pulling out hair, literally

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by tan, Feb 10, 2011.

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  1. tan

    tan Active Member

    Anyone else pull hairs from all over? I feel like a fool.
  2. dreamplay

    dreamplay New Member

  3. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Don't feel like a fool okay don't self harm is self harm i just hope you can get therapy to get help to stop it. hugs
  4. Madam Mim

    Madam Mim Well-Known Member

    I have trichotillomania too. I've had it for 8 years, and pull hair from my eyebrows, eyelashes and scalp, but no hair is safe. I often have no eyelashes, and have a permanent bald patch on the crown of my head as a result.

    Trichotillomania is an Impulse Control Disorder, and in the same classification as OCD, but is not in itself an OCD. Most people do not class it as self-harm, although I myself do.

    There is no known cure (or cause, for that matter), but Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can be very successful, and an amino acid called N-Acetly Cysteine can help reduce your urges to pull. It's available in many health food shops as a food supplement, or online (I take Swanson NAC, from Amazon). You can take up to 1,200mg of NAC per day, but you must take twice as much vitamin C as NAC to prevent kidney stones (i.e. 1,200mg of vit C for each 600mg of NAC). This is a rare side effect, but is possible if you don't take the vitamin C.

    As you can probably tell, I am a fountain of knowledge on trichotillomania (and dermatillomania - skin picking), so feel free to PM if you have any questions or just want to rant about it to someone who understands.

  5. Flying Fox

    Flying Fox Well-Known Member

    Oh yes, we are in the same boat. It is a relief to know that I am not alone in this. Except for the eye lashes and eye brows, and arms, no where is safe from hair pulling. I have been pulling my hair out for the past nine or ten years, and it is really uncomfortable for me to talk about it or have the evidence showing.

    Scab picking is also a big problem for me; there are several large scars on my body as a result of excessive picking.
  6. Ravenwing

    Ravenwing Well-Known Member

    I do this. I have a permanent bald patch at the side of my head. I can relate to the scab picking issue too. :(
  7. Fever

    Fever Member

    Wait what? It doesn't grow back all of the time? Time for me to apply some serious willpower I guess.

    Started doing this a year ago and pulled out so much that I went into some kind of weird "I'm going bald, I don't need another issue, oh fuck" frenzy. Not so bad now though.
  8. Flying Fox

    Flying Fox Well-Known Member

    Not if you do it a lot in certain areas. The top of the head is one of the most vulnerable areas in terms of not having the hair grow back. My hair there is thinner than it should be.

    What I do to avoid the patches being seen is to wear a scarf or a bandana to cover things, but that in itself is not a solution; it only relaxes the will power used to stop pulling hair out and causes anxiety and self-consciousness after wearing one for a significant period of time.
  9. Madam Mim

    Madam Mim Well-Known Member

    It's actually very difficult to cause permanent damage, but after an extended period of intense pulling, the follicles may not recover. One way to check is that if you have a red tip on the end of the root when you've pulled the hair/lash, it won't grow back. If there's a black 'bulb' on the end, it will grow back, but will take a bit longer than if there is nothing on the root.

    In eight years, I have caused some permanent damage, but not a lot, although it takes the hair about a year to grow back now, because of the damage I have caused to the follicles.

    So to sum up, it would definitely be better to stop if you can. The sooner you try to stop after first getting the condition, the easier it will be. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has been very successful for a lot of people, so that's worth looking into.

    If anyone needs or wants more info, feel free to PM me.

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