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Acting compulsively


theres a lot i could say here but for your sake and mine, im going to keep it brief. im struggling with trichotillomania (hair pulling). i don’t like talking about it because it makes me ashamed. i started going to therapy last week for it and i hope it will help. im just worried about it and i dont know how to stop. i know i have some triggers to it but once i get the urge its like i cant stop thinking about it until i do it. like i cant control my feelings or actions - the feeling turns from a want to a “need” which is caused by the rising anxiety of not acting on it. i feel kind of alone because i dont know anyone else who struggles with this. i know its good im going to therapy but its a different type of strugle that i dont know how to handle yet. i guess im just looking for a bit of encouragement or any similar stories youd like to share. :heart:


When I was a kid I had a horrible problem with hair pulling. I don’t know what started it, or how I stopped, but for years I would pull my hair out. That said Ive basically had some sort of compulsive behavior my whole life.

"the feeling turns from a want to a “need” which is caused by the rising anxiety of not acting "

I know this feeling by heart. Its basically the core feeling of all addiction/compulsive behavior. If you need someone to talk to feel free to message me


I can’t pretend that I know what you’re going through, but I used to be a licensed cosmetologist, and it’s more common than you might think. I used to twirl my hair until I had bald patches behind my ear as a child, but it’s not something I readily remember. I do remember always hating my hair as a child, going to the extremes of cutting it all off when I was 3 before a wedding where I was the flower girl. I don’t think that has any real connection with compulsion, but appearance is something I’ve struggled with my whole life, and in that sense of shame and embarrassment, I share with you.

There’s a lot of different types of cognitive behavioral therapy, but it does help if you let it. I went to 2 different therapists before I found the one I liked. It can be really challenging, I’ve cried, I’ve gotten angry with my therapist and at myself.

I hope your healing will be complete and come swiftly. You’re still beautiful.


Hi friend. I wanted to say thank you for sharing and I know that feeling of a want turning into a need. I’ve self-harmed in the past and I’ll admit I’m ashamed. I can’t go to therapy because of family issues, but I’m so happy that you are getting therapy and help! That’s amazing! I’ve self-harmed in many different ways. I cut my wrist, I wouldn’t eat as much as I should, I would go and punch trees until my fists are almost raw, and I would scratch my left forearm raw. I feel ashamed to talk about it, but it needs to be said. I know that you can get through. I’ve been working on not doing those things and I struggle sometimes, but I know I can and you can too. Hold fast friend. I believe in you.


@sophicspider ,
Thanks for sharing part of your story. You shouldn’t be ashamed . it happens . I am also glad you are seeking therapy . I’m proud of you. Have you tried fidgeting with something to not need to pull your hair. with someone who has anxiety i find ways to keep my hands busy i try breathing exercises. No matter what , we are here for you . Hold fast , You’re worth it !.


For me I feel like it’s the same with me and Sleep. I try to mention my issues with sleeping and a lot of people just say “Oh, you’re tired. You need the rest.” Or even “You can’t make yourself sleep that long, you’re lying.” I had to go to the ER cause I was passing out and getting sick. It was cause I has slept so long that my body thought that all it needed was sleep. It didn’t need food or anything else. It brought it up how bad it was and really brought it to light. I still fight with it. But I know you can fight through this, you’re taking the right steps.


hey sophicspider, you not alone


Hey Sophic. I love you, you power puff girls thief. >.> :wink:
So, this is something I don’t ever talk about. I don’t think I’ve ever shared with anyone here either, but, I deal with a form of dermatillomania (skin picking). I pick at the skin on the same spot over and over… My mum has pointed it out to me because I spend most of my day doing it, but, she sees it as kind of a nervous tic. However - I don’t realise I do it until I’ve already pulled the skin off. It’s a subconscious thing. It is worse around times of high anxiety, but, it’s been something I’ve dealt with for my whole life, since I was a kid as far as I’m aware.

I even do it when I’m in streams or gaming, and you know I’m always in streams and chatting.
I love you.

Hold Fast


Hey Sophic,

I just want you to know that you are loved, and your life matters. I am so glad that you are a part of this community, and that you feel safe opening up here! Your life matters, and your story matters!

I don’t directly associate with hair pulling, but I struggle with what kayla talked about, with picking at scabs, tearing my skin. One thing that I’ve really found to help me is to find different things to do with my hands, that’s productive or distracting. For me I have a wooden block puzzle, that I carry with me, and when I have those urges I do that, it also helps me with self harm. But maybe even a stress ball would work!

Know that I love you so much ,and please remember you are loved by many, and your life matters! Never give up, you matter!

Hold Fast, You’re Worth It,


@sophicspider Hold Fast friend.


I deal with that too, though it’s not as strong as a concern of mine. I’ve had acne since I was 9-10 and I’m always touching my face. I’ve tried to break the habit so many times but it’s been years and, although this is more common, it’s still something I wish I could stop. Most of the time I don’t notice I do it either.


Looking at your profile pic I’m glad to see that your hair is still on your head.
So just keep up the good work :slight_smile:
As long as you continue to work hard and stay persistent on your issue, then you will come to a great outcome

Thinking of you <3


For me, it’s mostly skin on my lips, so it’s kinda obvious. People will ask me what I’ve done, because when they see me, often times it’s bleeding. I just tell them that they get really dry. Other than my parents, no one knows it’s a thing I do


I get that. I pull the hair on my legs and they’ve been bruised for a while now. I don’t particularly like wearing shorts but if anyone asks about it then I just say it’s mosquito bites.


Hey Sophic
I know there’s been quite a few replies in here, but if anything, I just hope you know you’re not alone in this. I do what @Kayla mentioned, pick at my lips until they are cracked, bleeding, and scarred. Sometimes it’s just nervous habit. Sometimes I have to do it and if I don’t I get really anxious about it because its like I havent done it and I need to like an itch I need to scratch or something like that. I’ve been doing it since I was about 9 and I’m 23 now.
I’ve been downplayed a lot for it, put down, asked about it, but never really encouraged I guess. So knowing that I’m not by myself in that kind of habit is a start in itself. I’m really glad you’re going to therapy for this because that can be such a good outlet for urges and any other emotions you’re dealing with in all this. I hope you continue to grow from this and if anything just remember you have a family you can lean on and we’ll support you and. back you 100%. Love you friend, you got this! <3


I didn’t know anyone else who picked at the skin on their lips, so it’s kinda comforting to know that I’m not the only person.