Girl on the pull…

I’m turning 26 this year, but for 20 years of my life or a little more I have been a girl on the pull. It’s something I try to conceal but I can’t, I am ashamed yet it’s a part of me and all I have ever known. Truth is I’m always on the pull….


‘A mental disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body, despite trying to stop.

Hair pulling from the scalp often leaves patchy bald spots, which causes significant distress and can interfere with social or work functioning. People with trichotillomania may go to great lengths to disguise the loss of hair.’

  • Trich o what?”
  • But why would you want to pull your hair out?”
  • “Well that must really hurt you”
  • “Can’t you just stop?”
  • “Stop doing that”
  • “Do it for me”
  • “You don’t want to be bald do you?”
  • ” If you carry on like that you will have no hair left”





All of these questions are something I have faced nearly every day of my life.No it doesn’t hurt, it satisfies me but then I beat myself up after. I twist and twirl strands of my hair around my fingers until I find the right piece and snap. A beautiful sound, one I’m often searching for.I will be on the pull and think ok just one more won’t hurt, oh that was a good one let’s do that again and it takes you several attempts before finally you stop. Before you know it I have a pile of hair on my lap or on the floor that I then must try and disguise. The thing is I do it ok Secret. I panic.I roll my hands over the carpet creating a ball of hair that I analyse and then hide in the bin, throw out of the window or flush down the toilet. The condition is crippling. My hair is un even and my dreams of ever having that sultry mermaid look will never happen. I frequently am able to block the family hoover regardless of how much hair I gather to dispose of. Times of stress will make it worse. And now I am at a point where I am severely depressed and show no signs of growing better.

Catherine look at all this hair on the floor, you must not do that do you hear me?” My first memory. Aged 5, pushed into the corner of my bedroom by my mum and grandma. I was scared but couldn’t stop. Teachers would tel my parents I was away with the fairies. I would sit at my desk and pupils in my class would shout at me to stop but I couldn’t and that’s when I started to do it in secret on my own. It seems to be worse during times of high stress. My GCSES and A Levels. I remember standing up to leave the exam hall and seeing a pile of my brown hair on the sport hall floor and everyone looking past and looking at it. My coping mechanism in a way I suppose? I first sought help at the age of 17/18. Having just nursed my terminally ill grandparent at home until their last breath my life would never be the same. Worried what my parents might do and say I chose the CBT route instead of medication. I never clicked with the lady, she had hairy armpits and chose to pin a lot of the blame on my parents, I went twice and never went back.Then again while at university I was having a rough patch and felt such incredible guilt that I scratched all the skin off my chest until it bled. I had to cover my chest for over a week to hide the marks. I had some therapy he was a nice man but I never felt it helped. And recently loosing my dream job and living isolated alone abroad, this time a mixture of my depression, anxiety, hair pulling and alcohol. Not a great cocktail as you can imagine, feeling I had to explain myself every time I went for a haircut. It’s something I have always done.

It’s not just the hair on my head. I have always been obsessed with hair removal. I can’t bear it. I will constantly epilate my legs and underarms, and will be waxed on my bikini line.I take great pleasure after I’m searching for ingrown hairs that I can pick out, digging so deep that I bleed and scab and scar. So no, I can’t just stop. Does anyone know how I can?


  1. Except for the hair on your head, people pay good money to go have someone else do it to you. Waxing, ouch! Still, that is a difficult thing for you to deal with. You could have gone on that show, My Strange Addictions. I have never heard of that before. Well, I guess I have. On TV shows, some actors are doing it, but I haven’t seen it in real life. Is there any kind of therapy that could help? It is similar I guess, to someone who does the self-harm thing, because it is self-harming. I wish I had an answer for you. People on this blogosphere are really helpful sometimes, maybe someone will come up with something.


  2. I don’t have familiarity with your particular problem, but alcohol has had it’s grip on me when I was young. In order to stop I couldn’t think of quitting forever. I had to take life literally one moment at a time. I had to stay in the present and continually pray to lose the desire. I also took up drinking coffee in place of alcohol. The reason I use this analogy is I related to some of what you were saying. I’m not in any way a counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist. But when it came to your question, I just felt I wanted to say……I wish I could help.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I began as a 10 year old. I pulled all of my eyelashes out in 5th grade. Then in high school I pulled out sections of my hair. Now I yank at the curly and gray hairs and pluck at the stray hairs on my neck and anywhere else I find them that bug me. Luckily mine has never gotten crazy out of hand, with the exception of when I would pull out entire sections of hair and my hairdresser thought I had alopecia. I was too embarrassed to admit I was doing it. Didn’t need the lecture on top of the stress that caused it in the first place.


  4. For me it’s popping my knuckles and neck. … and shoulders, knees, ankles. Just about anywhere there’s joint. Especially when I’m nervous or under pressure. I have found that distracting myself with a fidget toy helps. I have unfortunately broken some due to the intense , rapid clicking. I also have a small smooth pebble that I squeeze and rub. But the point is that I found an alternative until I can get out from under the source of the stress.


  5. If you can find a therapist that specializes in self-har, you might be helped. I’ve had many therapists. Most helped me, but not all. Maybe there are experts online who have the answer. I would say you need to love yourself in a good way. Be easy on yourself and realize no one is perfect.

    I’ve had a lot of self-hate in my life. I’ve had suicidal urges and I used to scratch, hit and pinch myself. I believe it does come from trauma or getting little or no love in childhood. We harm ourselves because we think we deserve to be punished.

    I am sure you can stop doing this. I joined Brave Girls Club online. It’s about making journals out of picture and a bit of writing. I journaled with them for a year and felt much better about myself afterwards. It does cost some money, I think $25 per month, but it is worth it. They have videos to watch and send stuff to glue in your journal.

    One more thing I’ve learned is to say nice things to yourself out loud. They must be things you believe, like “I made a mistake. But everyone makes mistakes. I can learn from this and grow as a person.” Or, “I am going to learn to love myself. I’m can do things to help others. I can be the person I want to be and I like who I am today.”

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  6. It took me 3 therapists before I found someone that I liked. Firing a therapist kind of — sucks. But, if you want help, it is out there. I had found my last therapist through a helpline I found online. I actually called about 4 people and none of them called me back. It is appalling when a profession is the complete opposite, unprofessional! Keep going! I believe in you.


  7. I don’t pull out hairs but I do dig at my scalp until it bleeds and then pick the scabs repeatedly which prevents it from healing. This does cause hair loss as well. I’ve suffered for years, but I have yet to be able to stop as well. I’m currently in counseling and hoping that gaining control over my anxiety will help calm my urge. I’m hoping you are able to find relief as well!


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