Tricho­tillo­mania Support Online

Things That Help People Be Pull Free

We asked 19,111 people with trichotillomania:

What usually helps you to stop pulling ?”

Over 20% of people we asked, found that keeping busy helped to reduce their hair pulling. The next most successful was sheer determination, followed by doing something else with your hands. Being around other people was also found useful; with 15% of people we asked stating this as helpful with trich. Moving about, thinking positively, noticing the damage caused and using preventative measures such as false nails, hats and gloves were the next top-scorers.

The 20 most frequent responses were (in order of prevalence) keeping busy (22%), determination (17%), doing something with my hands (16%), being around people (15%), moving about (12%), thinking, noticing the damage caused, hat/glove preventions, family/partner/friend mentioning it, realizing I’m doing it, distraction, negative emotion as a result of pulling, relaxation techniques, doing another activity, taking a bath/shower, being happy, sleep, physical exercise, using the computer/going online, eat/drink/chew something.

Types of Helper

We categorised the results into the following groups, the list of words commonly used in each group is ordered so the most frequently quoted word appears first in each list.

Keep Busy

 

Busy, activity, occupied, action, project, hobby, productive, task

Determination

 

Stop myself, tell myself, control, force, forcing myself, make myself, determination, deciding, discipline, trying, try, concentrate

Hands Busy

 

Hands, play, fiddle, holding, putty, fist clenching, ring, ball, toy, clasping, thimble

Company

 

People, someone, around people, public, company, social, somebody, interruption, anyone, anybody

Move About

 

Going out, away, walking away, getting up, moving, get up

Think Positive

 

Thought, thinking, remind, remember, self talk, forgive

Damage

 

Bald spot, looking in mirror, seeing, seeing the damage, no eyelashes, amount, seeing the amount, hair thinning, ugly, appearance, vanity, insults

Hats/Gloves

 

False nails, acrylic nails, gloves, hat, cover, scarf, bandana, wig, cap, glasses, sock, plaster, band-aid, mittens, band

Family

 

Friend, family, husband, boyfriend, parent, partner, girlfriend, son, wife, sister

Realizing

 

Realising, snapping out of it, awareness, recognising, understanding, waking up

Distraction

 

Mind off, change, changing, redirection, break, count, attention

Negativity

 

Embarassment, guilt, mad, shame, fear, disgust, frustration, anger, regret, rage

Relaxation

 

Relaxation, playing my Growth CD, calm, deep breathing, yoga, hypnotherapy, hypnosis, reducing stress, breathing

Activities

 

Reading, writing, doing something different, cleaning, cooking, drawing, books, driving, dancing, craft, hobby, shopping, swim, cross stitch, paint fingernails, housework, bracelet making, watch a film, crossword

Bathing

 

Shower, wet, hair wash, clean head, cleaning, water, shampoo, bath, swim

Being happy

 

Happy, good, positive, confidence, content, courage, smiling

Sleep

 

Sleep, bed

Exercise

 

Physical, exercise, working out, dancing, swim

Computer

 

Computer, typing, online, internet, website

Eat/Drink

 

Eat, drink, water, chew gum, alcohol, snack, putting something in my mouth, tea

Restraint

 

Sit on hands

Love

 

Love, hugs, cuddle

Pain

 

Hurt, achy, ache, sore, scratchy

Talk

 

Talk, support, discuss, admit

Intervention

 

Yell, told off, shout, smack, external, restraint, threat

Time

 

Time, clock

Short Hair

 

Short, shaving

Ponytail

 

Ponytail, brush, tying, band, braiding, comb, tye

Hair Cut

 

Hair cut, hair done, haircut, trim, new hair style

Holiday

 

Holiday, vacation, trip

Avoid Mirror

 

Not looking in/avoid mirror/tweezers

Oils/Creams

 

Vaseline, oil, hand lotion, gel, ice, paint fingernails

Event

 

looking forward to an event or occasion

 

The remaining helpers that were quoted by a few people we asked follow, listed in order of frequency: Medication, prayer, remove mascara and make-up, music, setting goals, diet, rewards, and not touching the hair or lash.

© Trichotillomania Support UK 2010