Sunday, March 23, 2008

My name is lashes, and I have trichotillomania

(Hi, lashes)

Here's the obligatory, easily-understood definition for interested parties who don't necessarily know what Trichotillomania is:

Trichotillomania (I prefer Trich or Trichy) is a strong, often uncontrollable urge to pull out your own hair. That's the only factor common to every person "diagnosed" with it" Even in the diagnosis, every person varies. Often, the "disorder" is self-diagnosed. Sometimes a medical doctor does it. Sometimes a psychologist. The symptoms vary. I pull out eyelashes, eyebrows, and all short, what I consider out of place hairs. Some pull out scalp hair. Some use fingers, some use tweezers. Some just pull the hair, some rub it between their fingers, some eat it (that one's called trichophagia). The causes also vary. For some, it starts in childhood. Others, in adolescence. Pulling can occur when we are anxious, concentrating, looking in a mirror, or just plain bored.

Like I said, I pull out my eyelashes and eyebrows. Sometimes little hairs on my stomach or on one of those gross moles/"beauty" marks that grows hair. I go back and forth between using tweezers and using my thumb and middle finger.

I'm starting this blog for a couple of reasons. First, I want to share my own experiences so I and you are not alone. I also hope that just by paying attention to myself and chronicling my actions, I can become more aware of when I pull and eventually decrease the compulsion. Finally, and most importantly, I want to start a discussion based on experience and suggestion that can help all of us trichsters find solutions together! Yay for boundless idealism!

So, feel free to post. Please post! I like pretending that I'm popular. Your posts will enhance the fantasy. Post responses, suggestions, rants, whatever will help either you or someone else deal with trichy a little better.

A couple small steps for trich, one giant leap for trichster-kind.


Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found your blog. I too pull out my eyelashes, eyebrows, hair from my thighs, pubic area, (especially after a fresh shave, OMG!), fingers, upper lips, like you said, those out of place places. It all started when I was 11 or 12, due to a traumatic experience. I also have trichophagia.
I use tweezers and also pull with my thumb and middle finger. When I read someone else pulls with their middle finger and thumbnail, I got the chills. I am not alone. But we are in a low percentile...
My favorite hairs are those that grow ouf of moles, but I only have 2 of those. :(
Thank you for posting this blog, I don't feel all so alone now. ;-)


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