It took me awhile to even realize that I had Trichotillomania at first, I mean years and years went by.
The signs have always been there, since I was just child, but I didn’t even know to look for signs?
What little kid is out looking for
Clearly my mom didn’t either or she would have probably sought help.
Signs You Have Trichotillmania?
Most of these Trichotillomania symptoms are happening on a subconscious level, I’m not even aware it’s happening right away:
- the urge to pull out hairs
- the urge to continually twist hair
- continual self grooming of hair
- continual skin picking
- biting nails
- picking nose
- chewing inside of mouth
- eating hair, skin, nails and even boogers.
…and now that I have completely repulsed you… you can see why I tend to shy away from social situations. I’m totally unaware I do it until someone tells me… awkward.
Others will pull eyelashes, eyebrows, pubic hairs – I’m only focused on the hairs on my head and really, only the LEFT SIDE!
I’ve seen others mention they only pull from the left side too, which I found interesting.
Besides the urges above, I also deal with a lot of insecurities from childhood that make me feel socially awkward and then when you top that off with the uneven hair, bald spots and thinning in certain areas – you can imagine I’m not feeling the most attractive most of the time.
It’s Easy To Know You Have Trich!
Trich is pretty easy to self diagnose once you see the signs.
The urge to pull being the most obvious.
I have to admit, I’m pretty good at multi-tasking my trich habits..
- I can suck my thumb and pull hair at the same time.
- I can bite my nails and chew on the dead skin on my lip.
Chap lips are common in the desert area I live in and I’ve noticed that I chew on the dead skin around my lips a lot more now that we live here.
Drives me crazy because I want to pick and chew my own lips, then while my fingers are near my mouth, I subconsciously just start biting my nails too – hey, why not?
You know I come to appreciate my husband a lot more now that I’ve been blogging through some of this, I mean dang, he’s put up with this for 15 years!
I expend a lot of energy just trying to be normal and stop moving my hands
I do a lot of videos for work and the one thing I try to stay aware of is my hands.
“Head up Lesley, hands down.”
I’m getting more aware of my triggers when I blog about them.
Causes of My Trichotillomania
The first two I can manage around if I’m aware but the last one, being tired… that’s the worst and most frequent trigger.
I’m tired every day before bed, right?
That’s when it’s the worse for me because who wants to resist an urge when they’re tired?
That makes the battle harder.
I did buy this thing called the Sleep Styler, it’s like soft curlers you can sleep with, that should be here soon.
It’s suppose to style my hair while I sleep but the trich advantage to it, I’m hoping anyway, will be that my hair is wrapped up and I can’t pull or twist it before bed.
That’s the hope anyway.
I’m always trying different things.
A few things that have been helpful…
I got some Keen bracelets from HabitAware, those are totally making me aware of what I’m doing so I can then make the choice to stop!
I’ve also have a new faith-based journal for Trichs I’m working through to help me pin point triggers and patterns and also counteract my anxiety with scripture.
Sleeping with braids is hard but I do it sometimes to keep myself from pulling.
The thing with the braids though is they’re not comfortable to sleep on and then I have hair afro in the morning.
What about you?
What signs led you to know you have Trichotillomania?
Have you taken my social Trich quiz?