It is estimated that up to 5% of the U.S. population is afflicted with Trichotillomania.
This is her story:
I have a confession.
It's a small obsession. Okay, it's probably not that small, really, but when I say it, it's going to sound like I'm trying to be funny.
Bear with me, I'm not.
I'm obsessed with my hair. I don't mean that in the way you probably think that I do. The only haircuts I ever get are at those chain salon franchises. Seriously. That's me. $12 haircuts. Only a few. I go months without a trim. It's just how I do.
Anyway, my "obsession," as I am referring to it for the moment, is related to my anxiety. And I have loads of that.
Although not officially diagnosed, I think I might have a mild case of trichotillomania - an impulse-control disorder.
So what does this mean to me?
I'll tell you.
Trichotillomania is a condition in which someone pulls out their hair from various parts of their body. I've never had a bald spot, but I could probably create a small wig with the amount of hair I've pulled out when anxiety hits.
I honestly don't think I'm pulling it from my scalp, but usually tugging at the random strays that are going to fall out anyway. I have quite the head of hair, and it's still there. The whole lot of it.
I tend to pull out my hair when I'm anxious - especially when I'm a passenger in any sort of vehicle. I'll roll my window down briefly to toss a small twist of my now-free strands of hair into the universe.
I think it started ages ago, when took the bus to work. It was an hour long commute and I would spend my time focusing on my split ends. This was back in the day when my hair was much longer and haircuts were few and even farther between.
I'd pull nearly every split end that the sunlight caught before we hit the tunnel. And yes, I've gone so far as to become fascinated with an eyelash in my eye, then tugging a few too many lashes out.
That's my confession.
It's not to the point that trich impacts my life - I live with it as though it's part of who I am. A habit, maybe?
But I feel like I need to say something. I'm not sure why, exactly, or what prompted me to do so right this instance - but I needed to do it.
I'm not looking for an immediate solution - just trying to promote some awareness about Trichotillomania. You really never know what people are going through behind closed doors. You never really know when someone is holding in anxiety that could tear them apart if they let it.
Just be there.
Sometimes that's all anyone really needs.5 Comments