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Have you ever stopped pulling for a certain amount of time?

In this blog post I will be responding to a question from my guided journal, My Trichster Diaries. Please feel free to share your answer in the comments below.


In my own experience and from speaking with others there seems to be a consensus that trichotillomania waxes and wanes throughout our lifetime with the disorder. It is common for people to experience times of intense pulling as well as times where it seems like pulling just randomly stopped. I'm going to talk about the latter.


The first time my trichotillomania decided to let me go from its ferocious grip I was in middle school. I had developed it only a year or two prior and it was beating me down. I had completely pulled out my eyebrows and eyelashes and I was working on doing the same thing to my scalp. My parents and I were collectively freaked out, believing that I would soon need a wig, when all of a sudden my urges disappeared.


I went from pulling out my hair for hours a day to maybe one hair here and there. No one understood why it happened; I was still at the same school, with the same friends, doing the same after school activities. I was able to grow back my eyebrows, eyelashes, and the missing hair from my scalp with ease. We couldn't help but think to ourselves, Were the doctors right? Did I outgrow this?


As we looked around wondering how we got so lucky, we noticed we were holding our breath. My trichotillomania caused havoc for at least two years. Would it be coming back? If so, when? What would we do then? We tried to ignore the feeling that this might not be over and instead focused on the fact that I had all my hair again.


I experienced my first relapse four years later in 11th grade.


Another time period with minimal to no pulling was in college. This made sense to me because I felt a freedom I didn't have while in high school and living at home. I had gone to the same school from first grade to twelfth grade and as nice as that might sound it felt very claustrophobic to me. I was able to meet new people who never knew me with trichotillomania. I could pretend the hardest years of my life never happened. I could actually be what I considered "a normal person" without receiving sideways glances and questions that I couldn't answer.


I remember posting pictures from my first few weeks of college on Facebook and someone from my high school commented, "eyelashes????" on one of the pictures. I guess I can't escape it after all.


It felt as though we were all holding our breath again. We knew relapses could happen and we all silently wondered when another one would take me. But as the years went on and I was able to keep my eyebrows, eyelashes, and scalp intact the feelings of impending doom changed into something more manageable. I may forever fear relapsing but I wasn't letting that run at the forefront of my mind. I pushed it all the way to the back while I made lifelong friends and experienced some of the best moments of my life.


My second relapse was four years after I graduated college when I pulled out enough hair to create a bald spot behind my left ear. I didn't pull out my eyebrows or eyelashes that time.



4 Comments


I've been pulling my eyelashes since I was 7. When I was 9 I didn't have them at all, but then I managed to regrow bottom eyelashes and even some of them at the top. Doctors said that I will overgrow it as a teenager. When I was 12 I stopped pulling at all for a year or two. I believe it happened because the bulling in school has stopped and I fell in love for the first time. But I was rejected I started pulling again. At first there were no bald spots. But when I turned 15 and went to another school my upper eyelashes dissappeared. Since then I've never stopped more than for 2 weeks.

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Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me! I can relate to a lot of what you mentioned. I'm happy you're here <3

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The first time I can remember pulling was when I was about 3 years old… I am going on 33 now. So to be honest I can only remember a handful of times that I stopped for a considerable (and memorable) amount of time.


My first memorable periods of time as a child, in middle school where I would run out of lashes, so I switched to the crown of my head.. Then my parents noticed that..And freaked. And let’s just say my step father didn’t have the most healthy way of dealing with my physically manifested anxiety…. I was usually ‘spanked’ if a new bald spot showed up. I do recall my bald spot on my head growing back…


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Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me! I did the same with my trichotillomania—ran out of eyebrows, went to eyelashes, once they ran out, went to the hair on my scalp! I'm sorry your father reacted that way. I'm happy you're here! This community is so beautiful! <3

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