How to support my husband

Hi all. I need your advice. My husband who is 48 yrs old has been plucking out his hair for the past 6 years. It's gotten worse recently. We joked about it year's ago, thinking that he was pulling out the grey hair as it appeared but it's gone from just a few hairs occasionally to him developing a 2 inch by 2 inch area of missing hair at the front of his head. It is really noticeable and he will put off having a haircut as long as possible because the hairdresser always comments that it's very strange how the hair is missing in just one area and how it comes and goes. Ive tried to approach it sympathetically to ask why he thinks he does it. I've offered to go to see our GP with him but he won't go and denied that there is a problem. He hides the tweezers in his car now and is plucking out his hair in privacy. My question to you all is how best can I support him and get him the help he so clearly needs. Thank you all in advance.


  • I'd ask him if he feels that he wants to stop, and what he feels when he does it. In my experience, most people don't enjoy or are proud of themselves when they pick, but it's more of a compulsion or stress reliever. It is possibly harder for him to explain why he does it if he himself does not know why. Trick is more of a feeling, a relief, and less of a motive (in my experience at least).

  • Hi! When I found my daughter was self harming, I sat down and talked to her about it without making a big deal of it, or making her feel like she’d done anything wrong. We agreed that I’d never tell her off or ask her not to do it, if she agreed to talk to me about why she felt like she wanted to. We tried together to work out what was causing the stress, or sometimes we just did things that would distract her until he compulsion had passed. It didn’t always work, but she got a lot better with time, and now she does it only very rarely, always tells me and we talk about things.
    I hope some of this experience chimes with you and maybe you find some of it useful. In the meantime, I hope you find some support here in this community.
  • Thank you so much for your post. Sarah said it all really when she said that she hopes you find some support here in this community. We are here to comfort you and provide a safe space for discussion. If your husband feels he can join the conversation, that would be great, but if we support YOU and you, in turn, are better able to support him, that works too.

    I stopped pulling over 15 years ago, and if I am honest, I’m Not sure what anyone could have done to help me stop, It had to come from ME. My husband gave me plenty of rewards when I overcame the pulling, but I had to ask for them and say what would help.

    Sarah is right she took a brilliant approach with her daughter - telling someone to stop is just going to drive them more to it. You know what would have helped me mostl would be someone saying ok, you can carry on doing this forever and it won’t affect the way I feel about you in the slightest, but how would it affect how you feel about yourself, if you stopped?

    You will definitely find your own way to help. We have all the answers within. Come here to chat about it any time.

    Love and freedom

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