Alex's Answer

I have Trichotillomania

Your Question

I’ve been pulling my eyebrows and eyelashes out since last year I searched about it on Google and found out its trichotillomania a hair pulling disorder,when people ask me why I don’t have eyelashes or eyebrows I get embarrassed so I do have eyebrows they are visible it’s just I have missing spots and my eyelashes are very small so it looks like I don’t have any eyelashes it’s just they can be seen upclose or in the light like sunlight or a torch light on my eye I don’t know how to tell my parents I’m scared they won’t help me and they’ll shout at me how should I tell them and if they say they won’t help me what should I do, I also searched videos on Tiktok and saw lash and brow serums to grow them back and a toy or something to keep you from pulling they said help’s you be distracted from pulling, I also do at school, home when I’m in my room alone please reply to my message.


Hello, welcome to Ask Alex.

We are a support service for young people.  Thank you for telling us that you are struggling with pulling out your eyelashes and eyebrows, and you are feeling scared about the implications. It takes a brave person to reach out and seek support.  


Hair pulling is often a response to feeling anxious, stressed, or sometimes there is no cause. Trichotillomania is a condition that people have an intense urge to pull out their hair, and this urge grows until it is fulfilled. We understand that you are scared to tell your parents, it is a very scary thing to open up to someone. However, you have the right to feel listened too and supported. Maybe you could try talking to another adult you trust and they could help you with telling your parents. This adult could be a parent, guardian, teacher, friend, or school counsellor. It is important for your mental well-being that you get the help and support that you deserve and, even though it can be very difficult, it can be helpful to talk about it. Your GP is also there to help and can refer you to other support services who could help.  


You are right, using a toy to distract you could be beneficial. Here are some other techniques that you can try to help reduce the urge to pull your hair. Trying to squeeze a ball hard when you get the urge. Attempt to delay the urge to pull your hair for a few minutes, set a timer and try to distract yourself with an activity that keeps you occupied. Start at 2 minutes and try to gradually increase this time to 5-10 minutes. Keep yourself occupied during this time. Try to search for a pattern of your hair pulling, are you more likely to do it in bed or while watching TV? If you see a pattern of when you are doing it, try to add an activity where you’re using your hands like knitting or drawing that you can do during this time to try break the habit. Often, we do these things without thinking so it can be difficult to break the habit, adding an activity in is often easier than trying to stop the habit on its own.  


You have the right to seek medical and professional help. Speaking with a mental health professional, like a therapist or counsellor, can be incredibly helpful in understanding and managing your feelings. Remember, there are professionals who specialise in helping young people like you, and they can provide you with coping strategies and support. Pieta House is one such organisation, you can find their website here Additionally, Jigsaw is an association which supports the mental health of young people .  


If you ever feel like you can’t talk to someone you know just yet or want support on how you will tell your parents, you can always call the Childline Team at 1800 66 66 66 or reach out through Live Chat at . Our services are free, non-judgmental and confidential. We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for any reason. 


Take care, of yourself. Know that you don’t have to go through this difficult journey on your own. We care about you and are here for you.


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