What if you were addicted to something that went with you everywhere, had a steady supply and did not cost you anything? That is what trichotillomania aka compulsive hair pulling aka body focused repetitive behavior is. Trichotillomania or trich is an addiction to pulling out your own hair. The uncontrollable urge to search for a curly, kinky, thick hair, find the hair, twist it between your fingers, gently pull and feel the pleasure of the hair sliding out of the follicle on your scalp, eyebrow, eyelash, air, leg or pubic hair, and find the wet juicy root at the end of the hair. All these behaviors remove the tension created by this urge. One feels satisfaction at finding the perfect hair, lash or brow. This relief from the tension and satisfaction last for a few seconds until the addiction begins again. Millions of people around the world share this addiction. Millions of people including children and teens struggle with trich everyday. Millions of people feel the shame, anger, frustration, depression and anxiety caused by this addiction. They think they are the only ones who do this “weird” thing. They think there is no hope. They think they will pull forever. That was me. For 25 years from age 11 to 36 I pulled my scalp hair creating. This photo is my head 29 years ago. Now I have a full head of hair. I conquered my addiction by finding others who also suffered. Together we found acceptance and understanding in a world that does’t understand.
Accepting yourself for the amazing person you are despite the pulling is the first step in your healing journey. There are a gazillion strategies and ways to stop. I am not going into the list of strategies in this blog. Suffice it to say that your understanding of God or Devine Love, acceptance of yourself as the amazing person you are are the first steps. Everything else is secondary. Whether your spouse, partner, family or friend understands is powerful. If they do not you always have God and your trich family. As with any addiction learning other ways to release stress, self soothe, regulate your emotions is paramount to ending the vicious cycle of pulling. I can be done. I am hair sober since 1989. I have no urge to pull. This will happen for your also. For resources go to my web site, JoanKaylor.com, My Facebook page “I Stopped Pulling. You Can Too.” another Facebook page: “Overcoming Trichotillomania Support” and The TLC Foundation for Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors. Let us come together to heal from this addiction. Peaceful hands.
Me today with all hair grown in.