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TitsMcGhee's avatar

Has anyone had an experience with trichotillomania?

Asked by TitsMcGhee (8255points) December 15th, 2008

Have you or someone you know had trichotillomania? How did you/they deal with it? Is there a treatment that worked?

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22 Answers

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’ve sometimes suffered with symptoms of trichotillomania at work when people there get on my nerves and drive me crazy. In case you’re wondering, the answer is yes, I had to go look up the definition of the word trichotillmania before answering this question. :o)

jessturtle23's avatar

Is that where you pull out your eyelashes and eyebrows and eat them? If so I went to school with a girl that did that.

srmorgan's avatar

my son had this syndrome from around the age of 8 until the age of 11. All of a sudden different parts of his hair would dissappear overnight and it was not alopecia according to the dermatologists.

Did not help with his social skills at all. but he grew out of it with a little will power and some medications that I can’t recall.


lynzeut's avatar

My brother-in-law has trichotillmania. For him it was initially onset by stress. His wife (my sister) was pregnant with twins (their first children) and he lost his job. He started with his eyebrows and then moved on to his arm hair. As far as I know he only compulsively pulls out hair and doesn’t eat it. The first place he always goes for when he is stressed is his eyebrows, so he bought non prescription glasses. Every time he starts to get stressed and goes for his eyebrows he has to move his glasses which reminds him that he needs to take his anxiety out on something else besides his hair. It’s not anything spectacular but it has worked wonders for him.

MacBean's avatar

Yep, I pull out (but don’t eat) my hair. Scalp hair, eyebrows and eyelashes, mostly. I haven’t found anything that works to make me stop, though. Once I tried to stop just by willpower but it’s difficult because a lot of the time I don’t realize that I’m doing it until someone points it out to me. I REALLY wish I could stop yanking lashes. It takes quite a while for them to grow back and it’s more noticeable.

jessturtle23's avatar

@macbean- Just get you some fake eyelashes. I eat all of my fingernails off and then just glue fake ones on and that way I don’t have to quit biting my nails.

asmonet's avatar

Nope, can’t say that I have. Occasionally, I’ve yanked out a single hair or two just to look at the color, or see something, but that’s out of curiosity. And even then it’s pretty rare.

It does however seem like an awful burden to those who have it as does every other medical issue that’s visible to the public. Good luck to all those who have it and are trying to stop.

susanc's avatar

@macbean: if you got you some fake eyelashes, as jess suggests, and wore them all the time, you’d notice what you were doing, maybe. Also, they’d be so pretty.

jessturtle23's avatar

They would be beautiful, too.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

No, but I take a perverse pleasure in plucking my eyebrows. I feel sad when I’m done.

BlueDing's avatar

I went to college with a girl who would pluck out the hairs on her legs down by the ankle one by one if she was feeling stressed. I guess that’s better than somewhere noticeable to the general public.

girlofscience's avatar

@La_chica_gomela: Omg, I know! It feels so good!

La_chica_gomela's avatar

yay, there are other weirdos like me in the world!
I <3 you, GoS!

asmonet's avatar

@chica/gof: me too.

girlofscience's avatar

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Do you girls like doing other people’s eyebrows too? I’ve done a bunch of my friends’.

asmonet's avatar

@gos: Totally, I was the go to girl for my friends free prom makeovers and junk. I’m useless with hair, but you give me an eyelash curler and mascara and I can make any chick hot.

90s_kid's avatar

Just heard of it now. Owch doesn’t that hurt though?

I kind-of twirl a few strands of hair, but never pull it out.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I eliminated contracting that particular disorder by shaving my head, eyebrows and all. I’d shave my eyelashes, but I can’t find a razor small enough.

Carol's avatar

I’ve treated several people with trichotillomania and I would characterize it as a symptom of an anxiety disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder. The only treatments I know of are medication and/or therapy to deal with the underlying anxiety.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@Carol: Sorry if I’m asking for something that you shoudn’t be sharing, but have you ever encountered a case where no other anxiety or OCD symptoms, habits, or behaviors were exhibited and/or where the pulling was generally manageable for the majority (75+ %) of the time?

casheroo's avatar

I have trichotillomania. It started at 10 years old, I’m now 22 and still consider myself to have it although it is mainly under control.
I have been on many medications for it, and doctors thought it had turned into an OCD habit, the medications helped my anxiety but still did not stop the hair pulling.
I was only an eyelash puller up until I was 19. I was writing a paper for my english class, and didn’t realize I had completely pulled out an entire section of hair on my head.
That was the start of me pulling on my head. I was being treated for anxiety, but I seriously do not think medications help. I know way too many people with trich and no one has ever been “cured” with medication.
My friend has it, also, and she has no other underlying issues. She just pulls her anxiety or depression. I still pull occasionally, and I no longer have anxiety or depression. I’m not sure why I do it, probably just like why people bite their finger nails.

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