Wednesday, February 4, 2009

confessions of a trichotillomaniac

Work itttt, twirl itttt, tangle itttt, pull itttt and release. Ah, sweet relief and joy! I examine the beautiful red strand of long hair and let it fall from my fingertips to the indifferent floor. Such tactile joy!

Now start on another piece and find one clump to work, twirl, tangle, pull and release. Examine it, tug it, pull the odd strand out; it's a bad habit that is quite satisfying. Hollywood actor Colin Farrell is among the millions of people worldwide to have experienced the condition.

Trichotillomania is an obsessive compulsive disorder which compels a person to pull out either their hair, their eyelashes, or their eyebrows. It's rarely talked about because most sufferers, or "trichsters" as we are called, try to hide it. (I don't; I am an out of the closet trichster.) And don't shake the tambourine when I am working on a piece. I turn into Carrie.

The word trichotillomania (trick-oh-till-oh-mania) literally means "hair-pulling frenzy." I love to finish a hair-pulling session and visually examine the pile of soft hair sitting on the rug to my left. I enjoy seeing that pile of hair more than a visit to MOMA to see the Picassos.

I spent more than 15 years trying biofeedback, hypnotherapy, medication, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Then I recognized that trichotillomania is the new anorexia. I still feel the urge but can finally control it and stop when I am using all of my fingers to type at my blogs. My blogs are my cure!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm happy for you. Congrats. I'm still battling.