Trichotillomania is a Trichy Disorder. The thoughts that go on in our own heads could actually be the most painful, and what’s causing us the most harm. Sure, the comments made by other people never really help much either, (You can read the Top 25 Things Someone with Trichotillomania is Sick Of Hearing in this post) but the worst thing someone suffering from trichotillomania could do is keep all of the negative thoughts about this disorder to themselves locked inside. I know how hard it is to talk to someone who doesn’t have this disorder, and how hard it is to explain and get that person to Truly understand what it is. Unless you suffer from Trich yourself you really can’t. They just don’t understand the feelings we have, or the reason why we do it. Making them feel as helpless as we do, and unsure how to help us overcome it. Welcome to Life with Trich.
For anyone to be able to overcome this disorder, you really have to WANT to stop. You have to constantly be on guard to stop yourself from pulling, and it’s really a constant battle going on inside your own head at all times. It is an exhausting, frustrating, uncontrollable urge that makes you feel helpless. This disorder is unknown, but not uncommon, and affects more people than you would think. Most are never open about it, and that’s because of all the bad comments, lack of understanding in trichotillomania itself, and because letting someone know you have this can completely change that person’s outlook on you. I’ve lost countless friends just from telling them I had trich, was called crazy, weird, and so many other rude things, all from trying to be open with someone about something I suffered with.
The best things I’ve learned from having trich is to let it go. (haha Frozen) The people who won’t be your friend just because you tried to share something hard to be open with, were never really your friends to begin with. I’m not going to fight for someone’s friendship, it’s either they want to be around me and know what I deal with without judging me constantly, or they can walk the other way and leave it be. There are so many other things I could worry about other than feeling the burns of someone’s judgment that I should have been able to trust with my insecurities.
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And that’s where this list comes in, these things are the top thoughts and feelings that we need to stop burdening ourselves with so often. Once we can get a control on our emotions, we’ll have a better chance at overcoming this disorder together. Some of these things may be triggers, so if they are for you just remember you’re strong, and you can fight the urges to pull.
- I can’t Stop.I know this is the worst one, because it’s not something we can do. I know that with trich there is no “just stopping.” It takes time, a lot of willpower, and most times some form of treatment to stop. So why am I saying this is something we have to stop telling ourselves if we can’t? Because we can! Most times this consists of some sort of behavioral therapy or habit substitution. Which basically just means that we need to find something to keep our hands busy and our mind off of pulling. We need to stop saying we can’t stop so that we can focus on how we CAN stop, and finally be able to overcome trich-or at least get to a point where the urges to pull no longer bother you.
- I already pulled X amount of hair, so now that I’ve realized it why should I bother stopping?I know I go through this thought every time I catch myself pulling. I already have a pile of hair in front of me that I pulled out, so why should I bother stopping now when there’s already so much damage done? This thought almost always results in the continued pulling of hair and much more damage. It’s so easy to keep going once the urges are already being fulfilled.It feels GOOD to give into those urges. It’s like a release from pressure, almost relaxing and relieves stress that’s been building for however long you have fought that urge. The thought of how much worse it will be if we don’t stop stays in the back of our head. We KNOW what kind of damage we are doing to ourselves, but it’s still not something we can stop without a fight. And this fight is a long, usually life-long journey. We need to remember the damage that will be done, instead of what already has been.
- Maybe I can just even out the damage so it will look somewhat normal.Yep, we’ve all been there. We stop and realize what we’ve just done to our body, and then think we can “fix” it by pulling some hairs on the other side as well. Resulting in more damage and more time we have to wait for all that hair to grow back. Once it’s gone we have to wait for it to fix itself with regrowth, keep this thought of fixing it locked up and don’t let it back out!
- If I can just get this last hair out I’ll stop.This one comes in because we’ve all had that one hair, that one annoying hair that for some reason we can’t seem to leave alone, can’t stop thinking about, and for some reason have the hardest time pulling that hair. Try to focus on something else, doesn’t work-try to pull-smack hand, telling it to stop-get annoyed by hair again-fight the urges to pull-give into those urges and try pulling again-frustration-distractions…it’s a never ending cycle.For me the worst is when my eyelashes are growing in and they get to that weird stage of growth. Where they are almost long enough to curl, but instead stick out straight in front of your eye, and most times poking your eyeball all day long. Then trying to leave it alone get’s worse as you go because you’re unable to stop thinking about that hair. Your mind keeps telling you to give into those urges and get that hair off your body. Meanwhile your mind is trying to tell yourself to be proud of how long that hair has lasted, how long it takes to grow back, and how long you’ve fought that urge already to leave the exact hair that’s bothering you now alone.I’ve sat there for hours sometimes trying to get one hair out of my eyelid, and sometimes this hair hasn’t even had a chance to grow enough to grab with tweezers. You can just barely feel it with your fingers, yet you know it’s there and want it gone ASAP.
- No One Understands What I’m Going Through. I feel so alone.I hate this thought, although it still happens quite often. This disorder is just not talked about enough for us to feel like there really is others suffering in the same ways we are. There are so many resources out there, but most people never meet anyone else who has trichotillomania unless it’s online.
Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free TrialStarting this blog and reaching out and finally talking to other people who have trich has helped me so much that I don’t think I could ever repay them for the kindness and help they have given me, but in my personal life I never met anyone who has trich. Until I started doing some research a few years ago, I didn’t even know anyone other than me had this crazy hair pulling thing I did.
