Myself and Trich.
I am an Arizona girl, I was born and raised there but I have been all over the world and lived many places. I currently live in Texas but Arizona will always be my home. I manage my own business and love my friends and family to the end of the world and back. I have a dog named Daisy who I am utterly obsessed with and I also desperately want a cat. I’m a Swifty, although I love many kinds of music. Here are a few things I am passionate about:
- My dog, Daisy.
- Psychology and the mind. It literally fascinates me.
- Makeup and anything beauty or health related..
- Yoga and weight lifting.
- FOOOD!! I love everything, except strange meats, curry, asparagus, and spice!
- Rainy days and excellent coffee.
- Reading until 3 am.I love getting lost in another world!
- Exploring my own city and the outdoors you never know what you will find!
I have had trichotillomania for over 4 years now, it began around 17 for me. Trich is different for everyone and no single case is the same as the next one. I pull mainly from the top of my scalp and occasionally my eyelashes, while others may pull only from their eyebrows, or from their eyelashes and eyebrows. I don’t quite remember how it began or what exactly triggered my first “pull”, but I have learned over the years that I pull in response to stress and anxiety. For me pulling my hair is a calming mechanism for my nervous system. My therapist explained it to me as if my nervous system has an appetite. My nervous system is almost always “full” so it gets overwhelmed easily. The more input that my nervous system has to handle the more overwhelmed I get and the stronger the urge becomes. A crowded and noisy place, a stressful homework assignment, running late at work, or having emotional conversations with people close to me are all events that cause me a great deal of anxiety. Consequently these are the moments in which my urges to pull are most frequent and the strongest. My nervous system reacts by creating an impulse to pull my hair. When I pull my hair a small amount of dopamine(a feel good hormone, same as the rush produced by the high from doing drugs) is produced therefore calming my anxiety.
I didn’t know I had trichotillomania (or that it even existed!!) until a few semesters ago when a psychology professor covered the disorder in class. I spoke to her after class. For so long I thought I had to be crazy. “Who pulls out their own hair?!” I would ask myself, almost in tears at times. I felt defeated for so long and I felt so alone, like no one else could ever have what I have because it was just “too weird”. It had to just be a quirk of mine. It all made sense and there was finally a name to what I was going through. I almost cried in class as she discussed the struggle that “trichsters” encounter. It got harder and harder to hold myself together with each symptom she mentioned and I could say “That’s me.” to every one of them. Finally… finally, I saw a light of hope. Somebody knew what was wrong with me. I approached my teacher after class with a nervous voice, teary eyes, shaky hands, and that awful bottomless pit feeling in my stomach. I told her that I thought I had trich and she recommended some websites for me to do some research and an online tool to help track my pulling. I self diagnosed myself and began to research anything and everything I could find on how to control my urges and ultimately, get rid of them. I tried to fight this battle on my own for over a year before I finally gave in and chose to see a therapist and start my journey to recovery.
I have been in therapy for almost 3 months now and have seen an amazing amount of improvement. My urges have reduced significantly, I haven’t pulled a hair in almost two months, my picking at my split ends has almost stopped, I have learned to calm my body during bouts of anxiety, I have even opened up to family, friends, and even strangers about my trich. My therapist uses a mix of cognitive behavior therapy, and somatosensory therapy to treat my trich. The cognitive behavior therapy focuses on being aware of my thoughts, feelings, and emotions related to trich and my anxiety and actively trying to change them. The somatosensory processing focuses on how my body responds to bouts of anxiety and learning to recognize how my body is incorporated with pulling. As we find trends, habits, and bad thought patterns we actively work to retrain them within my mind and body.
So there is a little bit about me! I would love to know a little bit about you! Please feel free to comment below so I can get to know you! It doesn’t matter who you are, a recovered trichster, someone who is battling trich, someone who thinks they have trich, an intrigued mind, or if you just stumbled across this blog!