In reference to my previous post in this (shall I call it a series? Probably not popular enough to be called that but hey ho) series; “Introductions” (click for a link), I have decided to compile a list of all the awkward, embarrassing, sometimes downright offensive, and normal questions that people who suffer with Trich (Trichotillomania) receive.
Quick recap: Trich is an impulse control disorder that gives the sufferer an uncontrollable urge to pull out their hair. This can be from any place hair grows, to be honest. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
So here are a list of questions most people with Trich have received/are likely to receive at some point in their lives. I am saying this in the hope you do not ask them as, honestly, it’s really awkward and annoying for everyone involved, especially if you are ignorant about the subject! If you generally are curious and want to help and support that person, please do! But ask them what they would prefer from you first, please don’t just dive in with the shameful questions.
- “Why don’t you just stop?” Honestly, we can’t. It seems ridiculous to you, but it’s like saying to an addict to “just stop”. It’s really not that easy.
- “Doesn’t it hurt?” It can do, but normally doesn’t. Besides, that’s not really the issue at hand during a pulling session.
- “Why do you have a bald patch/no eyelashes/eyebrows/etc?” Consult above.
- “Isn’t that like self-harm?” Some who self-harm do so by pulling out their hair, but those with Trichotillomania do not want to hurt themselves through their condition. So, no.
- “Are you just doing it for attention?” No. No. No. Please stop.
To try and help, here are some alternative things to say if you notice someone you’re close with someone pulling their hair or they are upset while talking about it…
- “Are you okay?”
- “Can I help?”
- “I love you”
- “I’m here for you.”
- “You look amazing, regardless of your hair.”
- “If you want to talk, I’m here.”
A lot of my Trich posts are going to be very subject-specific and many aren’t applicable to other situations. But, the idea is, if I can help one person then I’ve done my job. I hope this stuff isn’t too heavy to read.
If you have any questions about Trich or suffer from it and would like to talk, don’t be afraid to chuck me a comment! It means a lot.