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Eating roots

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Eating roots

Postby Hectique Prognosis » Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:42 pm

I thought I was going crazy, until I found this site. I had no idea this affliction had a name. I pull my hair and if the root gets pulled out, I eat it. I know thats pretty disgusting. I have absolutely no idea why I do this. I have been doing it for more than 25 years. When I cut my hair short, the urge to pull seems to go away temporarily. I REALLY want to know what causes this. I have briefly considered it was my body telling me it needed some nutrient from the root, to even thinking I was a masochist. I want to know the (lol) ROOT cause of why I am doing this. I want to cure myself, but I first want to to know why I do this and why it is happening. I cant remember when I started, only that when I do, the urge overwhelms me to the point where I cant even think straight. I pretend I am doing it as a result of concentrating on some task, but the truth is that when I am doing it, my entire focus is on ripping out a strand and hoping the root comes with it. I then eat this root, not the hair. I know that what I am doing is not normal. I am not a nervous person, i was not abused as a child, and I need to know what causes this behaviour. If anyone can tell me, I would appreciate it
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Re: Eating roots

Postby jasmin » Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:19 pm

Hi, Hectique Prognosis! I think the best way to get better would be for you to see a professional. They might also be able to tell you why you have this problem. You could try to figure out what triggers the behavior every time you do it, though. You could keep a diary and write down what happened every day you did this and how you were feeling right before you started doing it. Maybe compulsions could even have to do with how your brain is wired, who knows.
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Re: Eating roots

Postby Hectique Prognosis » Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:51 pm

Hi Jasmine

Thank you for the reply. I must admit I would feel really weird explaining this to even a professional. The anonymity this site affords me is is comforting to say the least. Over the years I have developed theories as to why I was doing this. I thought my scalp might be dry, I used gels and oils, but this made it even worse. In fact, it made it easier.

What is really weird is that I can go for months without doing it but there is some trigger that sets it off. Its especially if my hair is even a little long, but I don't know why this would set it off. I have tried to self-diagnose myself for years, but without success. I have never used a diary to record the events leading up to and post the event, but I will give it a go.

Thank you again for your kind reply. You have no idea how I feel not to be judged for this compulsive behaviour.
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Re: Eating roots

Postby jasmin » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:59 pm

No one has any right or reason to judge you for this, Hectic. Maybe you'll find the strength to see a psych some day too, but you're welcome to keep posting and try to make sense of things here.
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Re: Eating roots

Postby damijin » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:31 am

I have the exact same variation of trich if you'd like to call it that. I'm 22 and have had it since about 12 or 11 years old. I developed it sometime in middle school, where it was at it's worst (bald spots) the ridicule was bad enough that I managed to stop picking from the same spot to the point of severe bald spots. I still pick to the point of noticeability at times (tonight has been a significant relapse, hence why I signed up here and am making this post! I have a spot on my left side of my beard now, and it makes me sad, I might have to shave it off tomorrow), but I no longer pick large holes out of my scalp.

Anyhow about the roots thing. I know how you're feeling. Sometimes I feel like as a person with trich I'm a bit of a freak in society, and then being a person with trichtillophagia (eating hair, but really, just the roots), I'm abnormal even in the world of people with trich.

It becomes like a... treasure hunt, psychotic as that sounds. You pull pull pull pull. Every pull gives some relief, but there's no true relief until you get a hair that still has that full semi-transparent whiteish root attached to the end all the way out of the skin. It's tough to do. It takes a special pore to allow the root to get out without being blocked and held down inside. Truthfully, I don't think that's the entire "root" because I've had hairs in spots where I pulled those roots out grow back, but we'll call it the root.

Anyhow, once you FINALLY get a rooted hair out, this could take 3 pulls or 300 pulls, you take your prize and examine it. Study the interesting little special hair you removed. I tend to touch it to my lips first because it's a little wet. It feels kind of interesting. Then I bite it off and swallow it, or more often, I strip it. I take my finger nails and I peel that little transparent coating off the tip of the root and just eat that, discarding the rest of the hair.

Why I do this? I have no freaking idea. It baffles me. All I know is that I like how rare they are. It usually takes a very special kind of pull to get one. I like the hunt to find it and once I do find it, I guess I eat it because... what else would I do with the prize I spent so long to obtain? I'm certainly not going to throw it away!

