Archive for March, 2010

I am feeling a little stymied about what to write lately. I could dwell on some frustrations, but what good is that going to do anyone? It will get me spinning thoughts of pessimism and won’t provide any insight for the rest of you.

Blogging is a weird thing to do. Really, you spout off your thoughts to strangers and hope someone bothers to read. However, if you’re at all good at it, or have friends who pity you, they will post comments & banter back & forth so you feel like you gain a new blog family.

This blog is different. I know most of you who read this want to stay anonymous and/or are too afraid or ashamed to put your feelings into written words, saved forever on the internets. So it is a lonely world. I only know whether people are reading by watching how many hits I get. Most of my hits actually seem to be for the photo page rather than the written posts. That kind of sucks, but what can I do about it? Hopefully people find something constructive, encouraging, or helpful when they look at the photos rather than being non-pullers who just laugh. (Yes, I’m still insecure, I admit it.)

But I want this blog to be a little about me, but mostly about you & what you can do within your own Trich journey.

What would you like to see, read, or hear about?

Leave me a comment & let me know. If you just want to suggest something but don’t want your comment posted, then type that before your comment & I won’t approve it for publication. Or, go to the upper right of your screen and email me with your suggestions or questions.

I hope to hear from you soon.


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As I’ve posted before, I’m disappointed that I can’t go to the Trichotillomania Learning Center conference this year.  I’d hoped to facilitate some workshops, but since that isn’t happening I can’t write it off as a business trip, which makes it a lot less feasible to fly all the way out there.

However, if you can get to Dallas, YOU can still go.  The hotel is filling up quickly, so make your reservations right away and make sure to send in your registration form too.   Go to the TLC website for more info:  http://www.trich.org/involved/cal-conference.html

Hopefully the conference will come closer to me again and then I can meet some of you in person.

PS Things are going a little better here right now.  I just attended another conference that gave me some good insight both personally and professionally so now I’m trying to figure out how I can use that in my daily life.

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Hi all,

As I’ve alluded to, things have been rough around here.  Some of you who know me IRL, know what’s been going on.  Let’s just say life has been a roller coaster ride that I don’t remember buying a ticket to ride on.   I haven’t had the slightest bit of mental energy to put towards my own goals, much less resisting any urges.  So my head is quite patchy and my eyelashes half gone.  I’m really quite sad about this, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it, since that will only exacerbate the problem!  My energy needed to go elsewhere, to take care of those I love, and unfortunately that meant not taking care of myself for a bit.  Maybe not the healthiest option, but considering the alternatives, this works for me.  I went for a massage yesterday and I’m finding my footing here at home again, so back onto the path of self awareness I go.

One thing that has caused problems for me recently is that my beloved hats don’t seem to be working anymore (at least right now).  These were the single easiest way for me to prevent pulling.   I’m wondering whether I need to try and shrink them a little so that they compress my scalp more. Otherwise, maybe I need to knit myself a new, tighter hat so that I have options when one “strength” isn’t working so well.  I’m a beginner knitter to say the least, so I’m not sure whether that is a real option or not.  Luckily I have some good people to consult with.  It would help keep my hands busy for a while too.

So, I’m going to try and get back into the swing of things, posting more often.  However, I may be grasping at straws.  So, are there any topics that YOU would like me to address?  Please comment with ideas and I’ll see what I can do!

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I’m still working on personal matters and hope to get back to real blogging soon.  In the meantime, here is an important alert from the Trichotillomania Learning Center about proposed changes to hair pulling & skin picking listings in the DSM-V.  This manual contains the criteria for diagnosis mental disorders and the codes in it are referenced by insurance companies.  It is part of  how they determine whether or not a mental health claim is payable or not.  Some people cannot get their Trich or skin picking treatments covered because they don’t have a “real” diagnosis code in the DSM-IV.  Trich is at least listed, skin picking is sort of just mentioned.  Please research this issue, read TLC’s “talking points” below,  and communicate your thoughts to the DSM committee.  They need to know there are patients & professionals watching this process who have a vested interest in the outcome.

Voice Your Opinion About Proposed Changes to

“Trichotillomania” and “Skin Picking” in the DSM-V

The Task Force undertaking the revision of the The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has made the current draft revisions available for public comment until April 20, 2010. The “DSM”, published by the American Psychiatric Association, is the common reference book used to diagnose mental disorders.  It greatly influences how doctors, researchers and insurance companies think about hair pulling and skin picking.  (FYI:  Skin Picking isn’t even included in the current edition).

Christina and I urge you to take a few minutes to voice your opinions to the DSM-5 Task Force about the proposed changes to “Trichotillomania” and “Skin Picking.” Hair pulling and skin picking have been silent, hidden problems – and thus, largely ignored by the research and treatment communities.  By speaking up, you will help the Task Force to understand just how important and prevalent these problems really are!

The proposed revisions can be viewed here – and you can log-in to give your feedback:


You will find trichotillomania listed under “Impulse Control Disorders Not Elsewhere Classified” and skin picking under “Anxiety Disorders.”

These are the key points we hope you’ll make in your feedback:

1) Name Change – I support phasing out the name “Trichotillomania” as the “mania” suffix is inaccurate, misleading and often stigmatizing.

2) Diagnostic Criteria for Hair Pulling — I agree that criteria B&C from the DSM-IV should be eliminated.  These criteria do not fit all cases of hair pulling and have been a barrier to accurate research.

3) Categorization of Hair Pulling

A) I think hair pulling and skin picking should be listed together in a new category of “Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors”

B) Categorizing trichotillomania under “Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders” would be an improvement over “Impulse Control Disorder” but isn’t ideal.

4) Skin Picking Disorder Categorization – Skin Picking is a debilitating and common problem and should be included in a category with Hair Pulling – NOT simply in the Appendix for Further Research.

5) Field Trials – Please include hair pulling and skin picking in the Field Trials process – both disorders have long been neglected and are in need of further research.

For more information go to:


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