trichster has a unique relationship with their condition. Like relationships between people, ours fluctuate between bad times and good. To me, a good relationship with trichotillomania means understanding its needs, while asserting my right to withhold them. I’ve spent most of my life in a bad relationship with trich, unable to be assertive, and giving in to every destructive desire. Usually, fighting it doesn’t help, and all I can do is wait for the relationship to get better. When I’m finally granted a better relationship, I consider myself to be in remission.

As I said, every trichster’s relationship is different. Unlike for myself, fighting trich may be helpful for others. I do not want readers to think fighting is hopeless; I am only expressing what seems to be true for myself.

However, I am ecstatic to say that I am currently in a remission. I am still pulling, but…

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I made the call

Getting the courage to go back to the salon after a bad experience is impressive. This shows that there can be good experiences, and it pays off to face your fears.

Strands of Sanity

My counselor called me back and gave me Audrey’s number. It took a few days, but I made the call.

I finally over came my fear of calling a complete stranger, and a hair stylist to boot, and telling her about having this disorder and the possibility of me getting hair extensions.

I know that if I had a way to go back and listen to that call I would hear my voice shaking. Of course I thought of everything I would say and what order I’d say it in, etc. But when I heard her voice on the other end my brain just went to mush.

Surprisingly, she had heard of people pulling their hair out, she said they learn about that stuff when they go to school to become hair dressers, she just did not know what it was called.

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Salon nightmare and hair extensions

The anxiety over going to the salon when you have trich can be overwhelming. Having a negative experience like this makes it that much harder to go back.

Strands of Sanity

In many of my meetings with the gal who prescribes me my meds about how much I would love to have long hair again. She’s a sweet gal and I have been seeing her long enough that I am more comfortable with her, enough so that I was able to admit how painful and life-altering having this disorder is.

I am going to be a bridesmaid at the end of July and I can’t imagine having someone try to style my few strands of hair and then going in front of all those people looking like this.

She suggested that I get hair extensions. The thought of going to a salon terrifies me for obvious reasons, but I also had a terrible experience a few years ago. In 2005 as my wedding was coming up I started thinking of the possibility of having my hair, what little of it is/was…

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Wishes & Dreams: An Artists Collaborative of the Unknown

The Neighborhood

Wishes & Dreams: An Artists Collaborative of the Unknown

recording artist, Wishing on a Star, Rose Marie, United Kingdom
visual artist, Visions in My Dreams Collection, Faati, Netherlands
written-word artist, Following Dreams, Russell  Rosander, Mexico

stars & dreams

Following Dreams
by Russell Rosander

We were meant to dream
its in our nature
To hope, to wonder if,
to pursue.
Our dreams give our lives meaning,
our reason to be,
and yet,
there is a price,
they are not given for free.

stars and dreams

Often,
they require us
to risk all,
to leap
into the abyss of the unknown
to risk failure
or defeat.
Woe to those
who lack the courage,
so many empty lives we see.

wishes and dreams

But,
would we ourselves
be here now
if none had dared to cross the sea?
Would we exist
to dream at all,
if none had gone before,
if none had died,
if none had tried,
if…

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Are you in love?

Well said, I am also “in love with the Lover of my soul”. I couldn’t imagine going through this life without knowing God’s love and grace. It is a personal, unconditional, and evey present love. God is love and when I feel this and see it’s power in my life I can’t help, but be overcome by the awesomeness of it all. Jesus loves me so much He would’ve done it all just for me. Francis Chan’s writes about this in his book Crazy Love.

All Glory to the Highest

love

I’m in love. News to you? Shouldn’t be. See, I’m in love with God. And because I’m in love with God, everyone everywhere who knows me should be aware of that. It’s kind of mandatory that I shout from the rooftops my love for Him. One should never question whether a Christian is a Christian. The love we have for our Jesus should ooze from our pores. It should flow into every conversation we have. It should consume our every waking thought. That love we have for Him should overtake our lives in such a way that no one could ever question our allegiance.

Does all this sound a little crazy? Perhaps a bit radical? It is! The love I have for my Savior is crazy and radical. Wanna know why? Because His love for me is crazy and radical. His love for me is immense. His love for me…

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Questionnaire

In one of my online support groups, TrichWorld, a friend asked some questions about each of our experiences with trich to gather information for a report she is doing.  I have posted my responses below and would love to hear your answers.

Questions:

What triggers you to pull?

How do you feel after you pull?

How long has it been since you’ve had a recovery period? (when I say recovery period, i mean when things are going great in life and you don’t necessarily have to focus on not pulling, it just sort of happens)

How old were you when you were aware of your condition (Trich) and are you able to attach the cause to something specific that happened in your life?

Do you exercise and still suffer with Trich?

Do you have any other ocd/addictions besides Trich (eating disorder, skin picking etc.)?

Why do you think you have this condition?

My Answers

What triggers you to pull?

stress, caffeine/sugar, mirrors, sedentary activities, driving…among many others-almost anything can make me start pulling

How do you feel after you pull?

I am conflicted as part of me feels better after pulling, but then there is the bigger part of me that screams-What did you just do!?!

How long has it been since you’ve had a recovery period? (when I say recovery period, i mean when things are going great in life and you don’t necessarily have to focus on not pulling, it just sort of happens)

It has been a long time about 15 years since I was fully pull free for any significant amount of time.  I was in fifth grade and did not pull for most of the school year.  I thought I was better and then started again while reading a book for class-I would have skipped the homework if I had known…

How old were you when you were aware of your condition (Trich) and are you able to attach the cause to something specific that happened in your life?

I was 6 years old when I began pulling.  There was no major event that caused me to start pulling. I did however suffer recurrent episodes of strep throat and think that P.A.N.D.A.S plays a role in the onset of my trich.(For more info see the research page)

Do you exercise and still suffer with Trich?

I do, the amount I exercise has fluctuated over the years.  Even with daily vigorous exercise I did not notice a decrease in my pulling.

Do you have any other ocd/addictions besides Trich (eating disorder, skin picking etc.)?

I have some minor OCD tendencies and am also a recovering alcoholic.  I have been sober for 4 years. Although working the12 step program has been hard, it is nothing compared my struggle to stop pulling.  I also have depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

Why do you think you have this condition?

Trich has helped shape me into the person I am.   I have battled through depression, addiction, and low self-esteem, which have all made me stronger.  I have learned to focus on a person’s character rather than their appearance. In addition, I feel I can relate to others with similar struggles.  Although it may not be hair pulling, people feel isolated and hopeless for many reasons.