On certain occasions, I have taken those hairs and stuck them to a wall, because the root is sticky and will stick. Almost like a little trophy. I usually remove them the next day and discard them. I get immense pleasure from finding and removing the rare rooted hairs and it causes me to tear through hundreds of others in the process of seeking them.

Is your desire similar to mine? Why I value the hairs... I have no idea. I just know that I have this urge to get them.

For what it's worth, I also pick my skin pretty severely, especially squeezing pores to remove blackheads and such. This is done to the point of disfigurement (worse than my trich, honestly), but I do not eat anything from picked skin. I do however eat my cuticles. I bite my nails to keep them short, but I compulsively bite my cuticles for the purpose of eating the skin around them. Do you suffer any similar conditions? I have also eaten dead skin from my body for pretty much my entire life since childhood. Since long before the trich showed up.
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Re: Eating roots

Postby pescarconganas » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:36 am

Damijin,

Thank you for posting such a descriptive, accurate account of how I feel during the "hunt". You are a blessed writer and your description compelled (haha) me to register and post a reply. I have been pulling since before 2nd grade (23 now) and also pick at my skin. I appreciate the openness on this forum. I think I'm gonna stick around here a while.

Cheers!
Dan
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Re: Eating roots

Postby bigred879 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:05 am

Damijin,
You took the words right out of my mouth. I'm at my worst point in Trich since ive had it, the entire top of my head is picked clean... Im 20 and ive had it since i was about 6...having good points and bad relapses all throughout.
As you said, its like a thrill..a relief and pleasure when you pull and find a nice big root. For me, i will get an insatiable itch on my head, and the only way to satisfy it (even if only for a moment) is to pull..but my fingers have to search through the hairs, find the one hair that is tingling and after a few tries, i find it, and the moment of pleasure and relief i get just over comes me.. till i get an itch again and have to continue pulling.
The root has always drawn my attention. sometimes i'd stick it on the pages of a book..fascinated by the wetness as it would stick. i'd let it dry then pick it off. but i always enjoy immediately pulling, examining it, then pulling the root off with my teeth. i'd never bite the hair off...i would have to strip the root from the hair.
as good as it feels, i know i need to stop..i know im at my worst..but the urge is too strong.
i had stopped in my teens for a good year or two..all of my hair had grown back. but back then in my childhood and teen years, i know now it wasnt that bad..i had random bald spots but i could hide them easily. one day i just stopped..i dont know how. for two years almost i didnt pull..then one day i started again, i dont know why. Once that happened, right after graduation actually, was when the bad part started. i have to comb my hair over now because there is absolutly nothing on the top.
It gets hard..im too self conscious to swim, afraid my hair will get wet..once its wet its impossible to hide. i cant be around ppl in strong winds..on rides at the fair. just little things you never thought would be affected.
ive tried very hard to keep my secret, but its getting to the point where its almost impossible to hide now. my goal is to get to how i was in highschool...a much more tolerable point with it, be able to hide it easily again. actually wear my hair in a different style then how i have been for the past 3 years since graduation. that would be amazing..to not spend 40 minutes after every shower trying to make sure i have enough hair pulled over to cover it all without looking ridiculous...that my friends, would be a miracle..
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Re: Eating roots

Postby tony888890 » Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:10 am

Hello everyone, my name is Anthony. I've had this exact problem for about 4 years now, it started in the beginning of my 7th grade year and I am now in 11th grade. I've been quite scared to talk to anyone about this, I'm pretty excited about finding this site! To the guy who went into detail and described this conditon, that is exactly what I do!!
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Re: Eating roots

Postby itsannie » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:49 am

Okay, I know this is like a total guilty pleasure thing. And I don't want to look at this like its such an amazing great thing to do but lol, I know how you can make the ones with the roots not so rare... (;

Well, if you kinda wiggle it before it comes out, like do the same pulling motion, but don't entirely pull it out... then the root comes with it. Yeah, well its not like its some secret cheatcode to win a million dollars, but it might save you a couple 100 hairs trying to find the one with the root. Because every one has it.
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Re: Eating roots

Postby itsannie » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:54 am

Oh and I'd also like really like to know... i know its like extremely dangerous to eat the whole hair, but what about just the roots? Will that give me the same terrible health conditions you can get from eating the whole hair? Because if I'm gonna die, it might be a little easier to stop.
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