Featured

THE TRICKY TRUTH ABOUT TRICHOTILLOMANIA

Trich Truths is a social media campaign that seeks to raise widespread awareness of Trichotillomania. We seek to gain a greater level of understanding and support for patients, so they no longer have to feel restricted or ashamed by a condition they can’t control.

Trichotillomania (TTM) is not uncommon- 2 in 50 people experience the disorder in their lifetimes. Yet why do so few people know what it is?

 

6359046394761889351008458728_4609589263.jpg

 

What is trichotillomania?

TTM is an impulse control disorder that causes individuals to compulsively pull out their hair, resulting in noticeable bald spots. Pulling does not only occur from the head, but can affect sufferers in other areas such as the eyelashes, eyebrows, pubic area, and beard. Many TTM patients pull as a way to cope with their anxiety and other stressful emotions. For those with TTM, resisting the urge to pull out their hair feels as hard as resisting the urge to scratch a very itchy itch. Often, it is done subconsciously, and can leave individuals surrounded in piles of hair after a pulling session.

The disorder is extremely hard to treat, with many cases prolonging throughout a lifetime.

trichotillomania-1

According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are five criteria which must be met in order for TTM to be diagnosed. They are:

  • The hair pulling is recurrent and a noticeable pattern of hair loss is observed.
  • The patient feels increased tension prior to the hair pulling.
  • This tension is relieved upon pulling hairs.
  • The pulling is not associated with another mental condition, and there is no medical cause for the hair pulling.
  • The behaviour interferes with or disrupts the patient’s social and work activities.

Studies have explored the psychological symptoms, indicating that the visible changes in appearance result in low self-esteem, body dissatisfaction, and feelings of unattractiveness. Patients who pull may feel a strong sense of shame, embarrassment, and anxiety, and frustration. They may feel self-conscious about what others say or think, and criticised by those who don’t understand that they have little control over their pulling. The hair loss may be disguised by wearing wigs, hats, scarves or hair clips, or by applying make-up. The act of hair pulling is a private one. Rarely does the hair pulling occur in the presence of another, except for close family members. Because of this, social alienation is common in TTM.

cropped-trich-logo.png

 

Advertisements

EASY DIY TREATMENTS FOR HAIR GROWTH

EASY DIY TREATMENTS FOR HAIR GROWTH

 

With the constant hair pulling of trichotillomania, individuals are left with thin, brittle, and damaged strands that are in need of tender loving care. So why not give your locks a luxurious treatment? There are various natural ingredients that can be found in your kitchen pantry, which can work wonders in rejuvenating and revitalising dull hair. Besides, what better excuse to pamper yourself and unwind on your next day off?

Here are our top treatments that will help strengthen and nourish those locks. Let us know which ones are your favourite!

 

castor_de_oil_cake
Castor Oil

Castor oil is rich in Vitamin E, essential fatty acids (i.e. omega 6 and omega 9), proteins and minerals. The oil is commonly used to treat dry scalp and hairloss due to its nourishing qualities and promotion of natural growth and repair.

To use, simply section your hair and apply solution carefully using an applicator brush. Thoroughly massage into your scalp. One applied, place on a shower cap and allow the oil to work its magic for at least two hours. Once the oil has penetrated into your hair, wash and rinse well with shampoo and conditioner.

 

eggfacts
Egg Whites

Eggs have high levels of protein and are rich in zine, sulphur, iron, phosphorous & iodine, all of which are beneficial in the growth of new hair.

Simply separate the egg whites from the yolk. For added shine, mix the egg white with a teaspoon of olive oil. Apply the mixture all over hair and wait for 20 minutes. Rinse and wash.

 

banana-800
Banana

Packing a variety of nutrients and mineral, it comes as no surprises that bananas are another source for healthy and shiny hair. Bananas are full of biotin, a B vitamin that promotes hair growth and overall scalp health.

For the treatment, just mash up a banana with your fork, until it becomes smooth. Don’t let those brown squishy bananas go to waste! Ensure the banana is completely mashed before applying to avoid stubborn pieces of bananas in your hair while washing. If the smell is unpleasant, simply add a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Once applied to hair, let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Rinse and wash.

