Thread: trichtillomania
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Old October 26th, 2008, 11:44 PM   #3
Kaleidoscope Eyes
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Name: Jessi
Join Date: January 20, 2008
Location: California, US
Age: 27
Gender: Female
Default Re: trichtillomania

Symptoms of Trichotillomania include:
  • Recurrent pulling out of one's hair resulting in noticeable hair loss.
  • An increasing sense of tension immediately before pulling out the hair or when attempting to resist the behavior.
  • Pleasure, gratification, or relief when pulling out the hair.
  • The disturbance is not better accounted for by another mental disorder and is not due to a general medical condition (e.g., a dermatological condition).
  • The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
This definitely sounds like what you've described, and I wouldn't call it OCD. OCD is characterized by irrational fears, obsessions, and compulsions. You don't see obsessed with pulling your hair or eyelashes, rather it seems like it's a potential coping mechanism. I assume you've been diagnosed by a professional? It's not a condition that's really common knowledge, so I assume you heard about it when a doctor determined you had it. If you were not professionally diagnosed, talk to your parents about seeing your general physician, who can recommend a specialist for you to see. If you were indeed diagnosed, still talk to your parents. They may have noticed that you've started doing this again, but it's still up to you to tell them that it bothers you.

How did you stop before? What changes might have occurred in your life around then? Are you sure you weren't stressed at all about your grandpa? Even if you weren't freaking out about his stroke, it can still be stressful when a loved one is sick. My sister had a genetic disorder that caused a variety of health problems for her, and even though I acted pretty normal and never openly worried about her, it still really took a toll on me. A therapist can help you figure this out more, really see what might be at the center of it all and help you to stop. I would start with the doctor who diagnosed you, or else your general physician. Explain the situation, and ask for their advice about who you might see, whether they know of any specialists, or if they have any suggestions. My internet research has told me that the only real recognized treatment for Trichotillomania is cognitive therapy. This means sitting down with a therapist, talking to them about yourself, about your life. For the first few weeks there may be a lot of filling in, letting them know your background, and they'll get to know you and what course they may want to take with you. After that, cognitive therapy is all about giving you the skills you need to work through this on your own. No doctor can give you a magic cure, but the therapist can give you suggestions and methods to teach yourself how to get through life without having to pull any hairs out along the way. Eventually, you'll feel confident enough that you can stop seeing the therapist, although you're always free to call them again if you need to. My guess is, it's your best bet if you want to stop this.

Jessi the Gweat and Tewwible
Do not offend the chair leg of truth. It is wise and terrible.

~Laura was here~
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