Sunday, August 12, 2012

Olivia Munn is a Trichster

Olivia Munn (photo by Misha Erwitt for NY Daily News)
I'm a little slow on the uptake here, but a few weeks ago, actress Olivia Munn "came out" as having trichotillomania. She didn't arrange a press conference or anything, but she happened to mention it in an interview with the New York Daily News.

Her exact quote:
“I don’t bite my nails, but I rip out my eyelashes. It doesn’t hurt, but it’s really annoying. Every time I run out of the house, I have to stop and pick up a whole set of fake eyelashes.” 
- Olivia Munn, interview with the NY Daily News
For a couple of days, the story was on all the news websites and celebrity gossip sites. If you Google Olivia Munn right now, 2 weeks after the original article, there are still a couple of sites mentioning it on the first page of search results.

And what was the internet's reaction to this breaking news?

A great big "Meh."

Which I think is a good thing!

Really, no one said "OMG So nasty!" or "Whoever has that disorder should be rounded up and shot!" A lot of people commented on the sites that they, too, have the disorder and were glad a celebrity felt like she could talk openly about something that is normally hidden.

Only one site was even borderline offensive about it, and that was Celebitchy's article Olivia Munn Suffers from Trichotillomania. The worst part was this quote:
"She’s also a plucker. But in the grossest, most neurotic way ever. Olivia has just admitted that she suffers from Trichotillomania – compulsive eyelash-pulling."
Which didn't even bother me that much. Because honestly, what do you expect from a name like "Celebitchy?"

Another good thing about it was that the Huffington Post was inspired by this bit of "news" to write an informational article on trichotillomania: Trichotillomania: What Is The Disorder That Makes Olivia Munn Rip Out Her Eyelashes?

So, like many people with trichotillomania, Olivia Munn probably won't lose many friends or fans over this admission. Personally, I've never lost any friends after admitting to them that I pull out my eyelashes. Hopefully not many of you have, either.

If you liked her before, you probably still like her. If you didn't like her before, then it doesn't really matter, does it?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Trichster: A Documentary about Trichotillomania


It's been far too long since I've posted.

However, I recently found out about a really cool project, and it was the jolt I needed to start up Trich-y Business again.

Because of this blog, I was contacted by Jillian Corsie, a filmmaker in New York about a documentary she is planning to make, all about trichotillomania. Jillian wants to use her talents to spread awareness about trichotillomania.

Trichster, a documentary by Jillian Corsie
The documentary, called Trichster, will be following four trichsters for a year and document their experiences with hair pulling. The purpose of the film is to spread awareness of the disorder. Many people don't even realize hair pulling has a name, let alone that millions suffer from it.

Okay, I just made that number up. I have no idea how many people have trichotillomania. But it sounds cooler if I say millions.

Ultimately, I believe Jillian has the same goal as I do — to share experiences, to create a community, and shed light on an issue that is surrounded with secrecy and shame.

She is in the beginning stages of making the film. You can click here to visit the film's website and learn more about the project. If you want to help, you can spread the word or make a donation to her Kickstarter site, which is a site that makes it easy to donate to community projects. She's hoping to raise $10,000 by August 17 to be able to make the film.

On the Kickstarter page is an intro video that shares more about the project. I'm pretty excited about this idea. And I promise to start updating more often.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Trich-y Business Blog Revamp

I've given Trich-y Business a bit of a makeover to make it look a little more unique and whimsical with the help of a free Blogger template from Yummy Lolly. I'm no designer, web or otherwise, but I think I like it. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Trichotillomania and... Mel Gibson?

Trichotillomania got a little bit of bad press this week through an association with that big ball of crazy, Mel Gibson. In the saga of Jew-hating-in-need-of-anger-management Mel Gibson vs. ex-girlfriend-and-mother-of-his-baby Oksana Grigorieva, her latest accusation is that some bruises and scratches around her face and eyes came from a fight with Mel. Well, Mr. Gibson has fired back that her scratches came from the "emotionally unstable" Oksana's trichotillomania:

(Click on the image to read the TMZ article.)

Not that I would ever defend Mel Gibson, but he's not saying Oksana is unstable BECAUSE she has trichotillomania. The association is there, yes, but I don't think his intent to make fun of trichsters. I just don't want to be guilty of hyping this up to be something more than it really was.

PS: If you read the article, don't read the comments unless you feel like getting angry. I've discovered this is generally true about most pages on the internet that allow comments.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Topical Advice

I've had a bit of a setback lately, and I have a pretty sizable bald spot on my left eyelid. That part of my eyelid is sort of itchy and raw, and that eye gets irritated easily lately since there's fewer eyelashes to protect it from bacteria and dirt.