 

coconut-oil
Coconut Oil

Another versatile oil that is incredibly nourishing and moisturizing. The oil contains proteins and potassium that are essential in the health of the scalp and in prompting new hair growth.

Simply apply coconut oil carefully onto your strands. If the oil is solid, melt the oil in the microwave for a couple of seconds until it becomes a liquid. Once applied, allow the solution to sit for 20 minutes, and then wash off thoroughly with shampoo and conditioner.

Q&A WITH KYLIE & KIT REVIEW IT

Trichotillomania can be a sensitive topic for some. Not many people are willing to share their hair pulling habits in risk of being scrutinized by others. So when individuals actively seek to discuss the issue and raise public awareness, we want to celebrate it.

You may already be familiar with Kylie and Kit Review It, who runs a fashion and lifestyle blog, and occasionally speaks out about trichotillomania. We have featured her 45 Comments People with Trichotillomania are Sick of Hearing article earlier, which is worth reading here.

In this post, we were able to speak with Kylie once more and gain deeper insight into her personal experiences, from how her trichotillomania began, to her best tips to keep from hair pulling, to what she’s learned along her trich journey.

 

1. What is your most early memory of having trichotillomania?

The earliest memory I have was when I was about 5 years old. I can remember watching my older cousins doing their makeup in the mirror and asking me why I didn’t have eyelashes when they tried playing with my makeup as well. At the time I was too young to understand what was happening let alone the reason why I didn’t have them. They thought I had a disease and that it was contagious , and that’s the day I started to realize that it’s not something everyone does and there was something different about me.

2. As trichotillomania is sensitive issue among many individuals, why did you decide to share your personal experiences on a public platform?

I decided to share my experiences really just in the hopes that someone else could relate to the posts. I want to raise awareness for trichotillomania and other BFRBs (Body Focused Repetitive Behaviour) because no one should feel like a freak, or alone in this world because of a disorder. I grew up thinking I was the only one with this strange habit of pulling my hair out only to find out years later that it was more common than people think. I don’t want anyone to feel the way I did when I was younger and the best way I could think to raise awareness was to come out to the public and speak about things most people are afraid to.

3. What have been your main coping mechanisms when dealing with trichotillomania?

The main way I use to cope with my trich is to stay as busy as possible. I do a lot of activities that constantly keep my mind and body busy. I find it easier to fight the urges to pull of my mind is just as focused on something as my body is.

4. How has your perspective changed upon discovering the online trich community?

After finding a few groups and community’s full of people with BFRB I immediately felt a sense of relief. I now have groups of people I can talk to for support when I need it. And let’s face it, it’s really nice to talk to someone who is going through the same thing you are.

5. What is your number one tip for other sufferers of trichotillomania?

My number 1 tip for someone with a BFRB is to talk to someone else coping with the same thing. It really does help to talk to someone about it that understands exactly what you mean when you say you’re struggling.

 

CELEBRITIES WIG IT OUT

 

When faced with trichotillomania, one of the most time-consuming pains you can go through is trying to find ways to hide and disguise those bald spots. Whether it is by clipping what seem to be a hundred bobby pins on your head, spraying a ludicrous amount of colored hairspray, or wearing headscarves and hats, I am sure you’ve tried it. Yet despite those laborious attempts to hide those hair pulling spots, there is always that little bit of anxiety that has you wondering, “will my hat fly off in this wind?”, “will people see through these clips?”, “can they see my bald spots?”.

This is where the magic of wigs comes in.

They can provide you with those long luscious locks that you’ve been dreaming of, and help rebuild that inner confidence. Wigs don’t have to be intimidating. Why not have fun with it? Wigs can change up your look, allow you to be daring, and eliminate the time and worry you normally spend on your normal hair.

Wigs aren’t only reserved for those suffering from hair loss. In fact, over the recent years, they’ve grown increasingly popular among many of our well-known celebrities. Keep reading to see a list of celebrities who are avid fan wearers. Some might surprise you!

