SRS trichotillomania?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by axio, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. axio

    axio New Member

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    A while back someone important to me confessed that she suffers from trichotillomania. I didn't think much of it until recently when she confessed that she had started again. It is hard for me to be supportive about the entire thing, or for me to simply say "you'll beat it" because from what I understand it can't be beaten, you simply learn to live with it.

    I've been pressed on time, but from what I've gleaned it is classified as an OCD? Lately she has been stressed out and from what I've googled about it, bouts happen as a method to deal with stress.

    I'd appreciate some information about it, mostly over what it is and how to be supportive about it other than simply "being there" (because she feels like she is alone in this). I'm unsure how to approach this without appearing like an absolute Neanderthal about it, so help would be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2005
  2. PuppyCat

    PuppyCat O.T. Mom

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    Gadzooks...trich is a mind mess...some people who have this predilection to yank actually even eat their hair (worst case scenario). OCD...stress reducer...luck of the draw? Hmmm...perhaps you could suggest to your friend a healthy round of CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) and um, a Shrink...I heard there were some meds available that perhaps ease things. There are also some really great support groups on MSN for this. I have seen people with bald patches...not pretty and my heart goes out to them. Personally, I do not think there is much you can do to make her cease what she is doing, except when you see her yank is to tell her to stop, but she will just do it anyway when you are not around. From what I can ascertain talking with people who have trich, it is an inner struggle to stop and it is like that are complled to do it (OCD). I also have heard that some people with this problem go so far as to pull out their eyebrows, eyelashes, etc. Your friend needs some professional help, that is for sure and if she doesn't see someone, I suggest in the strongest possible terms that you urge her to make an appointment as soon as possible.
    Other than what I suggested above and being there for her without judgement, talk with her about it and listen...there is really very little else you can do (IMO).
    I am happy that you have taken the time to explore this topic in order for you to understand what your friend is going through...I applaud it.
     
  3. axio

    axio New Member

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    I wasn't sure about asking about it since it is an extremely personal issue for her (this can be viewed as an invasion of privacy for her on many different levels), but thanks for the response PuppyCat :)

    In her case it isn't noticeable nor does she eat it or anything of the sort (she appears perfectly normal, gorgeous in fact). She just starts and then realizes what she is doing. It usually manifests during moments of high stress for her, and apparently it is cyclical. From what I've read is how it works for some people, it manifests again every few months.

    I know she has been on-off about seeing professionals about it & is involved with some discussion groups. She mentioned that she is going to go see psychologist soon, but her attitude about it seems to be "I've lived with it this long, I can live with it for the rest of my life". By nature I'm not a judgemental person, but this is one of those things I'm ignorant about so it is hard for me to supportive in any shape/form. I don't expect to help "cure" it for her, I'd rather find some way to help ease it for her. & from what you've said, all I can do is to continue doing what I've been doing so far but only to focus.

    Are there any sites/groups that I can view to gather more information than a basic "symptoms, etc" site?
     
  4. PuppyCat

    PuppyCat O.T. Mom

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    I'll ask some trich peeps and get back to you very soon.
     
  5. multiplexor

    multiplexor Intellectual

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    sorry for this post... BUT OH MY FUCKING GOD!!! I thought my gf was the only person to know of this word...

    she uses that word on me like all the time!

    BUT i don't think it's the same thing... as for me, when my goatee hair gets too long i have an obsession with playing with the hairs and pulling them out...

    anywho... i was just shocked at the thread title! :)
     
  6. multiplexor

    multiplexor Intellectual

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    oh... if it helps... i fix my own problem by shaving my goatee hair very thin :)
     
  7. sunsetlee

    sunsetlee New Member

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    I recently watched a special on PBS about trich and the woman investigating it visited the Trich Learning Center. Here's a hyperlink to the website. It's a great site that includes information about support groups and conferences. http://www.trich.org/home/
    Also, in response to PuppyCat's remarks. Trich is classified as an OCD, and it is also related to self-injurious behaviors, like cutting. CBT is an excellent suggestion for treatment. Maybe try asking her to make a diary of when she feels the urge to pull and what's going on in her life that makes her want to pull, that way the urge is identifiable and with time can be controllable. Hope this helps.
     

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