I just want to know is there a way to deal with it? I don't

I just want to know is there a way to deal with it? I don't know if I can do this much longer. I'm ashamed all the time and I try to get better and stay better yet I seem to relaspe. I feel like I'm screaming on the inside but someone else is controlling me while I pick. i feel like I'm crying on the inside and I can't stop.

1 Heart

You can stop it takes a lot of hard work but you can do this. Try to keep yourself busy doing something else when you feel stressed like exercise or walking. Do not be so hard on yourself and realize you are special and this can be turned around.

Lilly, keep strong I know it's easier said than done but you can do it

1 Heart

I've lived with trick since i was 14 I'm now 40, such a struggle everyday but achievable, if you would like to talk more or just support I could give you my number

1 Heart

Hi , @Lilybubble posted this a few weeks ago, its amazing to read!
- Overcoming Trichotillomania -
It's now been just over 19 months since I last pulled out my hair. I won't go into an entire story like I did above- but instead, I'll list everything I did below in the form of tips and advice for anyone out there in hopes that I may have at least one other person in this world overcome their trich. It's not an easy fight- but it's certainly not impossible. Please, to any other hair-pullers out there: Don't give up. Don't give up hope, don't give up on yourselves. The world may be a tough, cruel place- but if you let it keep you down, things will never improve.
1. Determination is Key
- You won't be able to stop pulling your hair if you don't set your mind to it. I know it sounds obvious, but it's easier to hope for a miracle cure than to take matters into your own hands. Let me tell you this: Hoping for a miracle insta-cure is probably not going to happen. If you want this to stop, you must make the conscious decision to fight it. No more accepting it as a part of life, no more just going through the motions. You will have to fight, struggle, and stay strong through the good and the bad. If you do not -really- want it and don't set your mind to stopping, you won't win this fight. You may not be ready to fight this yet- that's fine. But hopefully, one day, you will find the strength and motivation to finally stand up and say 'Enough is enough!' For me, that came before my second semester at my university. For others, it may come sooner in life, for others- maybe later. Only you will know when you're ready to fight.
2. Track Your Progress
- Find a way to track each day you've gone without pulling. I got a small fish-bowl and a bunch of decorative pebbles that you'd see in a fish tank. Each day I went without pulling my hair, I'd put a clear white pebble in the bowl. On every 7th consecutive day, instead of a white pebble, I'd put a blue one in to mark a week. On every 30th day- a purple one. This way, as it fills up you feel a sense of accomplishment whenever you toss another in. Part of me became a bit excited at the prospect of filling up the entire bowl- it was added motivation. You look at that first pebble and think "I've got a long way to go" - but over time that changes to "Look how far I've come!"
If you have a bad day and pull, you can do one of a few things depending on your preferences.
- Take pebbles out. Maybe take a number out proportional to how bad you think the day was. Did you pull out just a few hairs? One pebble. A LOT of hair? Take out a few pebbles.
- Add in a red pebble or some other indicator of a bad day. Maybe replace an existing pebble with it. This will help you visually see the proportion of good days vs bad days.
Remember: A bad day or two doesn't mean you're back at the start. There may be set backs- that's fine. Don't let it discourage you. In my experience, the longer you go without pulling, the easier it gets. Don't give up!
3. Rewards!
- For every week you go without pulling, treat yourself to something nice. It doesn't have to be anything fancy- just something to look forward to at the end of the week. For me, it was my favorite meal: home-cooked Salmon! Every Sunday, if I made it the week without pulling, I'd cook some up for myself. This was something I normally wouldn't do because of time/cost- but as a starving college student, having real food WAS motivation. You do have to be honest with yourself though! It should add an extra bit of motivation to get through each day. Short term goals are great to have- little milestones to work for.
- Some longer term rewards are great too! Again- doesn't have to be fancy- just something else to work for. Rewards are great. While the ultimate reward is being free from trich, it never hurts to add in some extra prizes along the way to make the journal seem less daunting. For me, I added in either ice cream, a movie theater trip, or a road trip to one of the near-ish cities to go to the zoo or something for each 30th day. For my 6 month mark, I got a new 3DS as a bigger reward. My parents gave me my one-year reward in the form of a nice dinner out with them. Don't be afraid to involve family and friends! Rewards can certainly be more fun with others!
4. Keep Busy
