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I'm sorry to see your post went unnoticed this long! I am a mother of 4 children, 17, 13, 13 and 7. I'm 41 and have been a lash/brow puller for 30+ years. I have times of pull freedom and times of relapse. I work at a school and just by word of mouth, I have talked with many parents about how to help their children with trichotillomania.
That being said, I want to first congratulate you for coming here for help. Also, good job checking with the doctors. It makes me sad to hear that you got basically the same response from your doctors that my parents did 30 years ago!
Coming here, where people already know what she's going through is such a better option than going to a doctor that really has no idea. I hate the thought of a doctor prescribing her antipsychotic drugs, anxiety meds, depression meds, when all of us (in my generation) can already vouch that those things didn't stop the pulling.
The John Kender diet is the one that is known for reducing urges to pull. I personally find relief when avoiding the trigger foods. You can easily find info online, but mostly the "bad foods" are sugar, coffee, cola, peanut, chocolate, soy, egg yolks (because the chickens are fed with soy now) and for some, whole grains and dairy. Try taking processed foods and sugar out of her diet for a couple of weeks and see if she seems to have less severe symptoms. You'll want to wean her off of sugar if she is used to eating pastries and candy and soda, otherwise she'll get a massive headache. But, if she mostly already eats whole foods, you might just take out chocolate and peanut and see how that goes.
For the most part, many doctors don't realize the effect diet can have on neurological disorders. They want to prescribe medicine. I know that's harsh, but it's been very hard for me to find any doctor that wants to help me naturally treat my disorder. I live in the US.
You do want to help her find things to do with her hands, especially things that have textures like Velcro or spiky little balls, or even silly putty.
Please consider therapy at this site if you are looking for treatment options. All of what I know, Neo taught me. And it takes practice. But it can be done. The sooner the better for your daughter, I wish almost daily that my parents had found something to help me when I was younger. I was 11 when I started too.
Lash regrowth depends on several factors all at once...your age, how many years you've pulled, how much you pulled out (all vs. some), and your current stage in your "normal" regrowth cycle. I am 41 and still am able to get full re-growth of my lashes and brows, which seems like a miracle after having pulled them all out to baldness for 30+ years. When I relapse, it generally takes 4 months to get "normal" lashes again. But 4 months is not a long time when you think about a lifetime. After about 2 weeks, my lashes seem like they are finally growing, it's the first couple of weeks that are the hardest. Perhaps that is what Max meant when stating this: "told myself it would only take 3 weeks before all my eyelashes were back and no longer in the painful growth period". Those first few days (3 days or up to 21 or more) are very sore...the new lashes are very pokey, right? But, they do soften up and that painful growth period is over. I think that's the most difficult part of lash re-growth, the fact that each time you blink you feel a poke. I tell myself to just "scratch the itch" with my knuckle if it bothers me. I tell myself it's just an itch, pulling out the hair will only make it worse. Self-encouragement will go a long way, flex that urge-surfing muscle!
Pull free vibes,
I just wanted to share a little win I had over the weekend. My husband and I took our 3 teenage sons to an Ohio State football game. The stadium holds 100,000 people and over 97,000 were present on Saturday (in the rain!) I am so incredibly proud of myself for keeping my cool with all of those people around. I actually enjoyed myself (and the time with my sons)! Usually dreary days get me down and crowds of people cause anxiety, but being back in the forums has reminded me to just remain in the moment. There are so many precious moments that I don't want to miss.
I even left my 7 year old daughter with my parents (which also normally worries me a lot) and she had a wonderful time. I am so glad I didn't stay home just to "protect" my daughter.
Thank you for letting me share without judgment. I don't have to pull my eyelashes to overcome stress. Stress and feelings, they come and go.
Happy to see some sunshine here today also!
Hi, I have had Trichotillomania for over 40 years with it being at its worse last year, I ended up with a 5 inch circular bald patch. I have tried lotions and potions therapy and will power with not much or no affect to the condition until I was introduced to a specialist in hair replacement systems at wigs of London. For the last year I have had 2 monthly refits and now after one year my hair has grown back everywhere and is now 4-5 inches long where I was pulling my hair from the top of my head.
I know this works as when the hair replacement is fitted it stopped me from reaching the area I always pulled hair out from and after not pulling it out for a year its as if my brains be re-programmed and I have no desire to pull it out anymore.
The great thing about having hair replacement systems is that you have hair instantly, which can be washed and styled and I can swim in it too, and all the time my hair is growing underneath. Some of the hair intergration specialists can be very costly and the quality of hair is not always good. Where I went to get mine has genuine real good quality hair.
Hope everyone finds this helpful.
Hi Kellie and welcome
I started pulling when I was 9 - I used to suck my thumb when I was younger and not long after I stopped that, I found pulling. I’ve often wondered if it was some kind of a comfort that I was looking for.
But as the others have said, it doesn’t matter why it started in the first place, all that matters is this moment right NOW.
Hope the app helps you, you may pick up on certain trigger times that you weren’t aware of, and being aware can make all the difference.
There is lots of information and tips to be found on here, plus support from others who really understand :-)
Today is the day when I’m going out for THE FIRST TIME to get my eyebrows done
Now, you might think: ‘Oh that’s it why is she making such a big deal over something so minuscule?’
WELLLL the reason is: as you know from my last post, I have pulled since I was 5 and to get something like this done felt like it was always going to be a dream like it was never going to be achieved and now it is it feels amazing. I Sophie am going to let SOMEONE ELSE do my eyebrows and I am really exited because there was a point in my life where I had now eyebrows at all so you can imagine my excitement right now!!! Okay so just remember things are not impossible unless you make them 💖
It is hard! But it's better than the alternative right? Because when you come through it, you will be so much more self aware and pull free
Living with daily fear and shame that cycled is a part of my life I am so glad to be done with and I have so much sympathy for people still pulling.
Let me know if you need help with anything!
You can do it Annie, you’ve done so incredibly well. Keep that nurturing voice talking to you and I have no doubt you’ll be fine. I’m finding that I’m not fixating in the mirrors as much. I keep saying to myself, “move away, as you don’t do that anymore!” So far it’s working a treat. Take care for now. Xx