- I’ve tried everything and nothing makes it stop, so why bother trying something new?With so many different ways people have used to overcome this, it’s hard to pinpoint what’s going to work for you. And after 100 failed attempts it gets very discouraging that we could ever find our cure. We have to keep trying and keep in mind that not everything works the same way for different people. You have to find what works for you. For some people the simple act of exercising has helped them stop pulling, because for them it works to keep them busy and their mind off it. For me it’s good to keep me busy, but my mind is still constantly racing around about hair.I’ve tried just about everything other than hypnotism, and for me to really keep my mind off it the only tricks that work are cleaning, reading books and articles or watching others stories on youtube about trichotillomania specifically, a bit of exercise just to stay busy and get in shape each day, keeping up with this blog and staying connected with other who have this disorder with me (this works really good because my hands are too busy typing to be able to pull my hair), and I still play with my tangle toys at times when I’m not keeping up with the kids or they don’t steal them to play with themselves.
- I’ll never have hair.You’re right, not with that kind of attitude at least. The constant battle to beat trich is one that we have to win for ourselves. It’s not easy, but if you keep looking more on the positive side as to what you can do rather than what you believe will never happen, then you will have a better chance at beating the urges trichotillomania leaves you with. Think to yourself instead that “if I keep fighting this, eventually I will have the hair or eyelashes/brows that I want.”I know how discouraging it can be waiting for them to grow back after an episode of pulling because it really does take what seems like forever. The damage we can do in only a few minutes takes months to return to what it was before. And even after all that, most times it’s not the same. The areas we pull from become damaged over time, and sometimes cause permanent damage that results in overly thin hairs that return, or hair that never comes back altogether. A simple change in thought can do so much more than you think.
- There must be something really wrong with me.There is nothing wrong with you. You shouldn’t feel like an outcast. You should never have to feel so alone that it hurts. The real problem with trichotillomania that bothers me is just how many people don’t know what it is, and how they classify the people who have it. One wire in our brain is out of place and it causes us to pull our hair. There are so many things out there that are so much worse than trichotillomania. Think instead how lucky you are to be healthy, with one small thing that makes us different from the rest. You are Still Beautiful and always will be, no matter how much hair you have at the time.Feel lucky that we have a disorder that can be hidden with wigs and makeup, others are not as lucky as we are and have no way to hide what they have. This is in my opinion why there’s not a lot of people out there who know what trichotillomania is, because we are magicians with makeup. 🙂
- Trichotillomania has ruined my confidence.Unfortunately this thought is very hard to change. Trich does ruin your confidence. It makes it hard to leave the house without having anxiety the whole time about someone noticing the missing hair. It makes it hard to do your makeup without having to stare at everything you’ve done, trying to make sure everything looks as natural as possible.Think of it this way to build your confidence next time you’re going out, or doing your makeup just for fun. You are a Professional makeup artist. If you’re not sure what I mean ask yourself this-
After you do your makeup and go about your day, how many people notice those aren’t your real eyebrows?
How many people ask you about the fake eyelashes you have on?
Has anyone commented on the wig you’re wearing?
Or did they say how beautiful you looked today?The answer to most of these questions is probably zero. You are so good at applying your makeup that no one can tell it isn’t real. They don’t know you don’t have that hair, or that there’s even anything different about you at all. You have covered up the missing hair at a professional level. The only mental difference we have from anyone else is that our brain tells us to pull our hair out. So the only way anyone knows we have this disorder is if we tell/show them. Be confident in who you are for what you are. Just as normal and beautiful as the next person.(sorry to any guys that are reading this post since most of this point was about makeup.)
- I should just come to terms with knowing that I’ll have this forever.Once you have this thought stuck in your head it’s almost impossible to get rid of. Unfortunately in most cases this is true and will be something that has to be dealt with for life, but that doesn’t mean we should stop fighting it.
When I say that most people will deal with it for life I say it because of how many people’s trichotillomania goes into a remission-like stage where they don’t pull for months, or years, but end up having recurring episodes later on in life. Never truly “curing” trich, but instead fighting it so well that they don’t feel the urge to pull anymore.Even that in itself is a great accomplishment, and if that’s what ends up happening to me I would be fine with it. It might not be permanent but I would still love to go a few years without having these constant urges and battles with myself that I’m not winning. I will never stop fighting, and I will never let myself believe that I will have this forever. I am definitely refusing to give up, and will keep fighting these urges one day at a time.
This list was created by the many thoughts that go through my head about trichotillomania constantly. If you have ever felt this way, or have anything to add about the thoughts you hate having from trich, comment below or connect with me. I’m always happy to talk to someone going through the same thing, or just needs to get their thoughts out!
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Update on my Progress–
As of right now, I almost have my own eyebrows back! I can’t believe it, and feel so weird looking at them because it’s been so long since I had any.It may not look like much to most people, but for someone with trichotillomania this is an accomplisment. And it’s amazing to see your hard work fighting urges constantly finally pay off.
My eyelashes are slowly starting to grow back now, I think this growth serum still has a lot to do with it since it’s only been a month since I pulled at them, and normally when I don’t use it I can’t see any sort of growth at all until the end of month 2 when they finally start poking out again.
As for the hair on my head? Well, the back of my hairline is slowly inching up still, and my ends are horrible from how much they’ve been pulled at recently. It’s kinda like I stopped pulling from 2 area’s, and now only pull from my head. I’m still not pulling as much as I was before thanks to some silly little tricks I’ve been using. (like cleaning constantly when I feel an urge coming on) Writing-I should say typing because it keeps both hands busy, whereas pen and paper only distracts one-has been helping me a lot still, it’s nice to keep me busy at night as well as express my thoughts on this subject. Most of my writing never makes it onto the blog because I’m just too picky with my posts, but I feel like I’m open enough on here 🙂