My trichotilomania is out of control! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 08-21-2008, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Help!!

I've had this my whole life and never licked it, but it's bad right now. I don't know why. And I'm doing it in front of dd A LOT. Any suggestions? Anyone had any success with things like wearing hats, mittens, whatever? I seriously don't know why it's been worse lately. I don't feel more anxious or stressed than usual (not consciously, anyway). But darn, I get such comfort from it. It's a self-soothing thing, like I imagine sucking a thumb would be. Truthfully, I don't know if I want to stop. I mean I do, but what would take its place? I think that's a BIG part of the problem. I feel I NEED it for some reason. I still have lots of hair and I've never been able to understand how. I feel like I pull all.the.time.
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#2 of 10 Old 08-23-2008, 12:33 AM
 
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Sorry - no advice, really. Just commiseration. I have a problem with picking and I feel soooo bad that DS is noticing it. He asked me what I was doing in the bathroom the other day and I said, "Oh, just looking at an owie." He asked, "On your face?" I felt sooo horrible

There's another thread here on mindfulness that is useful to me. I remember talking to my therapist once about how I go through phases where I feel more anxious and depressed then I get back to feeling better. It's been helpful to just *know* that I go through these phases. Like they are a part of who I am and when things are bad I know they will inevitably get better.

Again, sorry that I'm not much help - just wanted to respond!
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#3 of 10 Old 08-24-2008, 10:29 AM
 
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I'm there with both of you - I am a hair puller and a picker. It's hard not to. Are you seeing anyone and specifically talking about this? I know I have glossed over stuff when it's hard to talk about or I feel embarrassed. I cut all my hair off last october in a very freaked out moment It's hitting my shoulders now, but I like it long, and yet it makes my pulling harder to resist.

I got my picking habits from my mom, although I can't say for sure whether I would still have picked. Please find the help you need not only for you, but also for your babies

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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#4 of 10 Old 08-27-2008, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies. I have to stop NOW for dd.

I was taking Celexa for several months for anxiety. I was on 20 mg and it did help somewhat; but I was told I would have to go up to 60 mg to fight OCD; which is apparently linked to trichotillomania. I also tried acupuncture for anxiety, especially to wean off medication. That helped a TON and I wasn't even thinking about trich in relation to that. Then my dh, who is supportive but driven NUTS by my trich, suddenly realized I wasn't pulling anymore. It actually helped ease the URGE to pull, not just help me resist it. I could actually sit with my hands still in my lap, relaxed; a feeling I have not had ever, even as a child. I was going really often, though, twice a week for months. I am lucky enough to have insurance to cover it, but it also has to cover massage and other stuff and I didn't want to drain the benefits in case dh or dd needed something. So when it replenishes itself in January I will start again. Really, my overall health improved immensely with acupuncture.

In the meantime, I'm going to try squishy balls or something to squeeze, one in each hand. The problem is, I hate to say, how much I love to pull. Admitting that has been difficult and embarrassing. I get so much comfort from it. It's an anxiety-buster I can rely on and have since I was a kid. It's always there for me and never lets me down. Pathetic, huh? I've even been thinking of treating myself to something special like a beautiful stuffed animal to cuddle. Seems like this whole thing is linked to childhood comfort, so when I think of alternates it's always childish stuff like that.

I'm also going to give Bach flower remedies a try. My BIL swears by them. I'm on the fence about effectiveness, but I was pretty skeptical of acupuncture, too.
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#5 of 10 Old 08-27-2008, 12:26 PM
 
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Hi! I'm in the same boat.
One thing though, I was listening to NPR and they did a special on neuroplasicity in the brain. They are having huge break throughs with OCD type behaviors. They think the brain gets stuck in a certain pattern and when they introduce meditation it calms and repatterns those areas.
You can listen to it on NPR if you want, it was on the infinate mind.
sorry about sp. I'm half asleep lol.
Anyway, it seems worth a try! After listening to the program I decided to try it- but I just heard it so I haven't done so yet.
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#6 of 10 Old 08-27-2008, 12:33 PM
 
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Could you maybe redirect yourself to pull out hairs that are more socially acceptable to pull out? Like the hairs on your arm or something, so you won't get obvioius "bald spots" where you've been pulling?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#7 of 10 Old 08-27-2008, 12:35 PM
 
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I feel like I've recommended this book 1000 times, but it has helped me so much with my anxiety, and since you're using trich as a way to "manage" your anxiety I think it will be very helpful to you.
The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety.

