Until about a little
over a year
ago, I never knew that Trichotillomania
existed. Until that point, I just figured that I had a general obsessive disorder
. Unlike many peoples' Trichotillomania, mine has progressed no further than to my eyebrows
. Yet, it is still something
that I have to deal with
My sophomore year of high school was when this all started. I had fairly normal-looking eyebrows. Well, at least there were two of them. I don't know that there was any particular event that made me start plucking my eyebrows. I just started. At first, I started plucking hairs that looked as if they had black roots. That lasted for a long time. As I kept plucking more of the black-rooted ones, more grew. I decided that it would be "fun" to pluck the new ones, too.
I think that eventually it didn't matter what kind I plucked. It was just something that I did.
By this point, the hairs left in my eyebrows had diminished to a miniscule amount. People at school asked me questions about them. My answer was always that I wouldn't tell. I said that only one guy was there when the "losing my eyebrows" incident occured, and that no one else could know about it. I figured out in my head that I didn't actually lie. God was the one guy who knew what I was doing.
So the days of painting on my eyebrows continued into my junior year. It was getting to the point that I decided something had to be done about it. I tried to change slowly. I decided that I wouldn't pluck the full-grown hairs anymore, just the new ones.
This worked well enough to the point that I had two semi-normal eyebrows again. Although, everyday for the rest of my high school career, and even now in my college years, I deal with Trichotillomania.
It isn't easy to deal with, but neither are most impulse-control disorders. Because of what I have done, hairs grow in the middle of my eyebrows. I know that I want to keep these plucked. However, everytime I pick up the tweezers, I want to pluck more than that. Thankfully, I have one thing going for me-- determination. I have talked with tons of people who have had trich for 30 plus years. I really don't want to be one of them.
Well, to add a bit of info... The word trichotillomania is derived from the Greek
thrix, hair; tillein, to pull; and mania, madness or frenzy.
This name is somewhat of a misnomer in that people with trichotillomania are not "mad", "psychotic" or "crazy" as the name suggests. Trichotillomania is actually an impulse control disorder. Impulse control disorders are characterized by the inability to control or resist the temptation (or impulse) to do something to oneself or someone else.