I have Trichotillomania. Trichotillomania (Trich for short; also known as TTM or hair pulling disorder) is an impulse control disorder characterized by the compulsive urge to pull out one’s hair.
I’ve had Trich ever since I was either 16 or just turned 17, my junior year of high school. I’m not sure why or when exactly it started.
I pulled my eyebrows and eyelashes. Sometimes I’d pull less or more than other times. You may be asking yourself. Doesn’t it hurt? And the answer is no, it doesn’t.
For three years I didn’t know what I had at all. I merely thought it was just a bad habit. It wasn’t until three years after I started pulling that I saw an article online about an actress that said she pulls out her eyelashes and that’s when I first heard of the name Trichotillomania. Oddly enough back then I didn’t think anymore of it. I didn’t look into it.
This past February one day I decided to look more into it, because it was getting worse. So I googled hair pulling and a Wikipedia page about Trichotillomania was one of the first links that popped up. I clicked on it and read it. After that I went on YouTube and typed in Trichotillomania, curious to see if there was any videos about it. There I found several YouTubers who had videos in which they shared their story of Trich. I was so happy that I wasn’t the only person that pulls out their hair.
Trich is actually a very common disorder, yet unheard of because a lot of people feel shameful and embarrassed about it, and that’s how I used to feel as well. It’s said that 2 to 4% of the population has it, which means that 1 to 2 out of every 50 people have it. And that’s a lot!!
In April my Trich became worse than it ever has, I started pulling from my head hair as well. And now I pull from there a lot more than I do from my eyebrows and eyelashes. Infact, I’ve barely touched my eyebrows and eyelashes, because I’m trying to grow them out.
One thing I have learned along my journey with Trich is that it’s a very mysterious and unpredictable disorder. One minute you’ll have a huge urge to pull and then the next you won’t. One minute you’ll be pulling one hair at a time and the next you are pulling three or six at a time, maybe even more. It’s quite often that I try really really hard to not pull and tell myself not to pull. But the tension is so strong that I pull anyways. And when I do pull it releases that tension.
There’s sometimes when I will pull every day, several times a day. Then there’s times where I pull only a few times a day. There’s also times when I’m pull free for a few days and that’s when I’m the happiest and I truly feel on top of the world then. That’s when I know I am capable of being in recovery.
I’ve been spreading awareness for 5 or 6 months now. Slowly but surely. On social media websites such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. I have two videos dedicated to my Trich on YouTube one is before I started pulling my head hair and the other is an update. I hope to not only spread awareness for Trich but also other disorders as well as Mental Health in general.
I sincerely hope everyone who has read this has learned atleast a little bit more about Trich. Also please remember that if you have Trich, you are definitely not alone.
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Jenny can be found on Facebook
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