The biggest negative outcome of talking about it though, was the fact that it actually kind of triggered me to pull more during those days. I guess the constant thinking and talking about it overpowered my self control, and I had to do a lot of battling within myself to get back on track. This led me to think a lot about the ways that I prevent myself from pulling on a daily basis; about all of the little tips and tricks that allow me to beat trichotillomania on a daily basis.
"Trichy" Tricks: Overpowering the Urge
1. Do anything possible to keep your hands busy.
Idle hands are a problem. I, along with many others who deal with trich, am a very fidgety/anxious person. When my hands don't have something to do, they tend to start messing with my hair. It will begin with twirling it or playing with it, and before I know it I will be searching for the perfect piece to pull out. My hands have to have something to do, whether that means writing or typing or texting, or even just twiddling my thumbs.
2. Hang out in groups.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my alone time. However, alone time can lead to boredom and mindless activities such as watching TV, and those types of things often lead to the urge to pull. I would say that the likeliness that I will pull hair out doubles, if not triples, when I am alone. If I am with friends or family, I'm not going to give in to the desire because it's something that would be obvious and awkward. Group conversations also keep my mind more preoccupied, so I don't think about pulling as much.
3. Encourage yourself.
It's easy to hate on yourself when you mess up. A lot of negative emotions can arise after a bad pulling session, and may ultimately lead to hatred of self. It's important to attempt to be a self motivator. Instead of saying, "Wow...idiot, you've done it again," try saying, "It's okay. This does not define me. I can beat this, and it doesn't make me any less of a person." Instead of tearing yourself down, build yourself up. Every morning, wake up and say, "Today is a new day, and I am a strong person."
I have some other tricks that I want to discuss in a later post, but I find that these are the most helpful. I hope that these can be a positive for anyone who may be dealing with trichotillomania and all of the troubles that come with it. Once again, please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have about the disorder.