Newbie looking for support.

Hello all

I am a newbie here and this is my first time actually looking for help/support with my problem.

I’ve been a hair puller for years, I show all the characteristics for the disorder. Finding the perfect hair (rough, textured, grey!) hiding what I do, not even realising I’m doing it.

I’ve never seen a doctor or therapist and when I think about my character I also think I suffer with other issues such as anxiety and OCPD (the need to be organised and have everything perfect and planned etc)

What’s brought me to finding this forum is I am a parent to two lovely girls, I’m 33 and the bald patch from my pulling is so noticeable now. I have long hair and I can only style it by having a high ponytail. I’d love to cut my hair but I’d never go to a hairdresser.

My eldest (5) I even noticed twirls her hair and I cannot recal when I first started. My husband said I’ve alwasy done it and we have been together 16 years.

I think it’s finally time I got some support. I don’t want my daughters seeing what I do and having to explain. I also want to be able to relax and not worry about making everything tidy and perfect, worrying about what we are doing next. I want to live life for the moment.

Where do I start??

C x


  • Hi c1403. Welcome to the forum and well done on coming on here and chatting. I'm 35 and I started pulling (at my eyelashes) at the age of 11. I started therapy, through this page, a year ago. For the first time in 25 years, I have nearly a full set of lashes.
    I completely understand the whole not wanting your children to know/see what you do. I have two myself. One is nearly 9 and the other has turned 5 in the last few months. There is a great support network on here, and if you look at the website (connected to this page) there's an email and telephone number you can call and see what options are available to you. Try and remember to just be "Pull Free in just this moment." You CAN do this and you can be PF. :)

  • Hi C. I am new to this too!!! I have been pulling my eyelashes for about 15 years. I suffer with anxiety. I’m 25.
    It’s a difficult one. But I feel like knowing you aren’t alone is such a reassuring feeling and you reaching out is definitely the first step.
    Do you do any mindfulness or meditation? Learning to accept thoughts and let them come and go rather than try and fight them constantly. I have a great app on my phone called ‘headspace’ it even sends me little positive quotes throughout the day - right when I need them!!! I have tried so much I could make a list for ages!
    You asked where you start... well you have... by coming on here! Keep coming in here and keep talking it’s helps me too :smile: and I’ve been struggling the past few days after having 3 days pull free. I’ve let myself slip back again.
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Katie x
  • Me again. I actually forgot I posted so thanks for your replys.
    I'm not having much joy and I just took a photo of my 'patch' and I could cry. It's worse than I realise.
    Is it worth seeing my GP or going direct to someone via this page? Not sure a GP is so understanding or knowledgeable and would just send me away or give me tablets.
    I am going to try harder to resist the urge. I can't pull wet hair so am going to wash/wet my hair everymorning and maybe even play games on my phone to keep hands occupied.
    I need to fight this but really find it hard when I don't even realise I'm pulling.
  • So from tomorrow (Tuesday 9th) hopefully I can say I've had one day pull free :-)
  • Hi c1403. Really good to hear from you. I’ve been slipping up a lot lately. I do find writing in here helps me, it’s nice to share with a community that understands. Personally I would highly recommend going straight through this page. Personally didn’t find the Drs that helpful, but ultimately the decision lies with you.
    Yay, on reporting one day PF. Try and remember though, and this is something I’m trying to remember too, the amount of hair you have, doesn’t equate to your self worth.

    Today I did some yoga fo me and for my thoughts,my brain’s been running all over the shot the last few days. I found time for me, plus I got to calm my thoughts too.

    Keep us posted with your progress. Take care,
    Lisa x
  • I've gone 24 hours. Yay!!
    I did have one temptation and pulled my hand away and grabbed a pen to hold.

    Evenings are my worst time so I've showered and have wet hair so that should stop temptation too.

    I would love to do something for me, some sort of exercise or me time. But with two young girls and a husband that works shifts it's so hard.
  • I know what you mean. I’m a mum of two with a dog, but I think for my recovery it’s crucial to have “me time!”😉❤️

    I try and make sure I either see friends of an evening or daytime (if I’m not working.) I really wanted to do my yoga, and knew it was what I wanted to do for me. Therapy and coaching also goes towards “me time” so I make sure I make time to come on here & I love writing on here.

    My coach reminds me, what would I say to someone else who was feeling this way, in our own heads and overthinking, comparing etc. Again, I have to remind myself of this, and I’m not that great, but practice makes perfect.

    Hopefully hear from you soon. Take care,
    Lise xx
  • Had a slight blip this morning and pulled one hair whilst sat in the car at school. I immediately stopped. One hair in two days is really good going for me! Wet hair and a tight ponytail helps.

