Just imagine for a moment that you have this uncontrollable urge to scratch that itch under your bra strap way in the back. You know the area you literally have to be double jointed to get to, most of the time holding your breath in the interim. But somehow you get to that spot and finally get in that first good scratch and then you scratch deeper and deeper, getting a little relief but needing more sometimes to the extent of custom mink lashes blood until you feel that familiar “custom mink lashes” which only comes from that utter relief.
This is what those who have the condition called Trichotillomania live with every day.
Znhair their urge is to pull their scalp hair, eyelashes, facial hair, nose hair, pubic hair, eyebrows or other body hair, sometimes resulting in noticeable bald patches. It occurs throughout the day and sometimes even throughout the night, becoming more and more compulsive, until they find that sense of relief, which in their case is always only temporary.
Trichotillomania (TTM, also known as trichotillosis, or more commonly as trich) is classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) as an impulse control disorder. However, there are many who question how it should be classified. It seems at times to resemble a habit, an addiction, a tic disorder or an obsessive-compulsive disorder. The disorder “leads to noticeable hair loss, distress, and social or functional impairment”, and is “often chronic and difficult to treat”.
Individuals with trichotillomania exhibit hair of differing lengths; some are broken hairs with blunt ends, some new growth with tapered ends, some broken mid-shaft, or some uneven stubble. Scaling on the scalp is not present, “overall hair density is normal”, and a hair pull test is negative (the “hair does not pull out easily”). Hair is often pulled out leaving an unusual shape; individuals with ‘trich’ may be secretive or shameful of the hair pulling behavior. Trichotillomania may appear in infants, but it peaks in ages 9 to 13. Depression or stress can trigger this condition.
Low self-esteem is often associated with being judged and shunned by peers, which usually leads to the fear of socializing due to appearance and negative attention they may receive. Some people with TTM will wear hats, wigs, wear false custom mink lashes, eyebrow pencil, or style their hair in an effort to avoid such attention.
Due to the guilt and shame often associated with it, is often goes unreported so it is difficult to predict accurately the lifespan of the condition for each person. It is is estimated to be between 0.6% (overall) and 1.5% (in males) to 3.4% (in females). This “pulling” often transpires in their private environment. Some individuals with TTM may feel they are the only person with this problem due to low rates of reporting.
The rates of trich among relatives of OCD patients is said to be higher than expected by chance. However, there are distinctive differences between trich and OCD including differing peak ages at onset, gender differences, and neural dysfunction and cognitive profile all come into play. When it occurs in early childhood, it “can be regarded as a distinct clinical entity”.
Because trich exists in multiple age groups, it is helpful in prognosis and treatment to approach three distinct subgroups by age: “preschool age children, preadolescents to young adults, and adults”.
Trich is also categorized into “automatic” versus “focused” hair pulling. Children are more often in the automatic, or subconscious, and may not consciously remember pulling their hair. Other individuals may place more focus on the hair pulling event, and tend to be more conscious with hair pulling. This will include seeking specific types of hairs to pull, or pulling until the hair feels “just right”, or pulling in response to a specific sensation. Many times, TTM become addicted to the “pop” sensation of the hair follicle being pulled out of the scalp of skin.
Is there hope? Yes – but like with anything – you have to want to change, for the change to happen successfully. First; one has to admit they have this problem. If you have dealt with this then the next thing is to be honest and ask yourself if you are really ready to give up the addiction for the opportunity of peace of mind. If your answer is YES, then here area few things that have worked most of the time with my clients (keep in mind that results are individual)
First: Get a few pairs of very thin surgical gloves like the type your dentist uses when working on you. Now, whenever and wherever you are comfortable, you are to wear these gloves. This will dull the feel of the hair pulling, immediately removing a good portion of the sensation. I have secretaries that have chosen their desire for beautiful healthy hair over the judgment of others hair and will wear their gloves at work when answering the phones, serving coffee, etc. with the exception of typing.
Second: Since TTM feeds on stress, custom mink lashes is a key to achieving success with your goal. Get a good pair of head phones that are comfortable for you as you will be wearing these when going to sleep or in meditation. Listening to self-hypnosis tapes that work on calming the mind and instilling confidence and joy. Meditation is excellent for developing this experience.
Third: Try to keep in mind that that this is a process. At times it will be difficult and frustrating, other times you’ll feel on top of the world because you got through the day without pulling. Give yourself permission not be perfect. Many times we’ll take a step forward only to take 2 steps backwards, before moving forward again sometimes to our surprises, taking a larger stride than before. However, try to keep your focus on the “moving forward” part and leave any judgment about where you were yesterday behind. This will give you the freedom to experience today and this “moment.” Which is really all we have.
Fourth: Keep looking at your progress. Give yourself credit for the work you’ve done. Hang some magazine pictures that resemble your hair the way it is, or used to be, or is a great picture of the type of hair you want and place it clearly in view so you can always look at it.
More than simply providing a way for those with hair loss to ‘replace their hair,’ Amy Gibson has given thousands of women a way to feel good about themselves again in spite of what can be a debilitating loss of self image, custom mink lashes, and confidence.
Working often times at the bedside with cancer patients for over eight years, Amy has been a bridge for chemotherapy patients and others who have lost their hair and courage, to give them hope, inner strength and the custom mink lashes necessary for living a full active life.