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Hey guys, I'm probably as INFJ as you can get. My emotional connection with everything is so beyond any person I've ever really met, though I've never interacted with another INFJ in person. But what I'm curious about is if there is anyone else in the forum that's an INFJ and deals with Trichotillomania. Maybe even people with other personality types.

I've struggled with it since the beginning of high school, and it hasn't left me yet and it doesn't really look like it will anytime soon. Perhaps Dermotillomania or any other kind of anxiety-driven, obsessive compulsive habit. Why do you think that you acquired the habit?

It's a shame any of us have to deal with it, with the way it makes you feel... but maybe I'm not alone?
 

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I used to obsessively pull hairs out when I got stressed, but it never got TOO bad and I stopped! But, all my nervous habits have to do with me picking at things (like my nails!).
 

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Sorry, no. I've actually encountered it in one of our inmates, though, in the past. Picked his head completely bald on top. Looked like a monk. And ate the hair, too... which is... ugh. Icky.
 

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Yeah that's called Trichophagia I believe. Some people really suffer with it (when they eat it) and then it forms a hairball of sorts in their bellies that could harm them a lot :( Fortunately I don't have that problem.

How did you stop? Did you just not think about it anymore?
 

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I'm really good at hiding things but one day my grandma asked me if there was a gap on the top of my head and if I'd been picking my hair off. My mom heard the comment and I got really freaked out. My grandma is pretty neurotic and illogical, so my family usually discounts what she says. But there was truth in what she was saying. I had already told my mom that I thought I had a problem multiple times, but as I'm a very well composed/put-together seeming person, people usually dismiss when I say I have any sort of faults as well. But, I basically broke down in front of my mom and said that I think there's something really wrong with me. After that, she understood that maybe she shouldn't have taken all of my previous comments so lightly. She did some of her own research on it and mentioned it multiple times to me and things that could help. But after that day, I really did stop. I guess once I realized the realities and someone else noticed, I got REALLY freaked out. And I'm the type of person that tries to appear/be really perfect. I haven't plucked a hair on my head since. I definitely have plucked hairs in other areas, but not excessively and nothing harmful has happened. I sometimes get scared that get into that bad habit again, but it has been over a year. I guess I used to think that if I didn't write about it or talk about it and pretended I didn't do it, it could be like I really didn't do it. And I'm still unfortunately like that. My secret battle with trichotillomania was a definite sign that underneath my facade of a "perfect girl" lies an utterly anxious, stressed, and sad girl! I've never really spoken to anyone else who has dealt with it though. So, tell me about your experience! Is it strange that I stopped like that?? Xx
 

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Well, it's not so much strange, just rare! I'm just starting to figure out how to talk to people about this problem and it seems as if almost no one has found a way to stop. There are a few, at least in the Facebook group I've joined that often comment about their success stories and what not, but it truly is a rarity. I've been pulling my hair out for three years now :x It is really lovely to hear that you have sort of excluded it from your life. I'm curious if it's your natural willpower perhaps I'm not really equipped with. Judging by what you've said here, I'm really a lot like you. I just am not sure why my ability to just "stop" or stop thinking about it isn't quite so simple. I'm really glad that you don't have to worry about it anymore! It's a bit refreshing to hear a positive story behind the disorder I think.

It's a very gloomy one.
 

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I've never ripped hair out the top of my head, but my eyebrows always have gaps in them. I do pull out hairs when under stress or excessive worry. When I catch myself doing it I stop, but most of the time, I'm completely unaware. I started probably about five years ago, and it's slowly gotten worse over time.

Another weird habit I do when I'm anxious is put my hand over my mouth and nose and slowly take deep breaths for several seconds. It's oddly.... relaxing.
 

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Correction of spelling errors in my post

I, too am an INFJ, and I have had Trich for most of my life. I started pulling out my eyelashes in the 7th grade and then gradually increased to other areas. It was the worst in my twenties. I have worked hard at controlling it. Now I am in my thirties and it is not noticeable unless you know what to look for. I find it happens most often when I am thinking really hard about something, problem-solving, working things out in my head...it also happens when I am not thinking at all...like watching TV...however...it's during a favorite show or a movie I am engrossed in which means its likely associated with something intense good or bad...dunno...that's me. I am a really successful person, so it has nothing to do with incompetence or fear of incompetence. I really think it is a sensory release to the intensity of what I think or feel at times.
 

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You are totally not alone!
You wouldn't believe how many people out there have trich and other similar disorders (as dermatillomania that you mentioned).
To you question of what causes it, there's no definite answer, seems like it a blend of psyche and bio causes. Hereditary factors also exists. You can read here about all possible causes of trich.

