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When did you learn of the name for trichotillomania? Did you always know or...?

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.

Before I share, I am laughing at the wording of the prompt because it felt like a mouthful then and it still does now. The more I say it aloud the more I'm thinking, Barbara, did you really have to word it like that? Past me and my proofreaders agreed that it should stay so it will but... HAHA. It's good to be able to laugh at yourself. Let's jump in, shall we?

I believe I was first diagnosed with trichotillomania by my therapist Gretchen. I have a memory of her reading the term from the DSM-IV* to me and my mom in her office. I remember practicing the word with my family and giggling whenever we got tongue-tied all the while feeling like this was a dirty word and one that I didn't want associated with me.

It felt suffocating and somehow comforting. I had the word for what I was doing but I didn't want to share the word with anyone else. I thought that they would laugh at me as I struggled to say this 7-syllable word. Many did. I can't tell you how often people laughed and said, "What? Can you say that again?" I still get that reaction. I've done the ha-ha polite smile so often it hurts my face.

It felt comforting because I knew I wasn't the only one! I wasn't the first little kid pulling out their hair without being able to stop and I wouldn't be the last. It took me 18 years to finally meet another person with trichotillomania but the whole time I knew they were out there. At the time, that was enough.

I thought you'd find this interesting!


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