Dealing with mental illness Trichotillomania #mentalillness #healthandwellness #medicine

Dealing with mental illness, trichotillomania

Dealing with mental illness Trichotillomania #mentalillness #healthandwellness #medicine

Guys, this is not an easy post to write. Not in the slightest. I feel so weird and awkward as well as stressed AF. But here goes.

Hi my name is Stephanie,  and I have Trichotillomania .

I pull out my hair or pull and split strands. I break hair which I hate myself for doing.  I hate that I do that, which gives me stress and anxiety.  So I pull more. Which embarrasses me, because I feel ugly. Then, I get more upset because I lost a lot of hair after my baby due to hormones and the depo shot.

I hate it. And I try so hard to stop it. My husband gets on to me about it which embarrasses me more. It is like when people cut, you get a sense of relief at the time. But then afterwards the feeling of regret and disgust and disappointment kicks in and so the cycle kicks in over time.

I hate my hair already because it was already a frizzy mess.  And this whole thing started when I was a teen. Which happens in a lot of cases. Bad hormones which I had,anxiety,stress and massive bouts of depression. And the rest is history. A doctor when I was an adult diagnosed me with bipolar disorder and my hair pulling was related to that in some ways.

I have severe anxiety and depression issues. And I do take medication, for that. The hair pulling is hard to treat. And my embarrassment is hard for me to go and discuss it again with my new primary. It isn’t easy to admit you have this problem or any problem mental related. It was hard for me to discuss Post partum, and it is even worse to talk about this.

My anxiety for telling a doctor stems from having my heart condition/neurological issue was dismissed and basically I was told I was a faker and had munchausen disorder.  I was upset by that and so had to find new doctors and then would never bring up the mental disorders. I am scared to. I feel like I would be labeled as well as never taken seriously again.

It is why I keep it a lot to myself, and then that in itself makes the hair pulling worse. As does boredom. I have to keep my hands busy. So, I color, if I can I play Xbox. I exercise. I blog(lmao) and take photos. I notice that some essential oils help keep me in check. Help, not cure.

The treatment for this condition is talk therapy(YIKES) and sometimes medication. Which in some cases doesn’t help. But maybe in my case it would. The fact I am talking to you all, strangers, is empowering, as well as frightening. In a way it is giving me the strength to discuss this with my primary finally and get a psychiatrist. I think.

This post was not an easy one for me. I hope you all understand.

 

9 Comments

  • Rob January 22, 2019 at 10:31 AM

    Speaking openly about any type of mental illness requires insight and courage. I applaud you for both. Having worked in the mental health field for 20 years, I have come to see that not nearly enough is known about how these conditions affect our daily lives, nor is there enough empathy for those living with them. Which is ironic, given just how common mental health issues are. Stigma still exists. Lack of interest in understanding it still exists. It is only through open discussion, like you’ve been brave enough to show here, that allows this to be normalized and help people understand that these are not things that one can just “get over”. This couldn’t have been easy to write and I hope that you feel some level of support for what you are facing daily.

    Reply
    • Stephanie January 22, 2019 at 6:49 PM

      Thank you, it isn’t easy. You are right they are common, but I think people are embarrassed to admit they are not perfect. My issue is that, i am embarrassed and I don’t want to be labeled as crazy.

      Reply
      • Rob January 25, 2019 at 11:25 AM

        I wish I could say it’s’ not embarrassing, but until it is better understood and accepted by those in our circles, it is natural to feel that way. However, in what I choose to see as progress… people, in general, seem to have moved away from jumping to a label of “crazy” and now seem to more quickly look at the person with a more affectionate label of “quirky”. It’s not ideal, I admit, but it’s something.

        It bothers me that you were accused of munchausens. Mostly from my own experiences of collaborating with other Mental Health professionals, many of whom are quick to diagnose the disorder, claiming to be confident in their assessment, however, when questioned more specifically, are embarrassed by how little they actually know about it, beyond it’s portrayal in the media (which is often inaccurate). It is also worth noting that munchausens is notoriously difficult to diagnose. Not to mention, Munchausens is sometimes used as an excuse for a clinician’s treatment failings and for discontinuing treatment. When in truth, if accurately diagnosed, the disorder requires treatment in its own right, and shouldn’t be written off as “the patient’s fault”.

        Older more established clinicians seem to share this view, however, I’ve noticed that that younger clinicians seem more open-minded.

        Ok, I’ve gone a bit on a tangent, but my point is this, you’re not “crazy”. We are all quirky in one way or another. It’s just a matter of what quirkyness’s are better understood and accepted than others.

        Feeling for you tho. Stay strong, as you have so far…
        🙂

        Reply
  • Molly January 22, 2019 at 9:10 PM

    Hi Stephanie! It took a lot of guts for you to write this update, but I’m glad you did. My cousin is dealing with Trichotillomania. I’m not claiming to be an expert, but I’m always here if you want to email me. I will listen and you can vent. =)

    Reply
    • Stephanie January 23, 2019 at 6:08 AM

      Thank you so much molly! I may take you upon that offer. You are the sweetest

      Reply
  • Shelbee on the Edge January 28, 2019 at 1:21 PM

    Stephanie, I am so, so proud of you for taking this step and sharing this journey publicly. It is never easy to talk about things of this nature because of that damned stigma, because society has somehow deemed us crazy for having an illness. Mental illness is just like any physical illness except we just don’t know as much about effective treatments. I share a lot on my blog about my journey through Bipolar Disorder and honestly, talking about it openly, honestly and rawly has been one of the primary methods of treatment for me. While it is super scary at first, it does get easier each time you discuss it openly. Because each time you talk about, you reach someone else who has been afraid to talk about it and they suddenly feel an ease to discuss what they are struggling through. So I applaud you and I support you and if there is anything I can do, even if it is just a chat every now and again, please do feel free to email me. And I don’t want to stress you out any more, but the message of your post and what you have done here is so important that I am sharing it tomorrow as a featured favorite on my #SpreadTheKindness Link Up. Thank you for linking it. It needs to reach more people. Sending you lots of hugs and positive energy, my friend!

    Shelbee on the Edge

    Reply
    • Stephanie January 28, 2019 at 10:05 PM

      Thank you so much Shelbee! I really appreciate it!

      Reply
  • Laura January 29, 2019 at 5:59 PM

    You are such a brave person for sharing this! I was diagnosed with this in college and depending on how much stress is in my life it gets better or worse at times. I’ve tried therapy but it never really helped. Thank you for bringing light to a condition that many people have but don’t want to talk about!

    Reply
    • Stephanie January 30, 2019 at 11:19 AM

      Thank you for commenting. It is great to hear I am not alone. It is such an embarrassing condition and I feel so horrible about it. AMD the more stress the worse it gets

      Reply

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