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  • awkwardette wrote a new post, Trichotillomania: I Pull Out My Hair 8 years, 7 months ago

    ThumbnailYou know how sometimes people say things like, “I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to get this paper done,” or whatever? Well, in my life, it’s not an idiom. When I’m stressed out, I get real and actually pull […]

    • I had to hold back tears when I read this and the comments. I had actually started (slowly) writing a similar post, so hopefully when it’s complete I won’t be dismissed by PMag with “we already read this from someone else.”

      I’ve suffered for twenty years. I developed a bald spot when I started in fifth grade, likely induced by the stress of going to a new school where I was no longer the top student in my class. I remember being tested for ADD or ADHD (I merely recall it was concerns with attention) and being absolutely terrified that I would be misdiagnosed. By sixth grade I was pulling from various places on my scalp, so my bald spot was replaced by hair.

      The first psychiatrist I had asked when I pull out my hair. I replied that really the question should be when don’t I pull out my hair, because aside from when I’m in the shower, in bed, or wearing a hat, I have the potential to pull.

      My second-most recent psychologist thought the artistic part of my brain might be trying to communicate, since I ONLY pull scalp hair with my left hand. We tried an experiment once, where instead of pulling when I felt the compulsion, I drew with my left hand. Scribbles *everywhere* on the paper.

      I do occasionally pull out my eyebrow hairs and eyelashes, but since I “process” them completely differently than scalp hair, I don’t consider them as part of my compulsion. More like, “any loose eyebrow hairs? {tug on eyebrows} yep! ahh, that’s better,” and “meh, this eyelash is pointed dangerously.” As for scalp hair, I definitely go for the crinkly ones, but most often I’ll just take a bunch at random. And I am also in the clique of needing to rub the bulbs on my lips and then tear them off between fingernails.

      In short, thanks to everyone who knows that some obsessive-compulsive disorders don’t yield a spotless house, but instead encourage a substantial hat collection.