Friday, June 15, 2012

Let's get this blog rolling~!!

When did you become affected by trichotillomania?  Do you recall?  Do you remember your age of onset?  Do you remember how your environment felt to you?  Did you share this information with anyone?  How has it impacted your life?  How IS it impacting your life?  Where/what are your preferred 'pulling areas' of your body?  Do you have preferences of an environment that is most comfortable for you to pull with satisfaction?  Do you have a routine that you follow closely, nearly every time, even every time?

Help me out folks~!  Post please!  Writing is a form of expression that makes (many) people feel very good as it is a form of release.  Trichotillomania is a disorder that tends to keep folks bottled up, shut down from others.  A blog is safe.  You are anonymous~! 

If I can just get 1 person to post, then I can know that I am using this blog correctly.  Frankly, I'm new to blogging.  I am only assuming I am doing it 'correctly'.  So far, no posts, however.  Thus, I am not certain that my information, the blog posts, are coming through, primarily to Twitter, which is where I have been tweeting the post addresses.

Thanks to whomever will just let me know......."You're coming through, loud and clear!"

As ever,
J.T. Bean


  1. I guess I'll get the ball rolling. I've had trich since I was 12, maybe 13, years old. At first I thought stress was making my hair fall out. I learned that I had trich when I was 17 years old and I am now 19 years old.

    I don't pull in front of my mother because she always yells at me to stop. I don't know why this bugs me but it does. I pull absentmindedly while watching tv, reading, doing my homework. I'm pulling right now. I don't think about it but when I consciously try to stop I run into a brick wall of mental resistance. It's like scratching an irresistible itch. Your leg itches, you scratch it. My head "itches", I pull.

    1. (Part 1 of 2 replies)

      First of all, "Sincere Thanks" to you for 'getting the ball rolling and posting~! Thanks for being brave enough to do that.......oh, and for putting this smile upon my face since 'the first post is now here'. Indeed, we're rolling (maybe pulling a bit, too...:)) and that's OK~~!

      What's wonderful here is that you KNOW what you have, meaning there is a real and actual name to this compulsive feeling and actions of pulling your hair. It's called trichotillomania, and there is a medical reason why you do it. Neuropsychiatrists are working very hard to gain more knowledge so the treatments for it can become more streamlined. If one is taking meds, it's like shooting a silver bullet rather than a shotgun approach. Big difference as 'the silver bullet' is directed toward one area of the brain, thus much great efficacy (effectiveness) AND, very importantly, far fewer side effects! That's really important as any medication with many side effects is going to discourage one from taking medications.

      What is also known is that one's environment surely influences trichotillomania as well. As you state, your mom (and this is in no way to denigrate her, ok?) serves as a very strong catalyst for you to NOT pull. However, she is also very much a negative reinforcer for you as, since you get chastised for pulling in front of her, you 'control' it. But that's only for the time being. I bet as soon as you get the opportunity to pull, you do~! And I bet because in front of your mom you can't pull, you also pull with a very great intensity WHEN you can pull, trying to alleviate and relieve the stress that built while being around your mom and not pulling. Yes???

      Have you and your mom ever talked openly about trichotillomania? I mean where there is no judgement happening, where you truly, I can talk. I can just let my mom know how this feels, to feel compelled to pull.

      (continue to Part 2, please)

    2. (Part 2 of 2 replies)

      You said it so well, "Your leg itches, you scratch it. My head "itches", I pull". It really is simple in that way as that is a very description of the sensation one feels. And that pulling provides great relief.

      I wanted to note to you how IN CONTROL and CAPABLE you are! This is exhibited by your ability to not pull when around your mom. You know she will give you a negative consequence, so you don't do it.

      So? Let's take that a step further and say, well if I can not do it for my mom, then certainly I can 'train myself' to control the pulling. You can~! But this time, when you do not pull, you will be doing it for a POSITIVE reason; YOU~! You will be controlling it for yourself and you will then be pleased and proud of yourself for not pulling! Also, then you will not have to, 'after the pull', suffer the obvious consequences of it showing physically to others and, once again, piling on the shame of having pulled.

      Rather, you will be CONTROLLING your pull time, modifying your actions and building your self-confidence.

      This is YOUR illness, not your mom's, and that IS what it is; an illness. You are NOT an oddity. Your body chemistry combined with your environment manifest into the disorder called trichotillomania.

