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Hi, I'm Molly. I've had trich for ten years and along the way I made friends who have turned out to have the same thing or dermatillomania. My best friend has derma but doesn't call it that. She knows it's bad and I want to help her realize that like my trich, if she doesn't get help it will get worse.(and she doesn't treat it with antibiotic cream) I just feel in a weird position. I guess like the one my mom was in when i told her of my hair pulling. Any advice?
Hey :) nice to meet you Molly!
Your situation does sound tricky. I’ve been there, but not to such an extreme. But I do know that my mom’s had that role with me. It was worse when I was in high school- she’d yell at me while destroying my face in the bathroom, and it just felt intrusive. She even took me to a dermatologist one time when I was 16 and they covered my arms in some sort of healing cream and antibiotics, and I was instructed to keep it all on for a week! It lasted two days. I’m glad she did it though, even though it felt a little barbaric, because I realized I’d have to take matters into my own hands.
I was actually in that situation with a girl I was teaching a few months ago. She was 12, and I felt a bond with her because we had a bunch of things in common, like anxiety and OCD (I didn’t tell her this, though). I just made it a point to help her feel comfortable because I know how tough things can be. She pointed out my long eyelashes one time, asked me if they were real, and told me that she pulls hers out to the point where her eyes get sore.
I was in a tricky situation, I wanted to help her but not hurt her feelings. I told her that biologically, eyelashes have a function- they are there to protect our eyes from dirt. I told her that she has beautiful eyelashes and that she should take care of them and not hurt herself. I don’t know if I made an impact, but I hope it at least opened her eyes up a tiny bit.
With your friend and her derma, I wouldn’t bring it up out of the blue, but if she mentions something about it you can tell her that you care about her. Let her know that it’s difficult for you to see her harming herself, and that you’re there to help her get better. If she’s in denial, at least explain that you’re concerned for her health, and make her at least promise that she’ll use an antibiotic cream if it gets bad. Dermatillomania, like Trich, is difficult to deal with, as I’m sure you know, so baby steps seem to be the way to go.
Another thing you could do is look up any Trich, Derma or OCD groups in the area and ask her if she’s interested in joining you. You could say something like, “well, it’s for me, but I figure these support groups could help both of us since I know you’re having a lot of trouble with your skin.” Chances are she’ll have a good long thought about it, and if she doesn’t feel comfortable going, at least you’ll have paved the way for her to research dermatillomania in her spare time.
I don’t know if this was helpful at all, haha. If you talk with your friend let me know how it goes! Best of luck to you both!
It helps. SO MUCH. I have so much energy now and I feel much calmer. I only needed one cup of coffee this morning. Along with eating better, this will hopefully help my skin out, as I haven’t picked much at all in the past few days.
I’ve tried to eat well in the past, and actually take care of myself, but this time I’m really gonna do it, and stick to it. It’s so easy to get lost in a cycle of lazy despair. But it’s something that can be changed. It’s hard to start but easy to keep going, a good habit to get into :)
I’m going to keep this up. No hoping, I WILL keep this up.
I’d really appreciate if anyone who bothers to read this or even glance it at reblogs it. You’d reblog facts about cancer or depression, why not this? So many people suffer in silence and feel alone because of this disorder. Let them know there is a name for what is happening and they aren’t the…
Trich is my sister disorder. Always happy to reblog.
You are beautiful, in every single way. You are more than what you are going through, more than what people think of you. You are loved, cherished, and precious. Keep your head up, lovely, there is hope at the end of the day for you.
After going on the elliptical last night, I felt a lot better. I feel healthier and more energetic. I’m going to shoot for 30 minutes most days. I didn’t realize how much better exercising makes you feel. It’s funny that I had to stop doing it for a while to realize I had little to no energy. haha.
I’m also going to try drinking water and getting the same amount of sleep every night. I live for consistent routines. I’ve also gained about 10 lbs since moving back home in June, and I don’t mind the extra weight, but I feel a little sluggish, and I don’t want to gain any more. So I’m going to try eating healthier foods. Weight loss would be fine, but it’s not necessarily what I’m shooting for.
I’m going to take some serious effort to take care of myself. Just an overall self-esteem makeover. Get healthy. What do you do to stay healthy?
1. Exercise 2. Putting on fake tattoos 3. Drawing on yourself in red marker (make sure it’s washable!) 4. Scribbling on sheets an sheets of paper 5. Writing (poetry, stories, journal, etc.) 6. Cuddling with a stuffed toy 7. Being with other people 8. Watching a favorite TV show (preferably…
Chewing gum. I generally try to avoid it because I grind my teeth at night (and as my dentist describes it, I have “olympian-sized jaw muscles”), but until my jaw gets sore it really helps. I think part of the reason why I pick at my skin is because I can’t sit still- this is why I take knitting projects with me everywhere. But chewing gum really does help a lot. Getting a flavored gum helps too. I like the Trident Layers gum even though it gets dry really quickly. I need to pick some more up. haha
stim- wiggle your toes, rock your legs when sitting still, etc
make crafts! origami! paper snowflakes! finnish stars, stuff like…
*TRIGGER WARNING - SKIN/SCALP PICKING*
These are so great! If you specifically pick your face… personally, cosmetics have been really therapeutic for me! You get a great sensation from the brushes and if you focus on a specific design it completely dissolves the urge. Scalp distractions… straightening your hair. It gives you a slight pulling sensation but doesn’t trigger me to pick and usually deters it for the rest of the day. Also, brushing my teeth and flossing. Weird I know but snaps be right out of it. *These are all my experiences and not recommended by any doctor.
Excellent contributions! I do the flossing thing too. Also putting on lotion helps, and being sure to moisturize enough will help your skin to not produce as much oil, resulting in fewer breakouts. Also painting your nails is a great distraction too, especially if you pick the skin around your nails like I do.
Another thing I must stress: MAKE SURE YOU GET ENOUGH SLEEP. Lack of sleep tends to exacerbate things like stress and it makes these habits worse. I have a weighted blanket to help with my sleep (also because I have asperger’s) but I’ve read they help a lot with insomnia as well. Other things you can do include putting enough time aside to calm down and recognize when you get too tired to function- those have been huge for me.
I was just talking to my friend who lives across the ocean.
She was my college roommate and she’s going through a hard time. It’s so heartbreaking to hear that she’s in a bit of a funk right now. But we just realized that we each helped each other out of a dark time when we were in college. She helped me with my then-crippling anxiety over a bad experience, and I don’t even know if she realizes how much she’s helped me, regardless of how often I tell her. I never realized what an impact I had on her, and I hope she realizes the impact she’s had on me.
She is the most selfless person ever, such a wonderful friend, and I don’t think she has any idea. I love her so much, I just wish we didn’t live on opposite ends of the earth.
Guys, be there for your friends. You have the power to change someone’s life for the better. Don’t be afraid to be there for people, because they often want to be there for you too. Those people are the real gems that you have to keep in your life. They’re your chosen family. Take care of each other.