Trichotillomania

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Trichotillomania
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    I need to be strong

    My story is long to tell but in a nutshell I have had anxiety and depression pretty much all my life. Trichotillomania set in during 7th grade and I battle it on and off still. I married a man with PTSD (from the VietNam War and bad abuse as a child). My dad was an alcoholic but he worked every day. We said maybe 6 sentences to each other during his whole life. Mom was a nice christian women doing the best she could. I never once got a hug.
    So I am a classic people pleaser but I'm finally waking up to alot of things my husband does that I thought was PTSD but I'm sure he's BPD too. He's a very mean 74 year old man. FOR THE PAST 3 YRS I'VE BEEN LIVING IN A CAMPING TRAILER WITH NO RUNNING WATER . We do stay in campgrounds and RV parks so we have shower facilities. But this is Not Normal. Have I lost every bit of self esteem I ever had? We "live" in the northeast in the summer and Florida in the winter, and winter is coming and I don't want to go to Florida with him again. The past 3 winters down there have been hell. We have traveled 8 out of the last 10 years and I'm just dog tired. Suicidal at times. Help me be strong and stand my ground. He will coerce, cajole, call me a traitor, say any wife would be happy for the chance ... He will try to make me feel guilty, but he will never go alone. He's afraid to be alone. 40 yrs of this, no wonder I'm tired. Thanks for listening.

    6 people are talking about this
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    I'm new here!

    Hi, my name is MikeyMo. I'm here because my psychiatrist thinks I might have body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB), and it seems to fit this compulsive self-massage tic that's contributing to my depression. I couldn't find an option for that so I put trichotillomania, which is another type of BFRB.

    #MightyTogether #Depression #ADHD #Trichotillomania

    2 people are talking about this
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    Community Voices

    I’m new here!

    Hi, my name is lily. I've been diagnosed with anxiety and trichotillomania, it’s been about two years since i developed these desorders and i don’t know how to get better. my therapist recommended this app to see if i find any tips from someone to help me, specially with the trichotillomania
    #MightyTogether #Anxiety #Trichotillomania

    5 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    When all I hear is Noise

    Hi, I'm new and I find peace of mind to be a rare commodity.

    My brain has no "off" switch. It's always thinking 20 things at a time, strategizing, worrying, debating. Almost never do I find myself in a state of actual calm or peace. Either thinking 20 things in a day is keeping me functional or overwhelms me.

    I have generalized anxiety disorder, depression, and insomnia. I also have struggled with sensory and memory issues, trichotillomania, psychosis, panic attacks, and PTSD. I'm also waiting on results for testing for another possible diagnosis.

    I have fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, and chronic lower back pain. I also have photosensitivity, asthma, and joints that dislocate/subluxate. So when I'm thinking my 20 thoughts at once, it's also me trying to account for and take care of myself on a constant basis. I've learned to think those 20 thoughts because no one else will advocate for me, and when I don't it means I don't get the medical care I need.

    However, part of the reason I joined The Mighty is because as my conditions have become more severe it's increasingly hard to see the road ahead. I can barely handle day-to-day, that merely thinking of making plans or the future sends me into a panic attack or deep depression. I've been struggling and so isolated that social skills which were once easy, are now a significant fear of mine. I struggle to string together thoughts, remember words, read facial expressions with those closest to me.

    There is no cheesy pamphlet in the hallway for the struggles we go through. Questions about how to handle situations or how to plan a future that you want with the conditions you have. I found The Mighty because I am ready to move forward with my life to a place where I am happy, but doing that right now feels...incomprehensible. I'm here because even the small steps, I don't know how to do or even what they are. I can't find resources that even echo an understanding of my needs and how to accommodate for them.

    I'm here because the best things I've learned are from my friends and people who have gone through similar experiences. Because the thoughts aren't so loud when they are shared with others.

    #ChronicIllness #MentalHealth

    20 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Battling the Pain

    #DegenerativeDiscDisease

    I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease in my lower back a few years ago. Then realized that I also battle Lumbar Myelopathy. Both of which trigger my migraines. While we're at it, I also battle arthritis in my hips and elbows. Plus (undiagnosed) hypothyroidism.

    I got my first hearing aid when I was eight years old. Now I wear two of them. I have astigmatism in both eyes and will be getting bifocals next month (hopefully)

    Mentally, I battle Clinical Depression, OCD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I also struggle with trichotillomania and binge eating (I was anorexic in my teens).

    I'm 44 years old and have to wonder what I've done to have a of these issues. Why me?

