Since my young teen years, I liked to pull on my eyebrows and eyelashes. Back then, it was just a matter of catching the loose hairs before they could fall into my eyes or end up on my cheeks for hours without my notice. I would stop though, once gentle pulling produced no results.
Basically, it was anxiety on a small-scale.
Being an 18-year-old, this same desire grew. I still pull on my eyebrows and eyelashes but now it’s much worse. A few weeks ago, I was in class and feeling very anxious. I had been paying close attention to the teacher but the other things on my mind were still causing me stress. At the end of class, when I went to pack up I noticed a bunch of hairs on the table, my books, and my computer. All throughout class I had been pulling out my eyebrow hair and I hadn’t even realized it.
Naturally the first thing I did was brush off the hair from the table and rush to the bathroom. I was horrified. More than half of each of my eyebrows were missing and those that were still there were sticking up in odd directions on account of me trying and failing to pull them out too.
I never knew there was a name for this, that this was an actual disorder until I told a friend of mine and she told me about Trichotillomania.
According to the International OCD Foundation, Trichotillomania is an impulse disorder characterized as compulsive hair pulling during stressful moments.
I’m learning techniques to prevent myself from pulling out more hair, such as keeping my hands busy with play-doh, a worry shell, and playing with hair ties. Though I still find myself reaching for my eyebrow hair, I have been successful in stopping before I pull out too many hairs. 🙂
Do you know anyone with this condition? How do they deal? Do you have it? What do you find helpful? Let me know!