Thursday 28 June 2012

Self-Help for Trichotillomania Update #1

My blog is three months old today! Thanks for reading!

So, for anyone who knows me, or who's been reading for a while, you might know that I have trichotillomania. It's part of a bigger, mental un-health picture, but I'm working on one thing at a time, trying to relax, take it slow. Help myself heal from whatever the hell caused me to get so messed up in the first place.

I shaved my head in Summer, a few times, to break the cycle of pulling my hair out when I'm bored/nervous/busy and just not paying enough attention/sleeping. I even kept my eyebrows plucked to perfection (with tweezers), shaved off my pubic hair, kept my legs and underarms shaved regularly - just so there was nothing for me to fiddle with. Nothing out of place. I think that my flawed perfectionism has a lot to do with my problem, so it was time to reassure myself that I had achieved perfection (of a hairless, stubbly sort. The sort that doesn't fiddle).


I have hair now. It's about 2cm long, max. But it's there.

No bald spots. No hair pulling (well, three hairs. Total. Before I couldn't even count how many I pulled out in an hour, let alone 4-5 months).

I have developed the habit of running my hands through my hair fast, repeatedly, when under stress. This seems less debilitating than hair-pulling, so I'm running with it. It felt nice on my stubbly bald head, and it feels nice now I've got a full head of hair too. I'm just trying my hardest to keep it. I don't want to be bald again. I didn't realise how desperate I was to fix this problem, because now I don't think I'd be brave enough to want to shave my head again. 

Another side-effect of not-pulling is that I've started attacking my fingernails. I've always bitten my nails, but now it's getting chronic. I basically don't have nails. So, I've started the same process with my nails as I did with my hair - make them un-biteable. I paint my nails, and cover them in glitter, so even if I was to bite them with polish on, it'd be like chewing sand. 


Ok, I back-slid because I am a mum, and finding the time to paint my nails, let alone this laborious process involving glitter, takes a lot of time. And because I'm looking for a job, and tiny, glittery finger-stubs are a bit offputting in a job interview (even if they look much prettier to me, because I am used to my deformed fingers). At least I can keep my hands from drawing too much attention if I leave them bare, but it makes it EXTREMELY hard not to bite them.

I'm just hoping I find a job where they don't mind me painting my nails, even if my hands are mangled, or that I get a job that involves me using my hands all the time, so I don't have the opportunity to bite my nails.

Stay tuned for future updates. I'm really trying to make this method work, because I'd love to help people with trich (and other people who, like me, deal with their anxiety by mangling themselves in other ways) in a real and tangible way - not just awareness raising and being open and honest with people about my own troubles with trich.


  1. Thank you so much for your brave courage to come out and speak about your condition. It's always wonderful to gain some understanding of what another person goes through in their day to day struggles. It helps to break the ignorance barrier and Hooray for that!
    New admirer on board from DP :)

    1. Thank you!

      I'm glad you're enjoying reading my blog - apologies for being so slack on the updates! I've just started a new job, and I'm still working out when I should be sleeping and doing all the normal things I usually do day-to-day, because I am working mainly at night! I just thought I'd take the time to let you know I appreciate being told that I'm helping - I like to help =)

      Bea xo

    2. I am glad you are doing well. I am fighting my trich after 35 years of being free of it. I am reminding myself each day that I have to have a plan and stick to it as best I can. I have a trich bag which I use when things are very bad.I have vaseline in it, a bright wrist band and gloves.I have a comb forI visualize new hairs like seedlings that need nurturing not destruction. I note good and bad days in a diary. I remind myself that trich is not my fault - just an unlucky mix of biology and life stresses. I am now very aware of what can cause a relapse so I will try and avoid this happening again.I am finding reading other people's experiences very useful. I think this annoying condition can come and go and I wish I had been more vigalent but I know now and am hoping knowledge is power.