Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Unfortunate realization about Trichotillomania

I've come to an unfortunate realization. I guess in a way I knew it all along, but now that I'm trying to deny myself the "pleasure" of pulling out my eyelashes, I've come to realize that in my convoluted brain, it really is a pleasure pulling out my eyelashes. It feels good. I don't know why it feels good, and it seems counterintuitive for something bad for your body to feel good at the same time. I guess it's the same principle as eating foods that are good for your tastebuds but bad for your arteries.

Evolution hasn't quite worked out all the kinks.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Happy (belated) anniversary to me!

Tuesday was my 3 year anniversary with my boyfriend, so I thought I would dedicate a post to how he has dealt with me and my trich.

He's similar to my friends in calling attention to my pulling if I'm doing it in front of him. Sometimes he'll take my hands and do something lovey-dovey with them, but sometimes that makes me mad.

When I start to complain to him about pulling out too many eyelashes, he'll remind me of ways I can do something about it, like putting Vaseline on my eyelashes or playing with a hair band.

Mostly he doesn't interfere too much with my struggles with it; he's just there to support me in whatever I need him to do. Really, that's all I need to know.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Reactions to Trichotillomania

Haven't posted in a few days. Just a quick update about my own trich: I've been doing pretty well. I haven't pulled out any eyelashes for a few days, although I have been tweezing my eyebrows. I don't consider pulling eyebrows as bad for you as eyelashes, though.

The main thought of this post, though, is how people in my life have reacted to me having trich. A friend with trich suggested this idea for a post.

Most of my friends have been supportive. The most common reaction I get when I say I have trichotillomania is, huh? When I explain what it is, most people are initially fascinated. They have never heard of the disorder, and are fascinated that such a thing exists. After a moment, though, most people remember someone they know who has no eyebrows or who pulls out his/her eyelashes or hair.

Some of my closer friends who know about it yell at me or hit me when they see my hand moving toward my face because they know it's so often unconscious for me. Sometimes I thank them for it, and sometimes I get angry. Maybe it's because I'm embarrassed at being caught. I know they are trying to help me.

The person in my life with the reaction most upsetting to me is my mother. She doesn't nag me or yell at me about it, but she sometimes talks to me about how sad it makes her that I pull out my eyelashes. That makes me feel worse than if she would nag me or tell me I'm ugly without eyelashes (okay, that would hurt, too). She constantly urges me to see a psychologist, saying that I can't just pull out my eyelashes my whole life. I tell her that obviously I don't want to do it, but some people DO have it on and off their whole lives. That doesn't mean I'm not trying to stop pulling or at least reduce it. Sometimes disappointment and sadness hurts worse than shock or disgust.

Have people had similar experiences? Completely different ones? I'm interested to hear your stories!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Trichotillomania Suggestion, seemingly obvious

I've found the simplest act sometimes works to stop or at least delay pulling. Especially if you're in the middle of a pulling spree.

My suggestion, obvious as it may seem, is to change something about your environment. When I'm pulling eyelashes, sometimes I have to get up and take my contact lenses out. Maybe sit up if you are lying down. File your nails. Put on a ring. Change your hairstyle. Put on hand lotion. Take a shower.

Pulling is all about the repetition, the monotony. Break the pattern and take control by changing something that you have control over.

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