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Addictive Behaviours Discuss and receive support for addictions not related to substance use, such as gambling, Internet, sex or work addictions, in this forum.

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trichotilliomania - March 1st 2015, 02:02 AM

So I have this impulsive urge to rip out my own hair and I can't control it... It has turned my eyebrows into disasters and just made me want to rip them off entirely. This started with my depression and anxiety but the pills haven't helped for this I also pick at my scalp which causes it to bleed and for the hair to fall out.
Does anyone know how I can manage this better, specifically the eyebrow hair pulling... Thx :3


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Re: trichotilliomania - March 2nd 2015, 07:54 PM

Have you spoken to your therapist about this? Unfortunately, these disorders require different types of therapy than depression and anxiety, usually (to my knowledge) they require CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy). Your therapist would be able to refer you to specialist who can help you with these disorders. Personally, I do not have experience with trich. I have dermatillomania-like habits (undiagnosed, but I pick my skin). For me, keeping my skin clear is important because it lowers the amount of bumps and such that I am able to pick at. (These tips can help your scalp picking) For you, it's difficult-it's your hair. However, I follow a Youtuber who has made a few videos on tips to lower pulling behaviors. These should not be used to "replace" real therapy, but as ways to cope in the moment.
Head massagers
Creams and products that prevent pulling
Distraction tools
Good luck! As I said, although I do not have trich, I can understand how obnoxious these compulsive disorders can be. You're doing great, just stay strong and I hope you consider seeking professional help!


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Re: trichotilliomania - March 3rd 2015, 10:21 PM

Hey there,
Like Tracy, I have skin picking disorder which goes by a few names. It is similar to, but not the same as what you're struggling with. However, something you can try is SH alternatives. Another thing you could do is get a fidgety toy. Something you can fiddle around with to keep your hands busy. This includes stress balls, rubber band/hair tie or anything that you find helpful
Also, dont be discpuraged by the fact that not many people are aware of this issue. I kmow for me, it was really hurtful to learn that my therapist did not see it a problem that i skin pick so she didnt include it in our goals for the treatment plan, despite telling her repeatedly that i struggle with it more than i do with cutting. Well i dont see her anymore, but my point being is that your struggle is real and even if some therapists dont know about it, it does not lessen the validity. that being said, a good counselor would not push what they think your problems are and actually listrn to you. So if youre interested and you can try speaking to a counselor and bringing it up. Thats an option to explore...another would be support groups. That way you are not led by one person, a different experienxe than individual therapy. Anxiety and depression are too really lonesome issues and it helps to know your peers are supportive.
The more you let out through arts, music, hobbies etc theless likely youll have a buildup inside you. take care of yourself. <3
   
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Re: trichotilliomania - March 4th 2015, 10:45 AM

Hey,

I do not have trich, but I do have a compulsive disorder (undiagnosed but I have dermatophagia like habits) and I know how horrible it is to live with them. There are a few things that helped me cope with mine, but not all coping techniques work for everyone. You could still give some of these a try, maybe they will help. Like Gryff said, using the alternatives suggested in the alternatives to self harm thread might help. Also,

-Make a sticker chart and everyday you go without pulling add a sticker to it. Hang this sticker chart in the room where you spend time the most, since it's highly possible that is where you pull the most.
-Keep a goal for being pull free and reward yourself when you reach that goal. In the beginning I used to keep my goal for a day.
-Buy a fidget toy. I have one of those light up fun balls, that I have in my hand almost every minute when my hands are free.
-Find other things to do with your hands like knitting, stitching, drawing, etc. Something that does not stress you.
-Wear some perfume on your hand so you realize when your hand is going up to pull your hair.
-Every time you want to pull your hair, name it after some loved one. I used to name the skin on my fingers after my favorite celebrities. It sounds silly, but it did help me. So, it's worth a try.
-Place notes that say 'NO' or inspirational messages about not pulling your hair in places where you spend time a lot.
-I used to put excess lotion on my hand when I went to bed. So it would be slimy and I wouldn't feel like biting my skin because of the weird taste. Maybe you could try that, since lotion on your hands might make it hard for you to grasp your hair.
-Tell your friends and family to stop you, if they see you pulling with your hair.
-I used to wear gloves or tiny balloons on my fingers when I was at home. Maybe you could try wearing a bandana or a hoodie or tie a scarf around your head.
-Since you specifically mentioned you want tips to stop pulling at your eyebrows. Maybe you could apply at thick coat of lotion or some gel on your eyebrows. I know it might look and feel weird, but it's always hard to pull hair that's wet or sticky. You could atleast try doing this when you are at home.

I am not sure if all of these will work, but I am hoping some of these will be helpful for you. You could also try searching on Google for tips to stop pulling at your hair. That's what I did with my problem, I made a list of all the things that others have mentioned on the internet about tips to overcome compulsive disorders and started following them.

I know this isn't easy. Overcoming a compulsive disorder is one of the hardest things ever, but it is not impossible. I know you are strong enough to do it. If you happen to pull your hair after few days of going pull free, please don't give up. The key to beating a compulsive disorder is to not give up. If you fall, you need to stand up, brush yourself and start once again. If it's possible, I'd suggest you considering professional help, because you deserve it. Stay strong. I'm just a message away if you need someone to talk to.


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Re: trichotilliomania - March 5th 2015, 08:34 AM

Hey there! Like you, I have trichotillomania, and I also pick my skin. I know firsthand how difficult it can be to talk about and ask for help, so congratulations for taking that step!

Like others have said, it can be immensely helpful to have fiddle toys around to play with. They can help satisfy the urge to pull, they can keep your hands busy, and they can help you focus.

One thing that I was told when I first started talking about my trich to professionals was to figure out when I pull, where I pull, and what my triggers are. After establishing what my triggers and habits are, I'm supposed to try to break the cycle. I make a point to be aware about what my hands are doing when I am in a place or situation that could trigger me. I eventually learned how to anticipate and prepare for triggers so that I can avoid them whenever possible or deal with them effectively when they (inevitably) occur.

When I do get triggered, I try my best to do something else to distract myself. I try to de-stress (I pull quite a bit more when I'm stressed than when I'm relaxed) and put my nervous energy into something more creative, like writing or drawing. Reading and watching videos can help quite a bit, too! Like I said earlier, try to get your hands on some fiddle toys. When you're triggered, they can be a life-saver! Personally, I love tangles, stress balls, bracelets, and those little squishy rubber animals. Like others have said, some of the alternatives in the alternatives thread can be immensely helpful!

I think talking to a therapist about this could help you, but realize that some professionals don't know how to deal with disorders like trich. Try not to get discouraged if one person doesn't work for you - you might just need to try somebody else. If you can't talk to a professional, try talking to somebody. I know that trich can be difficult and embarrassing to talk about, but you don't need to be ashamed or try to hide. There are many people that also deal with trich, so you don't need to go through this alone! Try to look for a support group in your area, find a group on Facebook, or talk to a trusted friend or family member. You can even PM me if you'd like to talk more!

Know that if you relapse and pull, it isn't the end of the world. You will get through it, and it will be okay. In my experience, it's very difficult to go pull free - I won't pretend that I am as of right now. Going pull free is possible, but like I said, don't get too down on yourself if it isn't attainable right now. There are a lot of methods that you can utilize to reduce or eliminate your pulling.

Feel free to PM me if you'd like to talk more! I hope this gave you an idea of where to start looking for help. Stay strong!


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