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What helps you not pull?

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Re: What helps you not pull?

Postby SomethingWithin » Fri May 25, 2018 6:16 am

The last poster offered good advice I think... it's embarrassing for me to say, but since I've never been able to admit it to anyone irl, I have some form of trich. It was worse in my late teens, early 20's, but I still pull to this day. I have a different case though... yes I pull when I am stressed, but I don't really mean to pull. I just play with certain parts of my hair a lot and it just comes out. Always makes me so mad when it happens. I also do this habit because sometimes my hair just genuinely bothers me! It pokes me behind my ears, especially the left ear, and while trying to find that "one hair" that is doing it I end up pulling 1, or 2, or even 3 out by accident. Of course, it never helps and I still feel bugged by a pokey hair I cannot find. I think it's some sort of nervous super-sensitivity. I have in the past developed actually bald areas around my ears and/or crown areas because of this. I started wearing hats to hide this. Now as an adult, because I still have this issue, I still wear a hat. It makes me feel safe and less insecure, even though my hair is fine. I just feel like everyone can see the damage and knows what I do. I can't stand not wearing a hat in public; whenever I have to I feel embarrassed and under attack, if that makes sense. Plus when I wear hat I don't pull or play with my hair. Weirdest thing!

Keeping the hands or mind occupied is good advice in general. If you're focused on something you are less inclined to resort to hair pulling. I love to go fishing, for example, and when I am fishing, I don't think about anything else. I enter a state of zen or serenity where nothing else matters and I don't play with my hair or pull it. But if working with clay or stress balls does this for you, excellent! What made me change my habits was when I finally got a mirror and looked at how bad I actually looked. I cried for weeks about it. Unfortunately, my initial approach to reducing it was not healthy... won't go into what I did at this time. But once I found some hobbies that took my mind off of it, I've been able to gradually improve. Even though I still play and pull, least I don't have any terribly noticeable spots! Even barbers don't notice! Take it one step at a time is my best advice. Every hair you don't pull is a success.
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Re: What helps you not pull?

Postby kmdunklin » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:34 pm

It's all about self control. The goal is focus 2 days on not pulling 1 eyelash. Once you've accomplished that you'll be set on path of regrowth. After a week of not pulling, the urge to pull won't be a strong. How I was calm my urge was by using hypnotherapy before I go to bed.
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Re: What helps you not pull?

Postby Wally58 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:53 am

I learned not to dig or scratch by pinching. I was breaking the skin and bleeding from itching. The pinch helps to relieve the itch without damaging the skin.
Distraction and getting busy with things also helps.
Best of luck to you. :D
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Re: What helps you not pull?

Postby relief94 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:09 pm

I only pull when I'm at home. I am a fellow tricher who is struggling not to pull but it helps if I get up from the place I'm at, and move to another room. It's seems like some places are triggering enough to pull. Sitting and doing mindless things like watching tv or browsing the internet. I don't get unpredictable fits of trich as I used to when I went to bed, I felt like I couldn't stop because my anxiety would only go away after I reached a peak. I am not sure if I might slip, that if something terrible would happen, my demon would awake. Then I would be hoping against hope. But meditation helps me to be aware. So, take care and be safe out there, fellow trichers. Remember it's not our fault and only we can fix our own personal issues through practising self-control.
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9 months of success with finger tape

Postby Tee5226 » Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:51 am

I've pulled for the past 12 or so years, but I found a solution that has worked incredibly well for the last 9 months. Before this, I had been able to quit for two short periods through will power alone - once about 1 month and once for 5 months - but regressed both times under stressful situations. This time I've made it through many full stress situations without a problem.

Not trying to sell anything here so I won't name the brand, but I use a flexible clear tape that is sold at drug stores/pharmacies; it is intended for medical purposes and is transparent and breathable. It comes on a dispenser that looks like a normal tape dispenser. It costs ~$5 per dispenser which is expensive but I've only purchased 2 since I started and only used 1 cumulative roll since I started (I keep one at my desk at work and one in my purse).

I put a short piece (~1.5" long) around the pad of my finger so that it overlaps itself by ~0.5 inch and is secure, without cutting off circulation. I do one or both pointer fingers. I put the tape on first thing in the morning before any urge to pull. If you're just starting, tape any and all fingers you use to pull. It effectively numbs my finger pad and also prevents me from grasping a strand of hair. I had actually tried other kinds of tape before and I would always consciously or unconsciously remove the tape after a couple hours. This tape is super comfortable and it resists water so I can go all day at the office and completely wash my hands many times per day without removing it, which is critical. Because it is almost totally clear, it's very inconspicuous so I don't feel embarrassed wearing it. I haven't had the urge to pull my scalp hair for the past 5 months or so, even when I don't wear the tape.

