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OCD Personal Stories Page 3.

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Jessica's Story on Having Trichotillomania.

My name is Jessica and I am 17. I have struggled with Trichotillomania for over 5 years now. This is my story.

In 7th grade (when I was 12) I had long blonde hair down to my waist. I used to get comments all the time about how pretty my hair was and about how everyone wished they could have hair like mine. (No im not concieted...keep reading) Anyways, basketball season ended (LOVED was my life for about 5 years) My mom pointed out one day that I had a small bald spot on the top of my head. I told her I knew, but I didnt want to tell her because I didnt want her worrying about me. I guess at the time I had no idea why I had that bald spot, but by now I do..Ill get to that later. Well that bald spot went from being the size of a quarter to about the size of my fist. By this time I was totally depressed because the only thing I loved about myself was dissapearing and my parents were TOTALLY freaked out. I went to one doctor who offered no explanation whatsoever, and sent me home with some medicine (which didnt help, at all.) I soon realized that the reason my hair was falling out was because I was atually pulling it out myself. I dont know why it took me so long to realize this, because obviously I had to be doing it the whole time.

I got online one day and did a search at on hairpulling. TONS of links came up. I did about three hours of reading and found that I had a disease called Trichotillomania.(Trich for short) You have NO idea how relieved I was when I found out that I wasnt the only one who did this. Well it got worse, and worse, and I just couldnt bring myself up to tell my parents. I thought they would freak. Well, time passed and I ended up going to about 10 doctors and ended up taking soooo many pills I thought I was going to die!(none of those doctors offered me any kind of advice and had no clue what was going on) It finally took one doctor to actually make some sense. At first I was TOTALLY afraid of going because I thought he was going to find out that I had Trich. He ended up doing a biopsy(dont know if thats spelled right). It was AWFUL!! he cut out two little circles on my do some tests on them to figure out what it was. He came back with the conclusion that it was a disease called Alopecia Areata. (a disease where people lose their hair for no aparent reason...they dont pull it out like me)...anyways for the next several weeks I went once a week to get 40 steroid shots in my head. (They were supposed to make my hair grow back...It didnt work) By this time I was in 8th grade and I ended up getting my hair cut really short, thinking that would make my hair look better. It just kept getting worse and I cried every night and tried to make myself stop pulling but I was pretty bad.

I got really depressed because I went from having a lot of friends in school to practically none. I became the kid everyone made fun of.Im not sure why, but I kept what was happening to myself, I didnt let anyone know that I had a medical condition and that was why I had "weird hair." I just decided they werent worth the trouble. I ended up telling my church friends that I did have a medical condition and thats why I lost my hair. (I didnt tell them what it was...Nobody knew the real reason for my hair loss at that time.)Even though I found it easier to tell people about my hair, I still couldnt tell my parents that I had Trich. I found out later that I was going to be moving to a new town...that made me so happy...because the kids at my school were still really bringing me down.

Anyways, we FINALLY moved, but I was scared to death about what would happen when I started a new school. I knew that my hair would never grow back by august and that I would NEVER be able to stop pulling, so I ended up shaving my head and getting a wig. I wore a wig all through 9th and 10th grade. In January of 10th grade I stopped pulling for about 7 months. My hair grew back, and when I started school in August I was able to go to school without a wig. Everyone was surprised to see me with real hair and it looked great for a while. It came back thick, curly, and blonde. I started pulling once school started, and now I am missing a ton of hair. It is now June 2003 and I'm having a very hard time. I hate knowing that this time last summer I was 5 months pull free and doing fine...and now I'm doing horribly. I now have a large spot on the back top part of my head and I can't wear my hair down because the sides are SO thin there is very litle hair covering it. I'm very worried about how things are going to go within the next couple of months, because I have to take my senior pictures...and in those pictures I have to wear my hair down. I know they will end up looking really bad, and it upsets me a lot. basically at this point, things aren't going very well for me. I'm at one of the lowest points I have ever been in. I am lucky though because my friends that know about it try their best to understand, and my boyfriend is VERY understanding and he has really made me feel better about everything...he has been great support. I'm lost really, and I don't know where to go from here. I just know I'm tired of the hair piling up at the floor and I'm tired of pulling hair out of the keyboards. My hair is basically so bad that it's hard to even wear it up in a pony tail anymore. The bottom of my head close to my neck is almost completely bald with little covering it, and my part is starting to grow back so I have little hairs poking out everywhere. I have two new bald spots on the top close to my forehead that are noticeable...and things couldn't be worse. Dealing with Trich is a daily struggle for me, and I have let it take over my life. I haven't been to therapy, I'm not on any medications like Zoloft or Paxil...or whatever it is that people with Trich take. I'm too afraid to experiment with different medications. Right now I'm just trying to get through it each day.

I just really felt the need to tell my story, because I know each day a girl that is pulling her hair comes online and tries to figure out what she has. I know it's easier to see what other people with Trich deal with--not just what medical websites say. Feel free to email me at (contact the UOCD Site for her information) I would love to talk to anyone that has ANY questions or just needs someone to talk to. I'm not saying I'm some strong person that has been able to cope with Trich--that's not it at all. I just know I find it helpful sometimes to talk to people that have this disease.

I have a website with a ton of pictures of my struggle (and me in a wig) if anyone is interested.


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My struggles With OCD.

My struggle with OCD I believe began as a child. My mother said I went through a peirod, were I was consistently concerned with weather the doors were locked on our home at night. I think I was in elementary school at the time maybe 7-9 years old. Not sure why I needed to know this nightly or how this fear can to be.

The next visit I encounterd with OCD was when I was about 15 years old. I was very afraid of dying. I would suffer from panic attacks and was sure I was going to die. So paralyzed by this fear of death that I did not want to go to sleep at night and would bargain with myself and God that if I crossed my fingers I would be okay, and after much exhaustion would fall asleep.

The third encounter has left me with emotionally painful scars about harming my family, people on the street and myself. Bizarre morbid thoughts about killing people and myself. The same thoughts over and over. After struggling off and on for 9 years with this embarassment and gulit I could take no more and was admitted to the hospital. There I began taking Luvox and Lorazepam and am happy to say that the thoughts are much less intrusive and for long peirods gone. I was able to cut down my dosage and get off the Lorazepam completely. The meds changed my life because I was extremly SUICIDAL!!!

I have found new life after OCD, and hope to stay on the meds and not have any relapses. Luvox has really changed my life and I have been on it for 8 years... I believe the OCD was genetically acquired (my father has mania and my brother has panic disorders) also my father was and is an alcoholic which I feel was the fear precursor that set it off....

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My struggles With OCD.
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