- This can be the hardest for some. We all know that you can't pull your hair out if your hands are occupied- so try to keep busy whenever possible- ESPECIALLY when you feel the urge to pull. Play video games, start doodling/drawing on a piece of paper. Type a story or I don't know- knit! This would be a good opportunity to pick up a hobby or join some clubs/local groups. Find something you enjoy doing, and go with it! For me it was art, writing, and playing my instrument- all of which occupy my hands. You don't need to be good at it, just so long as you enjoy it! Bonus points for anything you can do while watching TV so you don't pull while enjoying your favorite show. Heck, start some projects. Like to draw/write? Start a webcomic for fun- or join in National Novel Writing Month and write a novel! Pick up an instrument and teach yourself to play.
5. Don't be afraid to ask for Help
- We all know that it is difficult to ask for help- especially for something we may consider embarrassing like trich. Tell your close family and friends what you're doing. Ask them to let you know if it looks like you're pulling- or maybe just to distract you on a particularly rough day that you're worried will result to pulling. There is no shame in seeking emotional support from those close to you. They would probably be more than happy to help you better your life however they can.
6. Be Healthy!
- While there is no confirmed cause of trichotillomania, it is believed that it is caused by a 'chemical imbalance in the brain.' What this means is that there may be some underlying issues like depression, anxiety, OCD, etc. that may be contributing to your hair pulling. In addition, many of us pull when we're stressed- and poor health can result in us being more stressed than usual. So try to be healthy- I'm not saying go on a never-ending diet or go to the gym every day- but you know, take the healthy option from time to time. Maybe park at the back of the parking lot when getting groceries.
- Most importantly though, get a doctor's check-up. Get a simple blood test to look for anything abnormal- especially if you've got a family history of anything. My mom's side of the family has a history of Hypothyroidism, thyroid cancer, and Hashimoto's. I went to get checked last spring for Hypothyroidism just because of the family history- and sure enough, I've got a mild case of it. It's a fact that Hypothyroidism is a highly common and undiagnosed issue amongst women. Amongst its symptoms can be hair loss, anxiety, depression, mood swings, weight gain, memory issues, etc. At the very least, the depression and mood swings can help worsen the hair pulling urges. Treating any medical conditions may not cure the trichotillomania for you- but it will probably help improve your health and mood and make it easier to fight the urge to pull.
7. Don't Give Up!
- It's easy to get discouraged when you have a bad day. It can feel as if all the progress you made is gone. That's understandable, but giving up is the single worst thing you can do. If you fall, get back up and keep going. The scrapes and bruises along the way will heal in time. Some relapses will take longer to recover from- but just keep pushing forward. I promise that it gets easier to fight the urge over time. I won't say it will go away completely- it may never leave you entirely- but it will get to the point where you can ignore it- even as you twirl a strand of hair around your fingers.
To the family of friends of those who suffer Trichotillomania: Be supportive! What your friend/family member is going through isn't easy. It may seem simple to just stop pulling out hair, but it's not. Trichotillomania- or any Impulse Control Disorder- is like an addiction. Don't try to force them to stop pulling. You cannot force an addict to stop until they are ready to begin the healing process. When they take that first step, offer your support and help them along the way. Be patient and understanding. The best thing you can do is be understanding and supportive at their best and worst. My parents didn't understand my problem in the first few years- they tried everything to get me to stop before realizing it had to be a choice I made. When I finally made that choice, they were behind me 100%. Without that support, I don't know if I'd have made it this far.
Since I stopped pulling my hair, it has grown back to very full uncontrollable wavy mess. And I love it. I could have sworn I had straight hair growing up, but now that it's back, I've embraced the mess as I continue to get used to dealing with my full head of hair. However, it did not grow back without signs of damage. Over the last few weeks I have noticed a number of white hairs scattered about. Just a few- 4 pure white hairs and at least two with white roots near where I part my hair. I assume this is the result of about a decade of pulling my hair out, as the white strands are all in the areas where the pulling was worse. I am strangely okay with this. I consider them reminders of what I had been through. They are white because I had trichotillomania... but they are THERE because I had the strength and determination to stop. I would not even considering pulling them out because it would be to deny my past and destroy what I had worked to achieve.
When things look their worse: count your blessings and look on the positive. Trichotillomania may be a huge burden, but it's one that can be fought and overcome. So don't give up and keep moving forward. I have faith that all of you have the strength to win against this- you just need to find that strength within you.

3 Hearts

@Simz thank you for your advice. I will try these techniques and I’m hoping they will work for me.

From Hair Loss & Baldness to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)