    I am suffering with anxiety at the moment. I volunteer at my daughter's nursery and have given myself quite a demanding role. Need to sort out some repair work but not hearing back from contractors. When I can't control a situation I start to get anxious and pull. I ought to quit the role but feel obligated to see it through until she leaves later this year. My husband says I'm too loyal to people/work/school and need to stop and just do what works for us. I do enjoy the role and at times keeps me very busy and occupied, but feel like I'm the only one worrying about things not getting done.
    On top of this I work three days but have a cool laid back easy job.

    Sorry if my posts go off topic, finding it helpful writing down thoughts and trying to work out why I do what I do and what to do to help myself:-)
  • To add, I have started to meet friends on a Friday for coffee and a chat. I moved my daughter's school so all my mum friends are at the old school but we try and meet up.
    Haven't had much courage yet to speak to the mums at the new school.

    Guessing social anxiety and anxiety in general links to Trich.
  • Hi C1403,

    Well done you for moving forward. As my coach reminds me, “that was then, this is now.”
    OMG!! I help out in a nursery, and I’m exactly the same. Been feeling really annoyed over things recently and thoughts were getting ridiculous. Went in yesterday, and in a split second, I’d realised it was all in my head.

    I spoke to my coach today, and had a great chat. She did some work with me too, and I know I can move forward and get back on track. I think one thing I love about coaching is a part called ACT, taking ACTion. If you go through with therapy, the coach can teach you this. I like it, because it’s not CBT, where a therapist tries to analyse why we have it, it’s about accepting what we have and acknowledging our thoughts but taking the action to move forward. My therapist, oddity said to me about how if we talked about my childhood and all that happend, what really would it do for me- nothing!

    Anxiety can play a big part in trichsters. What I’m going back to doing is carrying my fidget spinner in my pocket. I’m Having a lot of anxiety too at the moment, so like you, that’s one of my trigger’s (although I know I pull because I have trich.) Anyway, if I have something in my hand I can’t pull. It’s just finding what works for you, but I know you can beat this, we both can.

    Great that you’re getting out. That’s really important. My coach wrote to me the other week and reminded me to make sure I was getting out- that counts towards “you time” as well. ❤️🙌

    Take care and enjoy your evening,
    Lisa xx
  • Hi C1403!

    1 hair in 2 days IS amazing and your attitude towards it is spot on. We can't let a little slip up take away what we've achieved from us.

    We have a helpline you can call to speak to the wonderful Neomie - +447910 114739. We're all former hair pullers here so we understand and can help :) . If you do want to see your GP the most they can usually do is refer for CBT, and CBT can help some people. There's no one catch-all treatment for trich as it affects each individual differently, so finding what works for you will probably be a case of trial and error, but I don't believe anyone is unhelpable, to make up a word there!

    On the me time subject, I really struggle with this as a mum of young children too. I say I don't have time... that's not true. They're asleep from 19:30, I'm usually on the internet on my phone until midnight. There's time. I just lack energy and motivation. I feel like I have nothing left once bed time is done and collapse onto the sofa, but the truth is that if one of the kids needed the loo or a drink or was sick in the evening, I would find the energy for them. Why aren't I finding the energy for me? I started running indoors in the evening, just for 15 minutes some nights, 30 minutes other nights. It did a lot for my happiness, stress levels, self-esteem, as well as for physically getting in shape. You're not going to be in the mood every night of the week, but TRY. Put the exercise DVD on, start the timer for a jog or a dance to the radio, whatever it is that you want to do, make yourself turn up at least and if it's not going to happen that night that's ok. Just trying helped me :)

  • Day three and I've not pulled. Really pleased :-)

    I am the same. Girls in bed for 7.30 and I'll sit on my phone for two hours. I'm shattered!

    Will post again soon. Busy day today :-) x
  • Well done!!!! How are you doing now?

  • Sorry for lack of update. I've had a busy week. I've been good, I've pulled a couple of times but stop immediately rather than keep going. I'm more aware of when I'm doing it and have been able to stop myself. I also think wearing my hair in a high pony tail helps as it stops me reaching for the prime area.

    Got a week off now with the children so just going to try and keep myself busy. Really would like to work on my diet next, I have alot of sugar (chocolate bars/cakes etc) so want to cut back on that.
  • Hi c1403.
    That’s great that you’re more aware of your pulling now, & well done for stopping, that’s the hard part. 👍🏻

    We’ve got 1/2 term this week, so got things planned in the diary to keep us all busy, which should help too.

    Good to hear from you. Keep us posted I your progress.

    Lisa x
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