I’m a 28 year old from illinois living with OCD, anxiety, and depression. Cheers!
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My trichy situation

It all started when I was about 13 years old. I had experienced some anxiety and depression up to this point, but this where my mental health battle really showed it's face. As a young teenager I had long hair. You could say it was a bit of an early Justin Bieber look. I really loved having long hair. Like a lot. It was a big part of my identity at the time. That time lasted maybe 2 or 3 years.

When I hit 13, I started noticing that when I was nervous I would pick at the back of my hair and on top. I felt some sort of relief but didn't know why. It became increasingly more pleasurable and I began to do it more. At this point I became more and more conscious of the fact that my hair was showing signs of my illness. It felt so embarrassing, and I felt like a freak. There have been people who make comments here and there. Not knowing the disease even existed. They made them jokingly, but any time someone would call out a bald spot, I felt like the world was crashing in on me and staring at me. My identity and body image was being stolen from me, and I was the one causing it. I even managed to hide it from my family and parents for a long time with hats. That was really my only way to cope and cover my illness that was killing my already less than optimal self worth.

I can still remember the day my mother found out what was going on with me. I felt like she was going to send me to a mental hospital for life. Instead, we started treating it with Paxil through my primary doctor. That worked for a while, but by age 15 I started seeing my first counselor. I was afraid and very uneasy about the whole process. I remember bits and pieces of those meetings, but I don't think I was ready or able to really express how I felt and get it taken care of. I felt like an alien and not in control of my own body. I still feel that way sometimes.

As the trich got worse, so did the depression and anxiety to go along with it. I started using substances to cover up my self hatred and anxiety. That never goes well. I think all of the anxiety and commotion I was creating also made the trich worse than before. After 4 years and 2 overdoses, I landed myself in rehab and a sober living house for 1 year. That's when I really started to understand myself more. Understanding that I have a disease and there is nothing inherently wrong with my morals or thinking in general. I was not a monster, nor was I an alien. I started taking mental health and my disease seriously, and doing the things I know I can to feel better. I cut my hair down very short, to try and limit the amount of damage I can do to my visible hair, and I use things like fidget spinners and such to distract my hands when I can. I am still not anywhere near where I want to be with my trich, but I understand it a lot more now than I ever have. I am 28 years old now, and my hair is still almost bald to prevent more holes, but I am still standing strong. I don't let my trich cause me to not do things or be seen anymore. It's not worth the anxiety and depression. I want everyone out there dealing with this, especially kids, to know they are not alone, and this disease can get better. You are not alien. You are a human being with a disease you are fighting. The difference is most diseases people have to fight inside, or the disease is more understood. Together we can stand up and fight the stigma and educate. My goal is that I would like to blog here about my trich journey and hear all of you talk and give coping options as well. #MentalHealth #OCD #Trich

Community Voices
Community Voices