Perfectionism's Trap: Matthew McConaughey's Impossible ChaseThis article is a follow up to “An Unconventional Take on Trichotillomania”.

Tips that helped me recover from trichotillomania:

  • Cover up the mirror in the bathroom with contact paper if mirrors trigger pulling. I only own a small, hand-held mirror for applying makeup.
  • Use dim lights so you are less able to visualize hair or skin imperfections.
  • Don’t own pulling tools, like tweezers.
  • Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can with what you’ve got.
  • Forgive yourself and be gentle with yourself.
  • Don’t make a big deal out of having trichotillomania. It can have devastating effects, but the more energy you expend around it, the more power it gains.
  • Don’t let yourself be labeled with a trichotillomania diagnosis because you might continue to pull just to fulfill the label. I experienced this self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • You have to want it. You have to want hair more than you want to pull. Identify what you want and go for it.
  • Be patient.
Unhelpful Self-TalkHelpful Self-Talk
“I can’t stop this behavior. I don’t have control over it.” “I may not have control over urges to pull, but I am in complete control over my behavior. I can stop this behavior.”
“I will have this disorder for the rest of my life.”“Because I can change my behavior, I am not destined to have this disorder forever.” (I have experienced that the less I pull, the more the urges fade.)
“I just need to hope for a cure.”“The cure resides in me. My behavior will only change if I take tangible action in my day-to-day life.”
“We just need more awareness and research to find a cure.”“Awareness will help decrease the stigma of this disorder but ultimately I choose whether or not I pull.”

 

Eyes before treatment.

 

Eyes after treatment.