Lucy – child hair pulling

Coping with tric and depression

I started to pull my hair out when I was 11 when I started high school.

I used to sit with a girl in maths who once told me that if you had split ends then you were dirty and no one would like you. I knew that my long, thick red hair had split ends. I went home that night and pulled out every single split end out that I could find.

It hurt to start with but after a while it was numb. I didn’t sit with that girl again, I would just sit on my own at the back of the class with a pile of hair mounting infront of me. My parting became over an inch wide and I had two bald spots behind my ears.

I pulled for years, it wasn’t just about split ends anymore, it was a nasty habit that I couldn’t shift. I would stare at other people’s hair and see split ends and long to grab them and rip it out of their heads, the urges were unbelievable.

When I was 16 I suffered from intense depression until i was around 20, this was following the deaths of my elder brother from a car accident, my neice from pneumonia, my step mum from cancer, my grandma from heart failure and then my dad from suicide.

I pulled so much my head hurt.

I tried dying my hair a different, darker colour, because I thought I wouldn’t be able to see the spilt ends. It didn’t work. I had my hair cut short so I couldn’t pull it, it still hasn’t worked.

I am 21 now and I pull my hair for on average 3 hours a day solid. I sometimes go into “trance” for an hour at a time just pulling my hair out and if it’s not split, then I will split it to try and justify my pulling it out.

I don’t generally care who I do it in front of, I just do it and anyone that tries to stop me gets shouted at or hit.

There is hair everywhere I go, on the floor, in my bed, in my university books even in my food. I have broken two vacuums. I don’t want to stop, but I do want to stop. I really do want to stop.

I see a counsellor for my depression who has just ignored my hair pulling confession, she says there are more important things to concentrate on, not sure what though.

I am not sure how it really affects me, I am studying for a university degree, I am engaged to a person who loves me very much but I want to stop pulling for me. I hate the feeling of the urge and I fear that if I don’t satisfy the urge I will let it out in a different more harmful way. I can’t see how anything can work; the urges are just so powerful.

Lucy

Lancashire, England

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