Quote:
Anxiety happens. It's not a choice. And attempts to "manage" your thoughts or "get rid" of worry, fear, and panic can leave you feeling frustrated and powerless. But you can take back your life from anxiety without controlling anxious thoughts and feelings. You can stop avoiding anxiety and start showing up to your life. This book will get you started, using a revolutionary new approach called acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT.
It basically helps you become mindful of your anxiety and accepting of it, and realizing that your thoughts and feelings don't need to dictate your actions, and that you can be feeling anxious/worried/sad/etc. but still act in ways that lead you toward the life you value, rather than just acting in ways to try to manage or get rid of your unpleasant thoughts and feelings.

There are a few of us who have used this book, you can see our thread here:
http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...d.php?t=947057
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#8 of 10 Old 08-27-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carfreemama View Post
Thanks for the replies. I have to stop NOW for dd.

I was taking Celexa for several months for anxiety. I was on 20 mg and it did help somewhat; but I was told I would have to go up to 60 mg to fight OCD; which is apparently linked to trichotillomania. I also tried acupuncture for anxiety, especially to wean off medication. That helped a TON and I wasn't even thinking about trich in relation to that. Then my dh, who is supportive but driven NUTS by my trich, suddenly realized I wasn't pulling anymore. It actually helped ease the URGE to pull, not just help me resist it. I could actually sit with my hands still in my lap, relaxed; a feeling I have not had ever, even as a child. I was going really often, though, twice a week for months. I am lucky enough to have insurance to cover it, but it also has to cover massage and other stuff and I didn't want to drain the benefits in case dh or dd needed something. So when it replenishes itself in January I will start again. Really, my overall health improved immensely with acupuncture.

In the meantime, I'm going to try squishy balls or something to squeeze, one in each hand. The problem is, I hate to say, how much I love to pull. Admitting that has been difficult and embarrassing. I get so much comfort from it. It's an anxiety-buster I can rely on and have since I was a kid. It's always there for me and never lets me down. Pathetic, huh? I've even been thinking of treating myself to something special like a beautiful stuffed animal to cuddle. Seems like this whole thing is linked to childhood comfort, so when I think of alternates it's always childish stuff like that.

I'm also going to give Bach flower remedies a try. My BIL swears by them. I'm on the fence about effectiveness, but I was pretty skeptical of acupuncture, too.
I'm not sure how healthy this is, but one thing I do is wear lots of linen. I pick out the little nubs and smooth the fabric out. It pretty amazing how distracting it is from my head, and also how long the clothes still last

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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#9 of 10 Old 08-27-2008, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the ideas. I'm planning to start a yoga class this fall--I noticed a new "hot" yoga studio is opening up and I've been dying to try it. I'm always cold and I love yoga and the idea of both of them together is just, well, heaven.

And thanks for the book recommendation. I'll be ordering that immediately. Anxiety and trich are definitely related for me and I think they started about the same time-childhood. Bad combination.

I like the idea of picking linen. Maybe I'll get a little patch of it to pull. Maybe I'll buy a sheet of that bubble wrap and snap out the bubbles when I feel the urge. I'd pull the hair on my arms out, but I think it would hurt! And I don't have any bald spots, though for the life of me I can't figure out why.

I really don't want to go back to medication if I can help it, especially if it has to be at three times the amount I was at before. I just don't think my system could take that. I really hope the meditation and stuff can help and boy, I would love to be able to accept my anxiety. Reining in my mind enough to even attempt meditation has always felt next to impossible, though. That's been part of the problem.

Clementine, I hate to say it, but it's nice to know someone with your amazing sense of humour can be affected by stuff like this, too; not that I'm glad you're dealing with it! Your wit has cheered me up more times than I can count.
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#10 of 10 Old 09-08-2008, 09:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carfreemama View Post
I'm also going to give Bach flower remedies a try. My BIL swears by them. I'm on the fence about effectiveness, but I was pretty skeptical of acupuncture, too.
LIke anything you have to know how to use them properly. Rescue Remedy isn't likely to help. I would look at chestnut bud, cherry plum, crab apple, white chestnut, agrimony and perhaps willow depending on your situation.

There are many natural ways to handle this, but I would also suggest looking at supplementation for help boost your nutrition. It is connected with OCD but again, that's just a symptom. I truly believe that anything can be healed with the proper tools. Best of luck!
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