Trichotillomania a Body Focused Repetitive Disorder where one pulls out their hair, lashes & brows is hard enough to deal with, but what do we do during these anxiety provoking days of Covid-19 isolation? I have personally reached out to many of our clients wearing hair pieces and promise to see them as soon as we can reopen our hair salon doors. In the meantime, I am giving my best advice to help them cope with hair pulling.
1) First and foremost "acceptance" is key, if you pull do not be hard on yourself. We all deal with stress differently and if this is your coping mechanism, relax and set it aside until better days.
2) You may want to download a meditation app on your phone, do some deep breathing and try to zone out. I know this can be challenging, but even if you manage to de-stress for a few minutes you will help the cortisol from rising in your body. You can also increase your meditation time daily.
3). Virtual exercising with a fitness youtuber or app. will also help to pass time and raise your endorphins. If you have a place that is not crowded, walk in nature.
4). Break out some paintbrushes while watching tv (or any time you pull) pull the individual bristles of the brush. It may sound absurd, but it does seem to work. It may not offer the exact same sensation as pulling on your own hair, but it keeps your hands busy.
5) Slick your roots with petroleum jelly! This makes your roots and brows slippery which makes it difficult to pull on. Also, the sensation of finding that perfect hair to pull is impossible.
6) Use a doll or mannequin head to pull, twirl or twist, who cares what the doll thinks!
7) Put bandaids on your fingers making it nearly impossible to pull. They will serve as a reminder in those moments you are reaching for hair.
8) Use a "doctor on demand" site if you need some professional advice, they appear to be very effective.
Lastly, this too shall pass! We are all in this together as people and a country.