So I'm seeking topical advice. What topical medications have you used on your eyelids or in your eyes to soothe the irritation that follows a pulling spree? I've tried Vaseline, and it feels nice while I rub it on the eyelid, but the relief doesn't seem to last very long. And my eye itself is still dry and irritated.

So what have you used that you have found to work? Eye drops? Ointments? Other methods of relief? There's nothing we can do to make the eyelashes grow back faster, but I'm hoping I can find something to at least ameliorate some of the negative aftereffects.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Benefit of Trichotillomania

Sometimes we get lost in the negatives of hair pulling—the anxiety, the physical effects, the stigma of having a "disorder." But today I discovered a benefit that has come out of my years with trichotillomania.

I'm SO good with a tweezers. Like, for serious.

My friend and coworker came over to me this afternoon and said, "Do you have nails?"

"Do I have nails?" I repeated stupidly.

"Yeah, I have a splinter and my nails aren't long enough to pull it out," she explained.

Aha! thought I. I can do better than that! "It'd be better to use a tweezers," I responded triumphantly, "which I also have!"

She shut her eyes, muttering, "I can't look." In a single tweeze, I pulled out the splinter and saved the day. "That didn't even hurt!" she exclaimed.

"I'm good with a tweezers," I replied smugly. "You don't even KNOW."

Although she probably did know, because she knows about my hair pulling, but that's beside the point.

There aren't too many occasions where I can say this, but.... Trichotillomania to the rescue!!

Image sources:

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Trichotillomania Twittering

I've decided to join the Twitter revolution. I've created a Twitter account for Trich-y Business, where I will post thoughts I'm having about trich. Of course, I will still post here, as 140 characters can be a bit limited for a verbose character such as myself. My username is eyelashpuller, and my name is Lashes Trichster.

Follow eyelashpuller on Twitter

Also, as I notice that people often ask me questions in comments to my posts, I've created a Gmail address, Please keep in mind that I'm not a doctor, psychologist, etc., but please feel free to contact me there.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Connect the Trich Dots

I just played a depressing game of connect-the-dots with my eyeliner. There was more connect than dots.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Trichotillomania Humor

Cause you gotta laugh at yourself, right? Or at least at me.

Which character in Gone With the Wind had trichotillomania?
Scarlett No'Hair-a!!!!

Isn't that so awful and corny it makes you wanna hit me?

I haven't posted in awhile. I actually got pretty busy at my job (imagine that) and haven't had time to think of a good trich post lately.

I've been playing around with medication lately. I don't recommend it. Originally I was taking Prozac, but that didn't seem to be helping at all. Over a year ago I switched to Cymbalta. First I took 30mg a day. Then my doctor increased me to 60mg. Then she increased me to 120mg, which I was not very happy about. That's the highest dosage that's considered "safe," although Cymbalta is new enough that there's not even a generic yet, so really they don't know anything about long-term effects. I decided on my own to go back to 60, because I didn't really notice a difference between 120 and 60, and I figured I may as well have as little unnecessary medication in my body as possible. I was doing really well for awhile, but of course there's no way to know if improvement is from the medication or just from adjusting my habits. Maybe both.

But today I had a major relapse, pulling from areas on my eyelids where I don't even usually pull, so I'm feeling pretty down on myself today. As trichsters know, there's nothing quite like the ashamed and angry feeling after a major pulling spree and the helplessness that comes from knowing there's nothing you can do to bring those eyelashes back except wait and wait and try not to pull anymore.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

*Sigh* A Trichotillomania Relapse

I've been so good lately. My mother even commented on how nice my eyelashes look. I guess a relapse had to come sooner or later.

I've been doing editing work at my desk rather than on the computer today, so that's the culprit. When I'm on the computer, my hands are engaged, typing, using the mouse, so I'm less likely to pull. Since I'm staring down at my desk editing today, my hands are bored and so start pulling automatically. I've pulled at least 15 hairs in the last hour. Then I started doing my typical Internet research: looking for articles on eyelash follicles (what the colors mean), eyelash mites, and the relationship between trichotillomania and endorphins. I just find it fascinating, as I know other trichsters do, and I think it makes me feel more in control to learn about the specifics of my inner demons.

Does anyone else feel bad for their eyelash mites? I feel like I viciously evict them each time I pull out an eyelash. They're my poor, unsuspecting tenants, and I'm the evil landlord.

Eyelash mite

Image source:


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