      Embrace the notion of taking baby steps. One step at a time, that's it. And for each step forward, you may regress and take steps backward. But? That's OK. Because with each positive you make, it becomes part of you, part of your familiarity with your repertoire of learned behaviors. If you did it once, you CAN do it again~! That's really hopeful information. Let's embrace it. Let's be really hopeful. And let's just be accepting of ourselves, wherever we may happen to be right now........Deal?

      Give yourself a big pat on the back from me, ok? That's for having the courage to expose yourself and the desire, clearly, to gain information and learn to manage trichotillomania. WE manage IT. It does NOT manage US. Some folks actually even have it stop entirely~! Amazing stuff, huh?

      Just keep telling yourself that no matter what, "I'm in charge here, TrickyTrichy".

      Thanks, again, for helping me launch this blog. I'll see ya next time.....which I hope is REALLY SOON~!

      J.T. Bean

  2. I've had trichotillomania since I was about 10 or 11. I'm 17 now, and it plays a big role in my life. I've only told a few close friends, but I'm currently letting more people know, even if it does nothing more than raise awareness. I was going to tell my entire psych class after doing a report on the disorder, but their reactions were so intense from the report itself, that I chickened out.
    I pull the most in bed and right before falling asleep, and any sort of stress is a huge trigger. The feelings of regret and disgust are the worst part..

    1. Hi, Anna...Lee,

      "Thank you very much" for sharing your words here on the blog~! I definitely appreciate you participating, helping to 'get the word out' regarding trichotillomania. With about 4% of the population having this disorder (refer to previous post "Trichotillomania: What is it?" for references), there are MANY folks who need information! You are part of the solution~! Yay!

      Already you have done a great service to others. You have done a report for your psych class. For sure, those in your class hadn't heard of it as it is like most disorders; unless one either has it themselves or they have someone very close to them (relative/friend), people do not tend to have awareness. Pat yourself on the back for being so brave by taking that risk and having the wisdom to impart new, interesting, important information to others who, otherwise, would just remain uninformed or misinformed~!

      Raising awareness is probably the most significant step you, or anyone, can take. Imparting information so others may learn~! You're a teacher, a trainer, one who imparts wisdoms. Pretty great in my opinion~!

      As far as "chickening out", you simply 'read your audience' well. They were so surprised to even hear of this disorder that their reactions were just that; surprise. Not necessarily repulsion or rejection, although it may have felt that way to you at the time. Remember that humans tend to only be capable of learning 'step by step', a tidbit at a time. The report alone had them hitting their point of saturation in their abilities to 'take on' new and more information. It wasn't YOU. It was THEM...being stuck~! You can probably be quite confident that you have, with at least some of the folks in your class, raised their awareness AND their desire to learn more, specifically about trichotillomania~!

      Tuck this under your cap, OK? Maybe the 'timing' wasn't the right timing for you to express that you actually live with trich. Synchronicity; timing is everything, a really interesting and applicable life phenomenon. Very likely 'the timing' will find its synchronicity for you at a later time and it will be 'just right' for you to assert, "Hey fellow classmates~! I have trichotillomania and I'm raising awareness." YOU...are an expert! How about that? Does that make you feel pretty good about yourself? I hope so for it should.

      It is excellent that you have so much knowledge regarding this disorder in general, and how it affects you personally. You know your 'pulling times', your triggers (stressors), you also know the feelings, first-hand, of the 'fall out' of pulling. You know it affects your self-esteem negatively. Now? The flip side of this is that because you are so well-informed, you can take control of this rather than letting the trich control you~!

      Step by step, just as your classmates were able to absorb the information, you must also permit yourself to go 'step by step' in gaining control. You must learn to not be hard on yourself. You have a bona fide illness/disorder. BUT you CAN and ARE finding your way so you will manage it, perhaps even extinguish it. Some folks DO stop pulling. Some folks don't, and that's OK, too.

      Each step you take to 'open up' is an opportunity for you to peel off one more layer of stress that you feel and have internalized into yourself. So? Start looking for those opportunities to open up. Each one will build confidence, in turn, lowering your stress level, raising your self-esteem~!

      Remember this quote (sorry as do not have the reference for the author) "Those who care (negatively speaking), don't matter. Those who matter, care (positively)."

      Please keep posting Anna...Lee~! There's lots more to come. We'll all work together to conquer this 'TrickyTrichy'. Deal?

      J.T. Bean