 

2694481-main_image
1. SIA

Sia is world famous for her emotional hits such as “Chandelier” and “Elastic Heart”. Though when fans aren’t marveling over her unique vocal talent, they are equally intrigued by the mysterious persona she creates through her trademark wigs. By wearing them in public, she shuns the spotlight, and aims to live like a regular person while still doing watch she loves most – make music and sing.

 

2c664c9d00000578-3237635-green_with_envy_the_recently_turned_18_year_old_also_ditched_her-m-3_1442476011693
2. KYLIE JENNER

We are all too familiar with the youngest sister of the world famous Kardashian-Jenner family, and her love for wigs. Changing them almost as frequent as she changes her clothes, it is clear that Kylie is not afraid to mix up her look.

 

regina-george
3. RACHEL MCADAMS

Rachel McAdams is well known for playing roles as one of our most beloved characters in The Notebook, and the nasty popular girl in the iconic Mean Girls. But did you know her role as Regina George had her adorning a blonde wig? The hairpiece added several inches to her short golden locks.

lady-gaga_111994_top

4. LADY GAGA

The songwriter, singer and actress is no stranger to a bold and eye-catching look. With her adventurous red carpet outfit choices, it comes as no surprise that Lady Gaga is an avid wig wearer. So much so that Buzzfeed has dedicated an entire page featuring 45 of Lady Gaga’s most spectacular wigs.

SHARE YOUR TRICHOTILLOMANIA STORY I: CHLOE

SHARE YOUR TRICHOTILLOMANIA STORY I: CHLOE

Stories can be very healing and many people benefit from getting the opportunity to pass on their experience to others. Especially when facing a disorder like trichotillomania, many can be left feeling helpless and out of a position of control. In sharing their stories, trichotillomania sufferers can feel empowered and strengthened by their courage to spread light on a sensitive issue.

This is why Trich Truths has decided to start a new series of blog posts called “Share Your Trichotillomania Story”, where guests will be coming to this platform to reveal their own personal struggles with the disorder. This series aims to go beyond the facts and statistics of trichotillomania, to provide a more intimate voice from the people who are most affected.

Our first speaker, Chloe, is a young Australian student  who aims to spread trichotillomania from a raw and honest perspective. In sharing her  story, she proposes that education is vital to the widespread understanding and support for trichotillomania and its patients.

SHARE YOUR TRICHOTILLOMANIA STORY:

I was 13 when I first started pulling out my hair. I would sit there and pull out my hair strand by strand. It hurt at first but after about a month it stopped hurting and the only feelings were comfort and emotional relief.
Trichotillomania is a disorder, often triggered from psychological trauma that involves recurrent and irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes and other parts of your body. No matter how hard one tries, it is almost impossible to stop until the urge desists.
My trichotillomania has primarily affected my scalp, leaving patchy bald spots and causing significant distress , majorly interfering with my general functioning.
It hit it’s ultimate low at age 16, where it became apparent that I couldn’t wear my hair down or even wear it in a pony tail. I felt inhumane and didn’t know what to do. There was a general lack of understanding as to what I was experiencing due to most people hiding their Trich at all lengths to spare embarrassment.

At age 17, I had not been to the hairdresser in 4 years and was embarrassed to get my hair wet in front of other people, participate in group costumes that required a specific hairstyle and didn’t enjoy sitting in front of people as they may have noticed and asked about my hair. I was known as the girl who never wore her hair down and was constantly told to, “wear your hair down, you’ll look prettier.” And, “a haircut could really fix your problems.”
Coming up to the end of Year 12, I managed to take myself to get a haircut and see what they could do for my situation. I was greeted with, “oh you have alopecia” and “oh, do people ever think you have cancer?” No, it was trichotillomania and it was a testament to how much people didn’t know about the disorder.

At 18 and on my gap year, my Trichotillomania dramatically improved. My hair started growing back and once back in Australia for a bit after 4 months away, it became apparent how much my hair had grown and changed. Due to the amazing people I encountered on my gap year, I gained the confidence to properly take care of myself and was able to control the urges to pull out my hair. By the middle of 2015, I could wear my hair in a comfortable pony tail and with proper care, it could be worn loose as well.