So you don't get overly excited - I have historically pulled hair on my brows, eyelashes, and scalp, and since using the tape I have only stopped pulling my scalp (I've pulled maybe 20 hairs total since I started). I had decided not to worry about pulling brows or eyelashes when I first started using the tape (I use an eyebrow pencil so I don't really care what my brows look like). The tape significantly reduced all pulling behavior, but not 100% on the brows and lashes, and since I stopped wearing the tape I have pulled plenty in those areas. So, I am immensely proud of myself for stopping the pulling behavior that caused 99% of my trich-related stress, but I haven't stopped all pulling behavior. My sister also has trich with her brows and lashes and she has not had complete success with the tape, although it has helped a lot.

On the positive side though, since I've had such great success with my scalp, I've decided to try targeting my brows and lashes over the past month. I've eliminated pulling on about 50% of those days, and been 100% successful on days when I use the tape. The only challenge is remembering/deciding to put on the tape in the morning. Hopefully I'll be posting back in another 6 months saying I've quit entirely!

Things I've tried that haven't worked long term:
- quitting my stressful job (seriously! Now I'm in an even more stressful job, so don't think you need to free yourself of stress to stop pulling.)
- cutting my hair to <2 inches long
- always keeping my hair clean
- wearing head coverings
- always working around other people
- keeping a count of the number of hairs I've pulled in a day on a sticky note, and stopping to add to my count every time I pull
- wearing page-turning thimbles on my fingers and various other kinds of tape
- using silly putty and other toys to distract my hands while I'm working
- keeping a bristle brush at my desk to stimulate my finger pads when I feel the urge to pull
- positive thinking/rewards, negative thinking/rewards, and will power
- going to a therapist

I hadn't tried the finger numbing solution - I think that would work for me except I assume you have to reapply multiple times per day. The point of weakness with all solutions is that you have to decide to choose the prevention behavior instead of pulling. The fewer times per day I have to make the right decision, the better.

Hope this works for you!
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Re: What helps you not pull?

Postby France » Thu Jun 18, 2020 11:01 pm

Hello! To answer to your question..... I pulled my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes for many many years but two years ago, I stopped pulling my eyebrows and eyelashes. My eyelashes grew back well but my eyebrows are so-so but I am ok with it. On April 12th of this year, I stopped pulling my hair, actually, I shaved my head completely and 66 days later, my hair grew back (2 inches long already). It is hard to stop but with the pandemic, my stress level went down and I started to take care of myself so much more. Good way to keep your hands busy, make sure to put cream on them, so when you want to pull your hair, it is too slippery or if you can knit, it would keep your hands busy. Personally, I stopped suddenly because I looked awful and I was so fed up to wear hats. In the evening, I was touching my hair constantly and now, the urge is gone, If you still struggle with this trich, put your hands behind your back. Good luck. If you want to reach me out, I am around, I can definitely help you. Bye for now.
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Re: What helps you not pull?

Postby loosthegoose » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:59 pm

Hello! I created this account to share my coping mechanisms, as I tend to view myself as a "success story". I still have the urge to pull and will always struggle with it, but I haven't had a bald spot for many years now. I just turned 30 and was diagnosed with trichotillomania when I was 12. I kept my hair short throughout middle school and high school, and even wore a bandanna to hide my hair for many years. I now have what I would consider a full head of hair. When i share my disorder with new friends they tend not to believe it is an issue because they haven't noticed anything odd about my hair(which is annoying in its own way). Here are the things I have done to gain control over the years.

-I keep my hands busy! Whenever I'm watching television, etc. I keep a puzzle book, cross-stitch, or a jigsaw puzzle nearby.

-I bought these $3.00 "finger sleeves" on amazon. They were made to help people turn pages I think, but they cover the pad of my index finger and are made of this gel that feels really nice to run my thumb finger against. I use these when I'm reading or at work and cant otherwise keep my fingers busy. And i can just tell my coworkers they are to help with paperwork.

-I keep a bag of shelled sunflower seeds or pistachios in my car. On long car trips I keep my mouth and mind busy de-shelling and snacking on the seeds.
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