Keeping the discussion about hair pulling going, and sharing our experiences with trichotillomania is key for the health of the community. Therefore I ‘d like to share with you some excerpts from different interviews about hair pulling cures and Trichotillomania that I have done during the past year.
How long did you have trichotillomania?
Actually I’d say that I still ‘have’ trichotilomania, it’s just now I have it under control. Someone who has quit pulling is an ‘ex-trichster’ and will never be a ‘non-trichster’. I sometimes equate it to being an ex-smoker. That means that you always have to be self-aware and careful. Sometimes little urges start to pop up and I have to centre myself again. It gets easier with time, but I know that I have this weakness and I am careful. In any case I started pulling at a very young age, basically since as long as I can remember, and I finally beat it when I hit 40. A long time!
What were the feelings that you had that were associated with living with trich?
Crazy as it sounds, for a very long time I didn’t realise that I had a ‘condition’. I just thought it was a strange that I pulled my eyelashes out and I always felt like I would just stop one day, using my own will. That was such self-delusion! There was NO way I was ‘just going to stop hair pulling’ one day. I felt the frustration, resignation, shame and went through all the makeup and hiding procedures, but the penny still hadn’t dropped that I had a problem. It wasn’t until a doctor very matter of factly announced that I had a ‘serious condition’ that everything all fell into place. That was the best day for me (well, actually it was a horrible day, but in hindsight, it was the best). I had to look at myself honestly and face my issues and my condition. And that’s when my hair pulling cure really started. But boy did I go through a roller coaster of feelings!
Prior to finding something that worked for you, had you tried to stop pulling out your hair before? If so about how many times?
Amy Foxwell: Oh yeah, haven’t we all? If I had a penny for each time I tried to stop my hair pulling! The thing is, I wasn’t trying to stop in a structured way. I was just trying to will power it. I mean I’m an intelligent successful person, right? Surely I could stop pulling out my eyelashes, for goodness sake. Every single time I’d have a bad episode (which was constantly), I’d sit myself down, give myself a good talking to, and then swear to myself that had been the last time. Never worked of course. And that was pretty soul destroying. It undermined my confidence and was such an energy drain.
How did you come up with the system that worked for you? Was it on your own or with the help of others?
Firstly I did a lot of research. Online, talking with people (doctors, therapists, other trich sufferers), reading books. I got loads and loads of information, but I couldn’t really find a holistic, structured approach. And I know myself; I need structure to achieve something. So I set out to create my own program. I researched lots of different theories and tried them out. I really focused on the ones that made the most sense to me from a philosophical point of view. I wanted something constructive, forward thinking and proactive. I read a lot about behavior modification, self awareness, neural programming (how we create channels in our brains that create habits and how we need to create new channels to change behaviors) and visualisation (something that has helped me in various areas of my life). I wanted to avoid medication and chemicals of all sorts. I wanted to improve my diet and body. Basically I wanted something that would help me build a ‘new reality’. And although it took a lot of trial and error, it worked in the end.
How long did it take you to come up with the Trich Stop System?
Quite a while. I’d say about 3 years.
What is it about the Trich Stop System that is different from other options out there?
There are three important things that set the Trich Stop System apart and make it particularly effective:
a.the all natural Trich Stop Oil that concretely helps with the very real physical sensations and behaviour modification
b. the multi-facted approach that gives sufferers several different options so that they can experiment and find what works best for them (I highly recommend using as many of the methods as possible)
c.the positive and forward thinking approach
What had you add the essential oils in?
While I was looking for something to soothe my eyelashes, and maybe help them grow back I searched high and low on the internet. All I could find were massively chemical products like Nioxin and Latisse. I tried them of course ( I was desperate after all), but I didn’t find that they helped at all, they irritated me and I was against the chemicals. Plus they were really expensive! However, what I did notice was that by stroking on the product when I felt an urgent to pull I started to modify my behavior from pulling to stroking. And then it dawned on me, I needed to research natural remedies. I am a true believer in essential oils, so I started to look for a natural hair growth oil. But there was nothing out there, so I decided to create my own. Boy did I spend some time researching and going through some different mixes! But I finally came up with a mix that I am very happy with. I still keep some with me for any times that I’m starting to feel a bit weak or I just need to the soothing gesture. For me the mix of using the very positive methods along with the oil was the breakthrough and that is when I really began my victory over Trichotillomania.
You created something that worked for you. What had you selflessly share that information with others? Why write a book and be so open?
How could I not? I mean, what trichster who has lived through years of this terrible condition wouldn’t shout it from the rooftops when they find something that would help others? And I guess during my midlife crisis I decided that I would like to start focusing my time on something that would help others.
What does it feel like getting the feedback that you do? What does it feel like knowing you have impacted and helped others?
Very, very satisfying. I get such a thrill when I receive an email from someone telling me that it’s working. I can feel the joy that they are feeling. It’s almost the same thrill that I get when I glance in the mirror and realise that I have all of my eyelashes and eyebrows – it’s still such a great feeling. I have a lot of exchanges, and those exchanges are very fulfilling. There is a secondary effect of my activity that I hadn’t really expected in that I too gain in strength against my trich by opening myself up and helping others. So it’s a win win situation really – which makes me very happy.
Any last bits of advice or thoughts you’d like to leave our readers with?
Lets not beat around the bush. Beating trich is DIFFICULT. Really difficult. But I want people to know that it IS possible. I’m not sure I really believed it was possible until I took a drastic decision to change my mindset, and I do feel that those exercises were crucial to curing trich. It is also important to understand that beating trich and behavior modification is gradual, and back-sliding can be a natural part of the process. So if you do fall off the wagon, just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again. And most importantly BE KIND TO YOURSELF.