2016, and now at 19 years old is what is shown in the picture. It looks awful and confronting but it’s actually a symbol of recovery. This is the most hair I’ve had on my scalp in years and after so much damage it will take years to be back in original form. Since becoming open about trich this year, I’ve heard from others who too struggle from this disorder. They have felt just as in the dark as I have. Despite lack of funding and awareness towards OCD and body repetitive behaviours, it is the EDUCATION that matters at this point. I have 515 people here on Facebook who can potentially know and understand a bit more about disorder and the effect it can have on people. That’s what is important. Any act to making someone feel comfortable in their own skin and mind is an act worthwhile.

EDUCATION IS KEY🙌🏻

If you’ve made it to the end, I thank you so much for taking the time to read about trichotillomania and my personal story with it. It is much appreciated! Also, a huge happy mental health week and please know that there’s always someone to help you whether it’s in the form of family, friends, an organisation, a helpline, a pet etc etc..

14523192_342888362711841_9060541641222623108_n

 

 

VARIOUS WAYS TO DIVERT THE URGE TO PULL – DAY IN THE LIFE OF LIVING WITH TRICHOTILLOMANIA

VARIOUS WAYS TO DIVERT THE URGE TO PULL – DAY IN THE LIFE OF LIVING WITH TRICHOTILLOMANIA

 

Having trichotillomania can be a very traumatic and stressful experience, especially for those who are feeling alone and misunderstood. Luckily, with the affordances of the Internet, we’re able to connect with so many like-minded individuals by simply browsing through blogs, joining facebook groups, and quickly navigating through search engines. Now, those who’ve suffered from trichotillomania all of those years in solitary, don’t have to feel alone anymore.

Since starting Trich Truths, I’ve managed to come across so many  individuals who continue to inspire others through their perseverance in battling  with the hair pulling disorder. Among them, is fellow blogger from Day In The Life Of Living With Trichotillomania. This blog follows the chronicles of a trichotillomania sufferer who has lived with the condition since her secondary school years. Just like any 16-25 year old, she faces the same tribulations as any young woman. Though, what sets her apart is her courage to share her story with others, a story that many are still hiding in the dark. Between schooling, she fits in time to share with the blogosphere her personal experiences to gain awareness of trichotillomania and foster better understanding.

This post features Day In The Life Of Living With Trichotillomania‘s advice on how she resists her urge to pull. If you enjoy this post, please give it a like and share which tips you have found useful in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to give Day In The Life Of Living With Trichotillomania some encouragement by hitting like on her original post, which can be found here.

Enjoy reading!

Various ways I try to divert my urges

Everyday is a struggle to try and not give in to the urge to pull my hair. It is like facing constant obstacles that I always have to try and overcome. Every time the urges get triggered for me, is when I am angry, sad, anxious and tense; not really being focused on my day to day activites. I get paranoid and nervous. I don’t really feel myself.

In regards to the urges themselves, my hands seem to have a mind of their own and so, whenever particular feelings are triggered then my hands seem to want to pull my hair. It is like pulling being a way to release those build up negative feelings and to become relaxed; calm again.

I have had trichotillomania for a couple of years now, so along the way there have been periods of time where I had managed to get very close or had a full head of hair. Along the way, you pick up routines or tricks to divert the urges and really make sure that you do not pull your hair.

KEY: Keep your hands occupied and busy.

Example of a few things I do to try and divert my urges:

  • I keep a diary and a plain notebook. I have found writing to be helpful. I write down anything from what ive been up during my day, any thoughts i have or even doodle.
  • Any time I am at home, I always wear a headscarf. So along the years, I have found way to be creative with headwear.
  • I learnt to be the piano throughout the years and so, if I was near the piano  I would play a couple of tunes.
  • Going for a run or a walk. I have found it a great way to clear my hand and get some fresh air.
  • Reading
  • Drawing/Painting
  • Go for dog walks with my dog and play with him as well.
  • Making and cooking meals for people to eat with fresh ingredients.
  • Focus on my university work. Doing research via internet, the library and making thorough notes.

