Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Trichotillomania


Trichotillomania. I suffer with it.  Daily.  By the minute sometimes.

I feel like not enough people know about this disorder.  Why do I say that? Because I am often asked "Why don't you just stop?" Well gee, I hadn't thought of THAT.  Believe you me, if I could "just stop" I would.  

Here is wikipedia's definition:
Trichotillomania (pronounced /ˌtrɪkəˌtɪləˈmniə/ trik-ə-til-ə-may-nee, also known astrichotillosis) is the compulsive urge to pull out (and in some cases, eat) one's own hair leading to noticeable hair loss, distress, and social or functional impairment. It is classified as an impulse control disorder by DSM-IV and is often chronic and difficult to treat.[1

I've had this for a very long time.  Almost 20 years.  I have had periods of "remission" but as of right now, I am not at that place.  

I recently had someone ask me if I do this in front of Dawson and the answer is yes.  It's such an integrated part of my behavior and so hard to resist that I do.  I also know of some trichotillomania sufferers that worry their children will follow along in their footsteps.  I worry about that some, but I recently realized that I am teaching him that it's okay to have flaws.  No one is perfect.  I struggle and that's okay. 

I try to remind myself daily that it's JUST hair.  Today, Dawson saw an old picture of me on my iPad and he said "that's mama.  Mama pretty hair."  Not going to lie, that stung. My hair was pretty.  I used to love hearing "oh look at all those curls! He must have gotten those from you!" I am not really sure why, but it made me feel good.  

I am in therapy and working really hard to un-learn this.  But in the meantime it has taught me to look at people in a different way.  I try very hard not to judge someone because I simply don't KNOW how they struggle.  That lady in the grocery store with 2 different shoes on and a dirty sweatshirt? Maybe her washing machine is busted.  Maybe she is running out to get her sick kid some medicine and she was just hurrying. Maybe she suffers with depression and she just didn't care today.  I just really don't know.  I hope I can teach Dawson to practice this as well.  I know when I was a kid I could have used more understanding eyes and ears. 

8 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your story! I am a puller as well and shaving my head to try and stop really humbled me.

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    1. I spent most of my teen years with little to no hair and currently have very very little. I shaved my head last year at this time and sadly I feel like I haven't gotten very far. But I am going to keep on pushing! :)

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  2. Hi, I'm a trichster too! I started when I was 12 and I'm 44 years old now. I know how hard it is to stop; it is something that does not come easily! I was PF for over a year and started pulling again after my beloved cat passed away. I hope that one day we all can stop pulling and have a full head of hair!

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    1. I'm so sorry you have dealt with this for so long! I was pull free for almost 9 years and the birth of my son really sent me into a downward spiral. I can only hope I can get back to that place again! I hope we all can :)

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  3. You are an amazing person and a great mom, Katie. Thank you for sharing your story!

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  4. You are so brave to share your struggles. Thank you for giving me insight into something I didn't know very much about. <3

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  5. <3 I'm sorry. You inspire me.

    I want to adopt that as my mantra: I'm flawed, and it's OK.

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