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Trichotillomania…

with 8 comments

This is interesting. I have pulled my hair for so long I can’t remember not doing it. It’s something I’ve always been ashamed of, but don’t seem able to stop. My partner can never understand why I do it even when he tells me not to. It is something that gets worse when I’m stressed or feeling low, but is such an ingrained habit it is there when I’m well too. I really do wonder if there is a magic pill that could stop me and if so, why haven’t I been given it yet?

Aside from that, today I saw Dr G with my bloke and therapist. It was strange having the four of us in Dr G’s little room. I felt quite intimidated and overwhelmed and it didn’t take me long to start crying from the stress of it all. We talked about how I need to be more open about things, something that has been repeatedly a topic for discussion, but something I find very difficult. I often think I don’t want to be open and honest about how I feel. I don’t want people to panic and I don’t want to be helped. If you’re feeling really suicidal, the last thing you want is everyone to know so they can stop you. I don’t see how I can break that barrier to openness.

Yesterday I finally met my CMHT worker, J. She’s a social worker, not a CPN, which I’m slightly disappointed about. I have been told they don’t distinguish between them in our trust, but I somehow think a CPN would be more use. They’d have more understanding of my illness and what it really entails. We chatted about my life and the past year as she wants to get to know me. I don’t know if what I said was helpful but the time raced by. I wanted to ask what is going to happen to me but she didn’t seem to know. She was surprised that I hadn’t yet had been sent an appointment with the consultant so is going to chase that up. I am not sure her coming to see me is going to be that helpful but we will see. I might be able to talk to her properly eventually. I found I was being economical with the truth when she asked me how I was feeling. I couldn’t help it. I don’t yet trust her. I see her again next week.

I am seeing Dr G again on Thursday as she didn’t have time to do a medication review today. She said she’d review my sleep again, which has gone haywire since coming off the Haloperidol. I’m a little more awake during the day but not sleeping much at night. Temazepam was suggested so we shall see what she comes up with. I’m sure the Lamotrigine will go up again too. She has to titrate it up so very slowly. It’s hard being patient waiting for the increases. I just want her to stick it up to a high dose and be done with it, but I know she can’t.

Generally I feel a little empty and numb. I am just carrying on because I have no choice, but it’s hard. I don’t want to.

8 Responses

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  1. So that’s why they were talking about Trichotillomania on radio 2 at lunch time today… I had not realise something had been in the news and was not really paying much attention to the news, too busy drowning in boxes.

    I hear you on Dr G putting up doses of meds slowly… when I saw you last time I was quite happy slightly manic if anything and as things were going well I made my next appointment for four weeks time, but now I am regretting that and wishing I’d stuck to three weeks or even two because I am still on such a low dose of the Venaflexine and it’s going up so slowly… I know Dr G says I can give her a call and I am certain she’ll up it over the phone but I don’t like to bother her…

    I am glad you finally got to meet someone from the CMHT, ermmm I’m not sure I would be comfortable with a social worker but you can only see how it goes… I guess if things are not comfortable for you, you can always ask for someone else.

    Take care L, x

    P.S As for the Trichotillomania, I’m a hair puller as well, mainly when I am stress or put under pressure… I found I did it frequently in therapy…

    Alison

    Tuesday, 7th July 2009 at 7:52 pm

  2. Another Hair puller here too. I’ve done it for so long that it’s so hard to stop; I find I can control it to a degree but after that it’s more difficult! I’ve tried all the suggestions but I guess taming myself is probably the best. At the time it feels so good, then the next morning I look in the mirror and am disgusted, but that never stops me!

    I hope it goes well with the CMHT, I’d say give it time and see what happens; she might be better than you expect.

    xx

    Kate

    Wednesday, 8th July 2009 at 9:01 pm

  3. heya,

    sorry you’re still feeling so bad. I know what you mean about the dual that goes on re being open.

    There’s a stage I hit where I have those two mindsets fighting against each other – on the one hand wanting to feel better and knowing I need to reach out to do that; on the other hand wanting to die because I’m not sure I can, or deserve to, feel better.

    It’s not a nice place to be in and the thing is, for me, when I get those two opposing voices, just dealing with that constant choice between the two is completely EXHAUSTING. And being knackered is hardly conducive to fighting negativity, so I get really ‘stuck’ sometimes.

    I can’t offer advice on how to get out of that stuckness because to be totally honest I never feel very adept at disentangling myself. My experience is that I have to metaphorically hang onto something, brace myself, and wait for the proverbial storm to pass. It’s difficult to ask more of myself in that mindset. Eventually I can usually start to do something to help myself, with the assistance of others as needed. When that self-help thing becomes a little less like pulling teeth it DOES get easier.

