I guess I thought when I got an official diagnosis I would feel more validated. Someone with lots of initials behind their name said, “You have this.” So, now people would have to believe me! But I don’t feel different. Maybe it’s the anxiety. But I still feel like people won’t believe me.
I’m already on a medication for generalized anxiety and depression. It has helped quite a bit, but the hair pulling didn’t stop. It almost felt worse.
I guess I should explain my hair pulling a bit… Mostly I pull out my eye lash and eye brow hairs and I also pull the hair on my chin. Sometimes I will pick at random hairs on my arm that I see that are “out of place” but not that often anymore.
I don’t really have eye brows any more. Years of pulling have turned them into sparse imitations of what they used to be. I don’t know if they will ever grow back fully. I think I have pulled out too many of the roots… So, I have learned how to use make up to fill in what is left and draw on what I have destroyed.
My eyelashes so far keep growing back…
Actually, they have just grown back in after my last major hair pulling spell. They always look so nice when they grown in… I mean not like red carpet nice but nice for me.
The worst is the hair on my chin. I am so angry at myself for starting to pull my chin hairs. For what every reason the hairs I started to pull were thin and blonde. Not usually my MO. But now. Now that I have pulled them out, they grow in dark. Now I CAN’T NOT notice them…! Every morning as I am getting ready for whatever the day brings. I’ll run my fingers over my chin to find the hairs I can’t necessarily see. I grab my tweezers and go to town. It sucks… I wish I didn’t, but I can’t have these dark hairs growing all over my chin and if I don’t pull them with the tweezers, I will pull them in the car while I drive. I don’t even realize it.
I’ll just be listening to music, navigating traffic, and all of the sudden my fingers are sore; my chin is raw, and I have pulled out all the hairs around the one I “NEEDED” TO PULL.
So, today I met with a Psychiatrist to talk about my anxiety and hair pulling, and to get a recommendation for medications.
The Psychiatrist was very nice, I was incredibly uncomfortable though. My anxiety was already high when I got there since I wrote the address down wrong and had gotten lost. Then when I found the right place, the parking lot was a pay to park but only took change. So, I had to scrape together the change. I don’t carry change often, I typically use it right away for coffee. So, I dug out everything from my purse and from my car and managed to get the $2.50.
I was frazzled, and now I had to sit in front of a person I had never met, in a small room, and dredge this all up.
Luckily as I said the Psychiatrist was very nice. The questions were simple and the manner at which they were asked was not judgemental or confrontational.
A part of me was kind of frustrated though.
I had an idea as to what I was struggling with. I had been living with it for all these years. Comparing stories with friends and colleagues, seeing and hearing the struggles of others online. But I couldn’t walk in and say, “I’m sure I have this, what meds will help?”
So, I went through the motions.
And now I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety, Social Anxiety, and Trichotillomania.
So, my medication has been upped and another added to help me sleep and get me through really tough anxiety days.
But I still don’t feel any different having an official diagnosis. I still feel like people don’t or won’t believe me. I think because I already had made my peace with my suspected diagnosis, hearing it from someone else, especially someone I don’t know didn’t mean anything.
I really hope the meds help. Maybe as I take more time and talk with family and friends about this I will feel different.
Until then I just have to keep telling myself, its okay to not feel okay.