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!


Holly said...

my dad's just like your mom. he also likes to tell me it's "mind over matter," and that the only reason i can't stop is because i say that i can't... he can really infuriate me with that lol

not a whole lot of other people know about it- the boy does, and he annoys me because he'll like get mad at me for doing it. blah. he doesn't really understand... then there are a few friends that know, and i think they don't really know what to say. lol... i'm lucky though (ok, maybe not so much) that my social anxiety outweighs my trich at times- i don't pull in front of anyone but chris. that, and i'm really good at hiding my bald spot (less so the short little spiky hairs that grow back), so people don't have to know until i want them to.

Anonymous said...

I am so so so so so in the same boat as you.
I am from the UK, 22 and I have been damn pulling my eye lashes since school.
Over the last year it's gotten really bad, I have no bottom eyelashes, and big patches on top. I look like a freak, and I hate it. I hate it...but I can't stop.. I want to stop so much. After every eye lash I pick I tell myself- this is the last one I will pick.. but I know I am only fooling myself.
The other day when I went to go visit my mum she looked at me like a confused hurt puppy and said you look weird, it's awful, your making yourself ugly.. Sh doesn't understand, she just shakes her head and pauses, tries to find an answer in a I know, stop being weird, and then changes the subject. No body understands! They just think I am on a quest to get rid of my eyelashes.
When I got my bottom ones out I couldnt let them grow again, because of the irritation/ tigling, it makes me wanna find small ones with my nails sub conciously...
There must be a way of stoping it! I can't live my whole life like this... Hypnotherapy??? Drugs// arghhh I can't live with it any more, it amazes me how positive and nicely you write things.. It is ruining my life in allot of ways, I am scared to look down when talking to people, even for a split second in case they notice!!!
Mind over body is bull.. you can't control it like that from my experience.


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