How Do You Tell People You Have Trichotillomania?
Years ago I went to Google and asked, why can’t I stop pulling my hair out.
I didn’t find out from a doctor, I found out from the internet.
When I found out that I had trichotillomania I didn’t tell anyone at first because I was afraid of their reaction to it.
👉 Afraid of judgement.
👉 Afraid of abandonment.
👉 Afraid of rejection.
Those kinds of feelings would grip me because I’ve never seen myself as a great communicator of information but I didn’t want to keep this secret inside anymore now that I knew it had a name.
That was a couple years ago.
Since then I have been able to tell open up a lot more about this disorder with many people in my life and here’s some tips to help you do the same.
I had to process my own feelings when it came to having this hair pulling problem.
I didn’t tell anyone right away because I wanted to get a grip on my own feelings first.
I knew that if I told anyone while I was still distraught or upset that it might cause unnecessary panic or negative reactions.
I wanted to approach it from a calm, rational place where I felt I was in control of my emotional reaction no matter what theirs was.
Get Knowledge About This Disorder
I spent time trying to understand the disorder a bit more before I told anyone because I wanted to be able to communicate what this was effectively to other people.
I went TLC’s website and I found a lot of comfort in the articles that they had.
I spent hours scouring that site.
I didn’t feel like a freak or weirdo after spending time reading through their materials.
This also helped me process my feelings about the disorder while allowing me to understand it more.
Determine Where You’re At
It’s okay if you don’t know what to do or where to go for help at first.
I didn’t either.
But I determined from the get-go that I was an overcomer and that I would not accept defeat because there are plenty of success stories to show that this can be beat!
Every day is a new day to start over and if that’s what I had to do a hundred, thousand times, I would do it.
If you’re not at the point where you feel like an overcomer, it’s okay, determine that you won’t think less of yourself even if you don’t stop.
Decide Who You Can Tell First
The first person you tell needs to be someone you trust and that has your best interest at heart.
Who is that person? A boyfriend? A best friend? A relative? Your mom? Your dad?
For me it was my husband.
I know he loves me and he believes me if I tell him important things.
The first person you tell shouldn’t be someone that might react negatively, this could hinder a lot of areas of growth right from the start.
It should be someone you know isn’t going to shame you or ignore the fact that you do have an issue that requires support.
Start a support system of people who love you and they will build you up and help you face the rest of the world.
Have A Resource With You
With smartphones we are walking resources.
Keep a couple resources in your phone that you can direct people too if they need to see more information about this disorder.
TLC is a great website to refer people too but really any reputable site will do.
Having some backup information will help solidify the fact that this is a real issue that needs support and care.
Those Who Mind Don’t Matter
Once I told someone I knew loved me and accepted me, I began to be more confident about telling more people that I have trichotillomania.
I knew that I had the support of him and that I wasn’t alone in this struggle and that helped me speak up to others.
In my experience, most people have been very kind and open to learning about it because most have never heard of it, let alone understand it.
A lot of the time it comes down to your approach when you’re talking to someone.
If I come at someone like a raving lunatic trying to explain that I have trichotillomania, you can see where that might be a turn off?
That’s why I had to process my own feelings and get the knowledge about this disorder – I am a much more effective communicator now when I tell someone I have trichotillomania.