Hi, I am 14 years old, and I have had problems pulling and messing with my hair in a variety of different ways since I was little. I noticed my grandma and mom also did this, I always told them to stop, until I noticed I did it too. I thought this was just a bad habit, until I stumbled across the word Trichotillomania online. I googled what it was and I found myself wondering if I had it. Only, I am not sure if I have it or not. I don’t exactly pull out my hair for the sensation of pulling it out. I pull/tug on the ends of my hair repeatedly to the extent where it tears split ends and as a result hair comes out. I get a weird satisfaction by pulling off my split ends which makes them worse. But, I am not sure if this classifies as Trichotillomania because I don’t notice balding, only minor thinning if that. I guess I mainly like the feeling of my hair getting pulled repeatedly and thats why I do it I am not sure. I have terrible split ends and sometimes the tugging on my scalp gives me headaches, but this doesn’t really match with the definition of Trichotillomania. I am not sure if this is a big deal or not, just multiple people have pointed it out, and I do it constantly. And when I say constantly I mean literally anytime my hands aren’t already doing something. I find myself doing this when I am bored or anxious. And considering I am anxious basically all the time it doesn’t really help.I recently found that playing with small magnetic balls during school helps me not pull. If you could help me identifiy if this is anything to be worried about it would be really helpful. Thanks.
Trichotillomania has a broad range of features — and while it would be impossible for me to diagnose you, I think the fact that you are so concerned and upset is enough to get a professional opinion. By talking to someone in person they can ask questions and examine you directly. A diagnosis is only useful if it provides a way of understanding the symptoms. Right now I would ask your parents to make an appointment with a physician and concern yourself more with information about symptoms, treatment, and support which you can find here.
Wishing you patience and peace,