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I think I just discovered that I have Trichotillomania.....


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OK...so this is my story. It is a little long, slightly embarrassing, and more than likely a little TMI for some. However, I want to share to gain insight on whether or not this sounds like Trichotillomania or some other obsessive disorder.

 

When I was a young child, maybe two or three, I used to pull out clumps of my hair. I would twist it around my fingers, and then just pull it all out. When my parents asked me about why I did it, I told them, "The boogey man made me do it." Now I don't remember this. Obviously I was too young, but I find it a little disturbing. However this behavior stopped by the time I started school at the age of 5.

 

When I was maybe 8 or 9, the behavior started again, but it changed from the hair on my head to my eyelashes. My parents thought I did it because my eyes were itchy or something, but I just loved to pull them out. I would pull them out one by one. I can remember staring at each one and sometimes would even rub the end of each one along my lips just to feel the tickle. Then, I would line them up on my leg as I pulled them out and count them. I would tell myself that I would stop after 10, but then I would keep going and only stop because I didn't want to get in trouble if my parents caught me pulling them out.

 

Eventually, after having to wash my eyes everyday with baby shampoo at the request of mom and dad, I stopped pulling out my eyelashes. Next, by about the age of 13 I moved to my eyebrows. I would pluck my eyebrows eveyday. This seemed ok because I was doing it for beauty purposes. I never really got obsessed with these like I have other parts of my body.

 

Also, I began again to pull out hair on my scalp. This time however, it was not big clumps of hair it was just one at a time. I would search diligently to find the "perfect" hair to pull out. I would look for one that had an odd "scrunchy" like tecture that stood out from my usually fine, slick hair. Once I pulled it out, I would look at it and play with it some. I would see how much it would stretch and usually I desired to show it to someone because I thought it was "cool" but never did because I was embarrassed.

 

Now, comes the most embarrassing part of my story. At about 17 I began plucking hair from my pubic area. The only person who knows about this is my now husband. I have always been embarassed about this. Sometimes when I go to the bathroom, I just can't resist the urge to pluck a few while I am sitting there. Sometimes I will have finished using the restroom, but stay in there for 10 ir 15 minutes just plucking out my hairs. I LOVE to see ones where I get the whole hair: the folicle, the root, the white bulb on the end, the skin attached to it etc. It is so gratifying and don't me started on going after ingrown hairs. Its like, when I spot one, I just cannot stop until I pull that thing out no matter how painful and no matter how bloody.

 

The worst part about it is its not just my hair I go after. My poor husband has been a victim as well. Sometimes we will be laying in bed and while my head is on his chest I will notice a hair that seems darker than the others. I will start playing with it in my fingers then before I know it I have yanked it from his chest. I have done this to his beard as well. He knows  I am slightly obsessed with pulling out hair, but I don't think he or I have really realized how obsessed I really am.

 

It was last night that I realized I am worse than I thought. I sat for 2 hours and plucked out all of my pubic hair. I am so embarassed. It looks absolutely dreadful down there. It hurts. I am afraid for my husband to see it, and yet, I was just plucking at it again about an hour before stumbling across this forum.

 

Does this sound like trichotillomania? Does anyone have any suggestions for changing the behavior? Btw there is history of mental illness in my family OCD and multiple personalities and others I am sure.

 

Thanks.

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Hi lane,

 

I really admire your bravery for being so candid.

 

There are other folks around who have shared similar stories of plucking pubic hair and going after hair on significant others.

 

I used to do similar things with the hair on my head... finding "the perfect one" to pull out. I still occasionally to rarely do it. I notice that I tend to do it more when I'm feeling really stressed.

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Thanks for the response. I can definitely see a connection to my behavior now with stress, but am uncertain about its correlation in the past. Although it is nice to know that I am no alone in this matter...especially in plucking my husband's hair as well.

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