Speaking Out #Trichotillomania
August 3, 2011 § 13 Comments
There’s something I need to talk to you about.
I’ve talked about it before, but not enough. I’ve talked about it here and over at a place that helps you speak out about things. A site that deals with everything under the sun and gloomy dark clouds. Those things that you might be dealing with? Someone else is dealing with it too, without a doubt. The things that are taboo to talk about? They’re on that website. They’re there because there’s strength in numbers. They’re there because everyone needs someone to lean on. They’re there because it’s not just you that is picking their skin. It’s not just you with horrible thoughts going through your head about your newborn baby girl. It’s not just you who is cutting for some relief. There’s many people out there hoping to find out why they do the things they do and are ashamed and scared to talk about it.
In my experience, talking about Trich, a type of psychological condition that involves strong urges to pull hair, has helped tremendously. It makes me realize I really am not alone, like I always thought I was. It helps spread awareness so that if someone who pulls their hair and is desperately crying because they don’t know why? Can put a name to this disorder that affects 5% of the US population. So they won’t feel like they’re all alone with this. So they won’t feel the shame when someone sees a bald patch on their head when they’re in the restroom rearranging their hair. So they won’t have to feel like like they are crazy for telling their hands to “stop pulling.”
There are many reasons why I get the urge to pull. It could be stress, anxiety, on the verge of a panic attacks, and sometimes it can even be when I’m feeling nervous about something like a doctor visit or somewhere where there’s going to be a ton of people. But half of the time? I do it because I just. can’t. stop. It’s because it feels good, but not after when your guilt is in your hand in the form of a patch of hair. I feel, you can say, relieved when I pull. Like I’m plucking out stress and everything else that I’m dealing with. It’s not something I have control over all of the time and although I wish I could stop because I know it drives everyone around me nuts? I can’t stop. Of course, there are things that do curve the urge to pull. Hobbies with my hands such as baking and yoga, something that I need to start up again.
Turning to the internet with a disorder of mine has actually given me more support since I recently found out that few of my friends have similar disorders as mine. A very good friend of mine spoke out about something very similar to Trich, called Dermatillomania that she had been dealing with in secret for a very long time. She spoke out so that someone out there in the universe doesn’t feel so alone in this. Dermatillomania is also known as compulsive skin picking. Read her story. Maybe you know someone suffering, in silence, from the same thing and doesn’t know what it is or why they do it.
It’s time to stand up and speak out about disorders that don’t get a lot of awareness. It’s time to shed some light on the things no one talks about, in hopes that someone will stumble on it and realize they aren’t alone and sure as hell not crazy. And even though Trichotillomania is a part of me, it doesn’t define who I am.
For resources and treatments about skin picking and hair pulling, feel free to browse The Trichotillomania Learning Center for more information. And remember, there’s always strength in numbers, you just have to SPEAK OUT.