Trichotillomania

I’ve mentioned my trichotillomania before on my blog, but I don’t talk about it very often.  It’s not OCD, but it probably lies on the obsessive-compulsive spectrum.

Trichotillomania by j4d3 on deviantArt

Trichotillomania by j4d3 on deviantArt

As an OC, I can tell that it is different but related.  In my experience, it’s not induced by an intrusive thought, although I do pull out my hair significantly more when I’m stressed.  Usually, I will feel a hair on my scalp that doesn’t feel like the others, and it doesn’t feel “right” until I pull it out.  So, in that sense it does function kind of like my compulsions.

I pull from the crown of my scalp.  I have a little sprig of hair there that I have to hide.  It’s been this way for maybe a decade.

Interestingly, I want to pull out other people’s hair too.  If they have black hair and I see a couple pieces of gray, I want to pull them.  Like, REALLY bad.

A former therapist encouraged me to squeeze my fist as tight as possible when I want to pull– I tried it, and it fascinatingly does mimic the release I get from pulling my hair.  Sometimes I try that.

I’m so grateful to have my OCD under control.  I wonder if I’ll ever feel the same about my tricho.

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10 thoughts on “Trichotillomania

  1. I have the urge to pull out all my gray hairs too, Jackie. I’m guessing that’s not the same :). All kidding aside, I want to thank you for continuing to be so brave and open about sharing your struggles. Every time you do that you help so many people!

  2. Often I don’t even realize that I am pulling out my hair. Or I don’t realize it until the moment right before I pull.

    It’s not caused by intrusive thoughts or related to dealing with uncertainty, so I don’t think ERP would work in this situation. 😦

  3. Pingback: Dear Diary: July 2014 | Jackie Lea Sommers

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