45 Comments People with Trichotillomania are Sick of Hearing

45 Comments People with Trichotillomania are Sick of Hearing

For many trichsters, trichotillomania is a disorder that they have suffered for as long as they can remember. While the most common age of onset is generally around 9-13 years, it is possible for hair pulling to occur in as young as infants. Provided that these individuals have faced the trials of trichotillomania over several years, many may be all too familiar with the unnecessary comments made by friends, family members, peers, and even strangers.

Kylie from Kylie and Kit Review It is a trichster herself who runs a blog focused on fashion and lifestyle. Having suffered from trichotillomania from the age of 5-6, she frequently focuses her posts on the hair pulling disorder. She shares personal experiences, provides tips and recommendations in fighting the pull, and creates an environment where trich sufferers can bond over shared feelings and experiences. In one of her most popular posts, “45 Comments People with Trichotillomania are Sick of Hearing”, she provides a voice for all of those out there who suffer from the same disorder. The comments she lists ranges from the uninformed to the shocking and downright rude remarks that people often say.

Whether you’re a friend, family member, acquaintance of someone who has trichotillomania, or even a curious onlooker, Kylie shares some of the comments that you are better off just keeping to yourself.

Kylie and Kit Review It

This post has been inspired by all the different comments that anyone who suffers from Trichotillomania is really just sick of hearing. Sometimes people don’t think about how something as simple as a silly comment in their opinion could actually be harming the person they’re saying it to.

Trichotillomania is a hair pulling disorder that is not uncommon, but most people don’t know what it is and don’t understand it. They don’t understand why we do this to ourselves and don’t know how to help, which we understand this because most of us don’t understand it completely ourselves either. It’s hard to control and almost impossible to stop. But it can be done! And my main goal is to help raise awareness on Trichotillomania, as well as help others feel less alone in this battle.

Anyone who suffers from Trichotillomania usually has the desire to stop, but finding a…

View original post 3,240 more words

TRICHOTILLOMANIA TREATMENT: Family and Emotional Support

To kick off another post in forms of trichotillomania treatment, today we will be talking about the importance of family and emotional support. To see the previous post that we’ve written on behavioural techniques that reduce symptoms, please click here.

Trichotillomania is a disorder that is often kept in the dark. Although 2 in 50 people experience trichotillomania at least once in their lives, it still remains a quiet issue. When facing the disorder, it is not uncommon to experience feelings of self-loathing, anxiety, emotional distress or guilt. Though you don’t have to suffer from it alone. Often times, talking through it with someone you trust can make a world of difference. Here are some ways you can speak up about trichotillomania and gather that emotional support that is key in coping with trich.

Confide in family and friends

Believe it or not, one of the best ways to feel better is to talk about it. Your close family and friends are the perfect people to confide in, especially on days when you’re feeling a little worse for wear. You don’t have to suffer alone when there are individuals who genuinely care about your well-being. Not all people are mind readers, and not everyone understands the difficulties of going through trichotillomania. Your friends and family may think they are helping when they smack your hand away in annoyance or remind you constantly to “STOP PULLING!”, when in fact, by doing so, they’re only increasing your feelings of stress. One very simple and effective thing you can do is to tell them. Tell them how you feel and tell them how they can help you.

Congregate with other trichsters

There is nothing worse than feeling isolated and misunderstood. Luckily, with the affordances of social media and the world wide web, one can so easily connect with other individuals anywhere, anytime. There are many people facing the same struggles of trichotillomania, and if you’re not comfortable talking about it with people near you, how about starting that conversation with someone who’s going through the same thing?  With just a quick google search, you can easily find blogs, facebook groups, and websites where you can interact with other trich sufferers and  be opened up to a variety of helpful resources. Many of these places foster understanding, support, and a sense of community. You are not alone in your battle with trichotillomania, so don’t be afraid to reach out!

Support Groups

Support groups allow patients to confide in their issues and relate with one another in a safe and understanding environment. They include meeting up with other patients to discuss experiences, problems, and strategies for coping. By joining a local support group, you are receiving that emotional guidance in a non-judgmental environment.Being able to engage face to face with people that have the same type of disorder can go a long way in helping you regain a measure of self-assurance and improve self-image.