Am currently sat, wondering how on earth to start this blog post. I know what I want it to be about, and roughly what I should mention… but how to start?
How do I introduce to, possibly total strangers, what I struggle with on a daily basis? How do I accurately explain to those reading (admittedly, not many), something that I feel defines me so? Where do I even begin?
Maybe from the beginning? Might be an idea?
At a time somewhere between my 7th and 10th birthdays (I honestly have no clue when this all started), I started to pull my eyelashes out. Disgusting, right? What a freak child I was, I know right. The first time I remember ever doing it was at around this age, sat in the living room, and suddenly my mother interrupted the deep thought I was probably in.
“What are you doing, love?”
Snapped out of my trance, I had to think, what was I doing? Turns out, I was slowly pulling out my eyelashes. One by one.
That was when it first started. Almost 10 years later and that weird habit hasn’t improved.
It wasn’t until I started to use the internet more, got my own laptop, and discovered the wonder that is Google, that I decided that maybe something was really wrong. I Googled it. And was amazed at the results.
“Trichotillomania (also known as trichotillosis or hair pulling disorder) is an impulse control disorder characterized by the compulsive urge to pull out one’s hair.”
Basically, a little disorder that makes the sufferer have the uncontrollable urge to pick or pull hair. Whether that is eyelashes, eyebrows, scalp hair, pubic hair, anything. And it’s actually a lot more common than you think. But, anyway, back to past-me.
So this mystery habit finally had a name. It finally had a face. An identity to put into a category. It wasn’t just something I did. There were other people like me, who did the same thing. People who got the embarrassing questions, the odd looks in public. Maybe I wasn’t such a freak…
Over the next few years, my knowledge on Trich, the other people suffering, and the community grew. Unfortunately, so did my disorder. In April 2013, I started to pull out my hair, and after a bad time around New Years 2013-14, I had no eyebrows for weeks.
So far, nothing has improved. I still struggle most days with one, or maybe even all of these problem areas. Admittedly I haven’t seeked out much help to do with Trich, but it’s not something I tend to just bring up. Nor is it very easy to talk about, period.
That was kind of the briefest, most personal introduction to the concept of Trich that I could have given. If you are reading this as someone who has never heard of it before, or has but does not suffer, thank you for reading this and I hope you can be open minded and accepting about this disorder. There is enough stigma attached to mental health conditions already, we don’t need any more.
If you are reading this and you also suffer from Trich or even Derma (skin picking disorder) then feel free to send me a comment and we can talk! I’ll be happy to help anyone with any questions, advice, anything at all. And if you are one of these people, you are absolutely not alone. You can absolutely do this.
Thank you 🙂