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Posted on Sunday, November 02 @ 00:13:53 UTC by Neomie
spiddi writes "I always thought that no-one could possibly understand me and trichotillomania. For a long time I couldn't understand it myself. At first I thought it was something wrong with me, and for a long time i couldn't help but feel like I was going to be tormented by this for the rest of my life.
I found out I had trich last January, even though I've actually had it for just over four years now. Four troubled yet informative years.
I was lucky to discover it so early on, after all many don't know for years. I had found the hope I had so long sought after. I discovered I was not alone, and when that is discovered, there is always a ray of hope no matter how small.
The greatest difficulty I faced and still face, was not indeed feeling alone, it was dealing with it in school. Of course I'm not saying that dealing with trich is any easier anywhere else; we all react to situations in a unique manner, but for me, dealing with this situation in school proved difficult, humiliating and emotionally damaging. They always say "kids can be so cruel", and it's true, they can.
It's not an easy time being a teenager. Not only are your hormones raging like wild buffalo, but you're also at that age where aesthetics mean a lot to you.
At the age of 13, I'd been pulling for 2 years. I hadn't yet got any bald patches; I had learnt long ago not to pull from one single area and had consequently pulled from all over my scalp.
I was sitting in bed one night reading. My hand filing through my hair like a hungry scavenger, searching for that perfect hair. I had a clump of about 20 in one hand, and I knew that the perfect hair was amongst them. Instead of putting my book down, enabling me to single it out, I carried on reading and pulled the whole lot out. It didn't hurt. In fact it was sort of satisfying, knowing that the hair I'd wanted was now mine. I didn't stop to think about the others that had been pulled out too. Of course this routine carried on, until i finally decided to put the book down and went into the bathroom to brush my teeth.
There it was in the mirror. My first taste of the major aesthetic effects of trichotillomania. My hair had been limp and thin for months, but there it was. Pinkish scalp, there in the mirror, irreversible and tormenting. I quickly tied back my hair, almost willing it to dissapear, and went to bed. But in the morning, not surprisingly, it was still there, like a gaping hole, an open wound, there for all to see.
A few hours later:I'm stuck in a latin lesson. Not only can I not get over how pointless I think the class is, but I have no idea what the teacher is on about, nor do I care. Naturally it's the perfect oppurtunity to start pulling.
The first few hairs filled me with a sense of anger and guilt, but as the thin strands start to make a small pile on my desk, I soon forget everything around me. My head is down, yet I can feel the gaze of 20 other girls in the room blazing into me. I know theyre watching me, I just know that they're laughing and making jokes at my expense, but it doesn't stop me. I carry on, completely ignoring the giggling yet disgusted faces around me.
My eyes are filling with tears, and my throat starts to contract as I try not to make a noise, but the tears come flooding out and I cry out, gathering my pulled out hair in my hands and run out of the door. I can hear the teachers angry shrieks of my name echoing down the corridor, but I just keep on running until I reach the toilets.
One glance in the mirror confirms my darkest fears. Bald patches, pinkish white scalp blazing through the thin limp strands of hair I have left. I fall to the floor, crying out in regret and fear.
My best friend comes in. I see her standing in the doorway, but it's like looking at a reflection in a pond, the image is distorted by tears. She looks like she wants to move towards me, like she wants to say something, but she doesn't move, she's just staring at me in disbelief, eyes fixated on my head.
I want to scream at her to go away. I'm so filled with anger and sorrow, but I remain silent. My throat starts to contract again and I choke. I feel like I'm dying, but I do nothing to stop it.
She's still in the doorway still looking like she wishes she could do something, but not knowing what to do, she hurries away.
The next day I come into school, numb. I say nothing. I walk into my classroom, put my bag down, and go out into the corridor, and sit, my back to the radiator staring at the paintings on the wall. In classes, I say nothing.
My head remains down, my hand gently stroking my scalp. I can hear the teacher talking, but I'm not taking the information in. I'm staring at the desk, but I can't see it. The torments and jokes keep on coming. My friends all want to help, but don't know how.
Several months pass, the hair grows back and I feel a little more like myself.
A year and a half goes by, and the day came where I found out what I did had a name, that others had it to. I came across this site, quite by random, and a month later, I confronted the school nurse about it.
Telling my friends was hard enough for me, even though it was obvious from a year and a half ago that I was pulling, but telling the nurse was one of the biggest steps to take. Nevertheless, out it came and she booked me an appointment with the school counsellor. I went once a week for about 2 months. I also got permission to wear a hat, which helped me a lot. It also raised the same question from everyone around me. "why are you wearing a hat?" seemed to be the schools favourite sentence, to which i cooly reply "because I do". They just shrugged and walked off.
I knew the rumours and laughter were continuing, but I didn't care because day by day, hairs being pulled out became fewer and fewer. My friends helped me; knocking away my hand from my head and the like. It was odd how different people reacted to me telling them. Some looked at me like I was dying and hugged me, others looked sympathetic, others just tried to be positive, consciously commenting on my hair on occasions, telling me I looked good.
To be honest, the counselling sessions didn't help me. I was merely asked questions I had no idea how to answer, for example the trigger of my trich.
I'm not saying school counsellors can't help. Everyone is unique, and we can all be helped in different ways.
Talking about it definitely helps. If you keep your emotions to yourself, you will only feel more isolated.
If you can't bring yourself to tell a teacher or school councellor or nurse, tell a friend, a family member, or even just write it down in a diary.
As much as we wouldn't like to think it, the teachers are out there for our best interests, academically and socially. They may shout at you for talking in class and give you a ton of homework, but really talking to a teacher isn't too bad.
Some teachers wont understand and never will, but I strongly advise talking to a member of staff. They'll understand, especially if you are like the average trichster and procrastinate.
And as for the students, kids will always be cruel. If it gets too much for you, tell a teacher and they'll sort it out.
Wow, that was awesome! The way you described what happened in class brought me to tears, very beautiful and very touching.
Re: Teens....need help? (Score: 0) by Anonymous on Wednesday, August 18 @ 03:20:08 UTC
This really helped me. And hopefully someone will see this soon because i need more help. I've written my mom a letter explaining about what i have, but i don't have the guts to give it to her. How do you all tell someone? any ideas?
please email me - firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: Teens....need help? (Score: 0) by Anonymous on Monday, November 15 @ 01:32:50 UTC
I can relate to most of this. Although, instead of pulling hair from my head, I pull eyebrows and eyelashes. Yeah, highschool sucks. Kids are arrogant and mean... but there's nothing you can do about it. I couldn't imagine talking to my parents though... and my friends can't really relate, or don't care.
thx. neomie, this really helped. i'm glad that you got so tormented you HAD to stop. maby i hide it too well, and it never really "clicks" I have to stop, but I will, and i'm gr8ful you did, and you will Never ever pull again, i have faith in you. and i'm not gald you got tormented, but it's good that it desterbed you that much to make you stop. so again thx. -Jessie