Usually it doesn't just "leave you" on its own. You'd have to get some kind of help/treatment.
/mornings
 

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The reason I joined this site, was for this article. As I sat here pulling my hair out, I wondered if it was a personality type thing.
I'm 52 and have done this since I was 8ish. I bottle up all my so called negative emotions. Another site, suggested INFJ needs to express themselves to become a release valve. Probably true, but when so much around me is creating stress, I feel like me letting go, will cause more friction. Is this how you guys deal?
 

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I don't know why I've acquired these habits. I've had them all of my life, as far back as my memories stretch and they were always present. Dermatillomania, trichotillomania and other compulsions. There isn't anything I can do to stop them, so I just try to ignore their impact on my life. I'm losing my hair as a result, might as well shave it all off soon since it doesn't grow back.
 

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I had this when I was going through a period of extreme stress in my life.

My advice would be to speak with a psychologist, or if you don't want to do that try and think about any changes you went through recently/when this issue started. Are you stressed, have started any new activity, moved, anything that can help you identify the underlying cause.

When you have the urge you can try to distract yourself by doing something that you like and requires for you to use your hands, so you keep them occupied. It can and does go away, but I think it best to seek help.
 

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On the topic of stress-induced/associated habits, I clench and/or grind my teeth unconsciously (known as bruxism). It's obviously more apparent when dealing with acute stress, and it's something I've experienced since I was very young. The amount of tension I carry in my traps/neck/head and the migraines that result on account of it is excessive.
 

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I was just browsing through this forum and decided to register just to post a reply to this thread. It's so rare to come across other people who suffer from trich.

I'm an eyelash puller that started when I was 9. When I was on Zoloft for many years, my obsessive plucking slowed to an almost grinding halt. Whenever I did experience an overload of stress I would recognize my behavior and was able to find something else to keep my hands and mind occupied. My compulsion is so bad that I don't even know I'm doing it the majority of the time. The worst part is when it becomes noticeable and obvious that people start asking what's wrong with your eyelashes. And that just ups my anxiety and embarrassment.

While trich is considered kind of rare, I think the reason for it's scarcity is that people who suffer from this disorder bear intense shame and embarrassment of it, making it twice as hard to seek help for themselves.

When I confessed to a friend about it once, I'll never forget that horrific feeling of shame and humiliation, but I'll also never forget the relief that came from sharing this secret with someone. Especially when she didn't judge me and even had another friend who did the same thing.

Best of luck to you all!
 

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Hey guys, I'm probably as INFJ as you can get. My emotional connection with everything is so beyond any person I've ever really met, though I've never interacted with another INFJ in person. But what I'm curious about is if there is anyone else in the forum that's an INFJ and deals with Trichotillomania. Maybe even people with other personality types.

I've struggled with it since the beginning of high school, and it hasn't left me yet and it doesn't really look like it will anytime soon. Perhaps Dermotillomania or any other kind of anxiety-driven, obsessive compulsive habit. Why do you think that you acquired the habit?

It's a shame any of us have to deal with it, with the way it makes you feel... but maybe I'm not alone?
I had it pretty bad when I was about 8 or 9.

I started doing it because I didn't like the shorter hairs sticking off of the top of my head. It wasn't that big of a deal at first, but I got more particular about it and eventually I started giving myself a bald spot. On top of that, I had gotten addicted to doing it. My mom would fuss at me for leaving hair in the sink, but I just couldn't stop.

I quit because I saw a documentary on TV about it, and it was the first time I ever saw it acknowledged as a "thing". What made me stop was seeing it presented as such a big problem. It freaked me out that I was possibly developing a disorder, so I resolved to nip it in the bud.

I still have remnants of it, however. I never pull hair out of my head anymore, but I occasionally do it to my eyebrows when I'm stressed. I have a habit of picking at ingrown hairs on my leg (yes, gross) and obsessively tweezing at times. I don't know if it's related, but I'm also a terrible lip-nibbler/picker.

I never have been able to nail down why I do all of these things, but I gain a weird, small sense of satisfaction from it. Very difficult to describe.

Edit: After doing some more reading on it, I would hazard a guess that my specific case has to do with serotonin. I've read about the symptoms of having issues with serotonin, and I experience most of them. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if my mild trich and derm had to do with it.
 

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"but I gain a weird, small sense of satisfaction from it. Very difficult to describe."

I can relate. Years ago i read an E-Book about hair pulling. It helped me to give up for a fair few years, it talks in there about realising how much we actually enjoy the pulling/picking and how it helps us. The Shame is a huge thing, my parents were always shaming me about it. a trip to a hair dresser was terrifying and so shame inducing. ( there are actually hairdressers who specialise in trich now)
I wore my hair at a #2 length for 3 years which helped me to get over it also. luckily these days its not so scary as it was back in the 70's 80's when i tried it.

I'm trying hard not to give myself a hard time that i started again, cos i know that i have a huge amount of stress in my life right now ( for the last 4 years). one day at a time and chatting with you guys helps.
thanks :)
 
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