October 1-7 is #BFRBweek!
One whole week to celebrate body-focused repetitive behaviors.
This is trichotillomania, aka TTM. It is a disorder with an unknown cause (though anxiety is related most of the time) where you have uncontrollable urges to pull out your hair. It can be head hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, other bodily hair…. each person is different.
This disorder affects about 3% of Americans, yet we all try to hide it so well. Doctors have told me that most of us have lowered serotonin levels that rise to normal temporarily with each plucked hair. For many this begins around the onset of puberty, but it can happen at any point in life.
This weekend, with the support of close friends and with blistered fingers from nonstop pulling, I shaved my head yet again. We made it fun, all of us with temporary hair dye in every fun color.
I feel more open about TTM than ever in my 16 years of this, and am thankful for those that are understanding.
The worst thing you can ever tell someone with trichotillomania or dermatillomania is to “just stop”. They’re fighting demons that may have been there for years.
I am currently rocking the shaved head and hoping to be able to offer support to those that need it. Please please please know that anyone can reach out to me even just to have someone listen. I’m here!