    3 people are talking about this
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    Community Voices
    Ellie P.
    Ellie P. @ellie2244
    contributor

    Talking About and Understanding Trichotillomania

    Trichotillomania. It’s a big word, pronounced trik-o-til-o-may-nee-uh and literally translates to “hair pulling madness,” which in my opinion is pretty suiting as it kind of sums up the experience. Trichotillomania is the irresistible urge to pull out your hair, whether it be from the scalp, eyebrow, eyelashes, or body hair. Sometimes the pulling is conscious, and sometimes you don’t even know you’re doing it: your body takes over, running riot through ever-decreasing strands of hair. The thing I can most liken trichotillomania to and make it more understandable to people who don’t struggle with it is having a pacifier as a baby or people having a comforter teddy or sucking their thumb. It’s self-regulating and self-soothing, both of which can be very powerful influencers over our emotions and behavior. Trichotillomania is classed as a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder in the DSM and is categorized under body focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) which also includes skin picking, nail biting, lip biting and things alike. I find there isn’t much of an active thought process behind this disorder, which makes some people question what category it should fall under. Many people with trichotillomania also struggle with other mental illnesses, most commonly including OCD, anxiety, and PTSD. This isn’t the case for everyone, people will often disregard trichotillomania as a bad habit, but to those of us who struggle, it is incredibly frustrating when it gets minimized down to this. For many people, trichotillomania develops in childhood or teenage years but alike all other illnesses and disorders, it can also occur at any age, for any reason and no one decides to have trichotillomania. You don’t just wake up one day and think to yourself “I know, today I’m going to pull my hair out.” For me, it was a gradual thing, and I don’t know exactly what started off this, or even what I was doing for years. I think it was the age of 12 (I’m now 19) when I started to sit and search the ends of my hair for split ends, pull them apart or break the bottom bit of that strand off. This somehow progressed to pulling out the entire strand from the root and overtime has spiraled and for the past two to three years has been pulling significant clumps of hair at a time, and as a result I’ve lost probably half of my hair including the entire top of my head. Despite what people may think, or what you’d expect to hear, pulling my hair doesn’t hurt. If it has been particularly bad, then a few hours later or the next day my head may ache and feel sore to the touch but the actual process of it is soothing rather than painful. There are some areas that are naturally more sensitive than others, but these are the places people, including me, tend not to pull from. People with trichotillomania tend to pull from one area which can change or stay the same. I have never pulled from anywhere except from my scalp. Textures may sometimes play a role in pulling, some people may pull until they find the “right” hair, one that is thicker than others or you just feel satisfied when it is pulled and for others like me, it doesn’t matter, I just pull wherever my hands go to on my head. I do however have a fascination with inspecting the follicles of each hair, running them through my fingers. I know I’m not the only one who does this, and I don’t know what the enthrallment of it is, but it does serve some kind of purpose. What people don’t see is the huge toll trichotillomania takes on not only your self-esteem and confidence, but also your environment. Rogue hairs feel like they coat every surface and inch of your body, you feel so ashamed about your lack of hair/eyebrows/lashes, having endless supplies of fake lashes or brow pencils, trying to cover bald spots up or style things in a way that hides your patches, wearing hoods, hats, wigs or bandanas no matter the weather, not letting anyone see the real you, the vulnerable you, the “ugly” you. I get it, people gasp at the sight of someone who doesn’t necessarily live up to societal standards or who looks out of place. Personally, I feel so ashamed of my hair that I don’t let many people see it. I am just as baffled as anyone else as to why this disorder exists, why people have to struggle with it and how it makes any logical sense. But somehow it does. And it is something that can’t be just snapped out of and isn’t easily understood by someone who hasn’t struggled with this disorder. As with any illness, I do believe that recovery is possible. I think it’s hard and I think it’s a very long process and is something that can maybe never truly go away. The term recovery is subjective and means different things to each person, and it’s up to them how they define their journey, but I do believe a huge part of it is acceptance. Acceptance of yourself and your body, knowing your disorder doesn’t define you, your worth or your capability. If you’re reading this and you struggle with trichotillomania, know you’re not alone. Before I was diagnosed, I felt so ashamed of what I was doing and how I looked. I believed I was the only person who did this, and I never saw anyone else with missing hair in the way mine was. With help from my therapist and one of my nurses, as I did research, joined some Facebook groups and started to follow some people on Instagram who also struggled, I discovered that so many others were going through an experience similar to mine. It made the world of a difference in just knowing I could be understood. I encourage you to do the same. I hope one day you will be free from trichotillomania: your “flaws” will become someone else’s perfections. You are enough as you are, and your hair (or lack of) does not define you. If you know someone with trichotillomania or are here because you want to learn (or just randomly stumbled upon this because you were intrigued by such a big and abnormal word!) then thank you, thank you for wanting to learn and educate yourself, it means so much to all of us with BFRB and makes us feel seen, cared about and enough. Be kind, remember you’re enough.