Anyone here have trichotillomania?

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by angelheart, Mar 29, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. angelheart

    angelheart Active Member

    Hey everyone, I'm new here and I kinda wanted know if anyone else has trichotillomania? (chronic hair pulling) I've had it for seven and a half years now and I wanted to be able to talk to someone who has it cuz noone in my family understands why I can't stop. I'd love to hear from anyone
     
  2. Madam Mim

    Madam Mim Well-Known Member

    Hi angelheart,

    I've had trichotillomania for 8 years. Unless they have this condition themselves, it's very difficult for other people to understand it at all.

    I know a lot about it, so if you have any questions or whatever, feel free to get in touch or ask them here or whatever.

    Mim
     
  3. angelheart

    angelheart Active Member

    I'm so glad you replied, I've been wanting to meet someone else who has for so long, my mom and gma were talking about me the other day and my mom said, "she'll stop when she wants to". I've been telling her for seven years that I can't stop
     
  4. Madam Mim

    Madam Mim Well-Known Member

    Well, don't forget that it is a medical condition, that it's not your fault (or hers), but also that it's not a life sentence. I know lots of people who have beaten it, so it is possible.

    A study has shown that an amino acid called N-Acetyle Cysteine (aka NAC) can help reduce the urges to pull. In the clinical trial, 51% reported a reduction in their urges. I take 600mg of NAC a day, and it really helps me. You can get it from health food shops, or Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Swanson-Ace...EJEO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1301610494&sr=8-1

    This is the one I use, which is also the cheapest, and the brand they used in the original trials. It doesn't help everyone, but it's worth a try. As it's a food supplement, you should have no problems taking it, but it's important that you take twice as much vitamin C as NAC (i.e. 1,200mg vitamin C for every 600mg NAC), to counteract any risk of kidney stones. It's a very rare side effect, and the vitamin C negates any risk.

    Other than NAC, the best thing you can do is create a barrier to stop yourself pulling. Obviously hats and gloves, etc, but also try putting plasters/band aids over your thumbnails, which prevents you getting a grip on the hair. And wear a jangly bracelet (I'm assuming you're female) so that you hear and notice when you're pulling, so you have a chance to stop yourself.

    There are lots of other little things you can do, but these are the best and most helpful. If you can get yourself referred for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, it's worth a shot, as it is usually very successful in treating trichotillomania.

    Mim
     
  5. angelheart

    angelheart Active Member

    Isn't taking a lot of vitamin c bad for you though? And I have tried band aids on my fingers but I do a lot of cross stitch and beading so I was taking them on and off a lot
     
  6. Madam Mim

    Madam Mim Well-Known Member

    That much vitamin C shouldn't be a problem, because your body just filters out what it doesn't need. I think it can be a problem taking that much for years and years, but I think the pros of it preventing possible kidney stones outweigh the cons of whatever it might do. I know loads of people taking NAC, but have only heard of one person who got kidney stones, so the odds are good.

    The cross stitch and beading is good, as it keeps your hands busy, so keep that up.

    Mim
     
  7. angelheart

    angelheart Active Member

    Thanks for the advice, I'll have to try those vitamins. Only problem is I'll have to hide them from my mom, she already hates that I'm on zoloft and she wouldn't let me have the sleep meds my psych perscribed, even tho I told her that when I'm up late at night with nothing to do is one of the times I pull most
     
  8. Madam Mim

    Madam Mim Well-Known Member

    NAC is an amino acid supplement that decongests lungs, boosts immune response, detoxifies many toxins and poisons, so you don't have to tell her it's for your trichotillomania. Say someone recommended it to you to help boost your immune system. I also have a friend who says it really helps her concentration too, so you could use that as an excuse for it too.

    Mim
     
  9. angelheart

    angelheart Active Member

    The concentration would be a good excuse, I have a very short attention span
     
  10. Flying Fox

    Flying Fox Well-Known Member

    *waves hand* I have had it too for ten - it is a relief to know that we are not alone, Angel, and that there are ways of dealing with it, Madam Mim

    Thank you, big hugs to you both and best of luck with managing it. Sorry, too tired to say more, but I'll get back to this thread, hopefully.

    Probably don't need to say this (I am guessing it is the same with both of you), but avoiding anxiety-inducing situations has helped me with it too; for me the hair-pulling corresponds with my anxiety levels.
     
  11. angelheart

    angelheart Active Member

    Do either of you know what started your trich?
     
  12. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    Also try to keep your hands busy with something like silly putty or such...take up a hobby like knitting or crochetting which also occupies you when you feel implused to pull...paint, play the guitar, anything that keeps your hands busy...see if any of these things help...two of my friends have been living with trichotillomania and they have found activities to fall back on when they feel their anxiety raising have been helpful...J
     
  13. Madam Mim

    Madam Mim Well-Known Member

    Thank you Sadeyes, that's good advice.

    Angelheart, mine started when I changed schools, from a private boarding school to my local state school. It was such a huge change, especially moving back home, and I guess trich helped me deal with it. Do you know what triggered yours?

    Mim
     
  14. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    I think I might. I've had an increasing compulsion towards plucking for several years now... :\ But I guess it's not too severe, just embarrassing when I discover I missed a hair while shaving that morning and HAVE TO REMOVE IT RIGHT NOW!! even in the middle of a class.
     
  15. angelheart

    angelheart Active Member

    I started when I got Lyme disease and bells palsy(partial facial numbness) I was constantly having to use my hands to blink cuz my eye couldn't move. My therapist thinks that's why I mostly pull from my eyebrows and eyelashes
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.