    With me it’s like you see on TV those Strong Men who have to pull a car with a harness attached to their body (honestly, they do lol). The hardest part by far is getting the car moving at all: once it’s moving it gathers its own speed.

    I never meant to write a long comment so sorry I’ve gone on so much.

    An aside: the hair pulling thing – that’s really common and I know of at least two otherwise mentally sound, highly functioning people who do it, so it’s not something reserved for the severely mentally ill. I sort of find that comforting because it’s easy to think of EVERYTHING I do as being totally nuts, when many nervous habits are shared by a lot of people.

    Phew. Comment over. This is what happens when I can’t sleep.

    Take care,

    Louise xx

    bluesilk

    Thursday, 9th July 2009 at 2:45 am

  4. heya,

    sorry you’re still feeling so bad. I know what you mean about the dual that goes on re being open.

    There’s a stage I hit where I have those two mindsets fighting against each other – on the one hand wanting to feel better and knowing I need to reach out to do that; on the other hand wanting to die because I’m not sure I can, or deserve to, feel better.

    It’s not a nice place to be in and the thing is, for me, when I get those two opposing voices, just dealing with that constant choice between the two is completely EXHAUSTING. And being knackered is hardly conducive to fighting negativity, so I get really ‘stuck’ sometimes.

    I can’t offer advice on how to get out of that stuckness because to be totally honest I never feel very adept at disentangling myself. My experience is that I have to metaphorically hang onto something, brace myself, and wait for the proverbial storm to pass. It’s difficult to ask more of myself in that mindset. Eventually I can usually start to do something to help myself, with the assistance of others as needed. When that self-help thing becomes a little less like pulling teeth it DOES get easier.

    With me it’s like you see on TV those Strong Men who have to pull a car with a harness attached to their body (honestly, they do lol). The hardest part by far is getting the car moving at all: once it’s moving it gathers its own speed.

    I never meant to write a long comment so sorry I’ve gone on so much.

    An aside: the hair pulling thing – that’s really common and I know of at least two otherwise mentally sound, highly functioning people who do it, so it’s not something reserved for the severely mentally ill. I sort of find that comforting because it’s easy to think of EVERYTHING I do as being totally nuts, when many nervous habits are shared by a lot of people.

    Phew. Comment over. This is what happens when I can’t sleep.

    Take care,

    Louise xx

    bluesilk

    Thursday, 9th July 2009 at 2:45 am

  5. Alison – Give her a call if you feel it will help. She really doesn’t mind and it is what you pay her for after all.

    Kate – I’m surprised that so many of us does it, but it does seem to be more common than most people think. I find it hard to stop too.

    Bluesilk – I know what you mean about the opposing voices. It’s hard. Thanks for such a long comment. :) I think you are right to point out that the hair pulling is not just the reserve of the mentally ill. I’ve done it for a very very long time, long before I realised I had mental health issues, although with hindsight I think I’ve been ill for a very long time too.

    intothesystem

    Thursday, 9th July 2009 at 7:17 pm

  6. Alison – Give her a call if you feel it will help. She really doesn’t mind and it is what you pay her for after all.

    Kate – I’m surprised that so many of us does it, but it does seem to be more common than most people think. I find it hard to stop too.

    Bluesilk – I know what you mean about the opposing voices. It’s hard. Thanks for such a long comment. :) I think you are right to point out that the hair pulling is not just the reserve of the mentally ill. I’ve done it for a very very long time, long before I realised I had mental health issues, although with hindsight I think I’ve been ill for a very long time too.

    intothesystem

    Thursday, 9th July 2009 at 7:17 pm

  7. Lamotrigine is a pain in how slowly it takes to get it to a decent level. Stick with it though. It’s helped me a lot, even if it was frustrating as hell waiting for it to work.

    Glad you met someone from the CMHT, who knows the social worker may surprise you. Having said that my CPN was useless so I may be biased towards social workers ;) .

    Take care,
    Kx

    Katie

    Friday, 10th July 2009 at 5:21 pm

  8. Lamotrigine is a pain in how slowly it takes to get it to a decent level. Stick with it though. It’s helped me a lot, even if it was frustrating as hell waiting for it to work.

    Glad you met someone from the CMHT, who knows the social worker may surprise you. Having said that my CPN was useless so I may be biased towards social workers ;) .

    Take care,
    Kx

    Katie

    Friday, 10th July 2009 at 5:21 pm


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