Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Awhile back I wrote about a cool fidget cube thing I saw online. There are different things such as switches, buttons etc., on each side and it fits in your pocket so you can take it with you any where.

I really wanted to get one, but money has been pretty tight lately so I held off — until yesterday! The cute little gadget went on sale for about $4 and free shipping on Amazon. Add to cart, yes please!

I can’t wait to get it! I did not realize how much I fidgeted until I started researching Trichotillomania and started trying to track my triggers and patterns. I always have to have something in my hands, whether it be a pen, stress ball or anything else so that I continuously have something against the skin in my hand. When I don’t have that feeling my hands reach for the hair, I have definitely made that connection. It seems that the skin on my hand needs stimulation.

I have always been sensitive to textures, I guess maybe more so than most people. I did not realize it was more intense for me though. I remember wearing corduroy pants as a child and rubbing my hands across the ridges of the fabric over and over because I could not get enough of that sensation. On the opposite side of that spectrum I cannot handle the roughness of emery boards. You know, those nail file things? Even the thought of touching one of those makes my teeth hurt and gives me the chills. Keep those things away from me!

I hate dry skin with a passion that seriously cannot be put into words. I will literally pull over if I am driving and I have dead skin on my fingers just so that I can pick it off.

Anyway, I should have my fidget cube in a few days. I will let you know how it works!

 

Two to three times a year I have an absolute breakdown. By that I mean a 24-hour or so period where I am a completely different person. Super depressed, way more than usual, not eating or sleeping, being super angry at the world in general and curling up in a ball and crying and screaming in a corner. After awhile I get exhausted and I fall asleep, then when I wake up I gradually come out of it. I don’t always remember much after one of my “episodes,” which is probably for the best.  I would never hurt anybody, except myself of course, but I’ve learned that when I get that way I just need to go into my bedroom until it passes. It’s like catching the flu or something. . . it grabs you and won’t let go and you just have to let it run its course. That was my Saturday-Sunday. Thank God it only happens a couple of times a year.

Following that I pulled more than ever last night. I went on a major binge. I honestly can’t believe I have any hair left today, I thought I just about got it all. This “manic” episode has continued today, it is like my fingers have a mind of their own. I can’t focus on work or anything else going on around me today, everything is jumbling together and not making sense.

I couldn’t sleep last night, which I am sure contributes to the way I feel today.

On a side note, not wanting to make this post entirely negative, I have found a correlation between caffeine intake and pulling. A couple of years ago I completely cut soda from my diet. I have it only every once in awhile when we go out to eat or something. I had heard that caffeine and other stimulants increased the urge to pull, so I decided to pay closer attention to how I reacted. Sure enough, when I drink soda I tend to pull more.

That’s just a little chip on the iceberg in my quest to get to the “root” of this. Ha ha, see what I did there? LOL. Only trichsters get that joke.

While perusing my Facebook newsfeed the other day I saw a post by one of my friends from an organization called “The Mighty.” I rarely click on those posts from other pages because too much of the time it is just spam or click-baiting stuff, but the headline promised an article about dealing with anxiety, so I clicked. Come to find out, The Mighty, both the Facebook page and the website, is all about mental and physical disorders and how not only the person afflicted can cope but how loved ones of an afflicted person can be supportive as well. And they are written by people who are actually battling what they are writing about.

You can get a free account and then tailor your subscription to the kind of articles you want to read. For example, I set mine to show me articles about anxiety, depression and my favorite devil, Trichotillomania.

I may even write and submit an article. We’ll see.

I only just subscribed yesterday, so I have not read a lot of articles as of yet, but so far everything I’ve read has brought me a comfort that I am not alone in this. The thought that I was alone has been one of my biggest hurdles with TTM. Some of the paragraphs in the submitted articles could have been taken straight from my blog or diary. It’s so real. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Here’s the Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/TheMightySite/?fref=ts

and the website https://themighty.com

For people with Trich, it seems that a big chunk of the relief the pulling provides is the stimulation to the skin. My fingers love to feel the little spiky, short hairs that are growing in. I can’t explain it, it is difficult to even try, but that prickly sensation is so soothing.

And then, of course, my hands and arms seem to move on their own. My right hand will reach up to my scalp and start hunting for the perfect hair without me even telling it too. My arm and hand seem to have a mind of their own. If my hand is not being stimulated by something else such as typing, coloring, etc. then it feels the need to move.

I have recently started coloring. Yeah, I know, I’m 34 years old and yet I have a big box of colored pencils and several coloring books. Not what one would expect. But, as you’ve probably read, there is a huge craze around adult coloring right now. There are tons of books out there featuring intricate designs, mandalas, etc. Filling in these shapes, the shading, choosing color combinations and such has been shown to have calming and stress relieving effects.

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It’s getting warmer where I live, which makes it more difficult to wear a stocking hat like I have been so accustomed to doing. For one, it is just too warm and for two, wearing a beany when it is 70 degrees outside will draw more attention to my head than I want. Which is not hard to do because I want ZERO attention on my head.

In a weird way I am glad, because I feel like in a way my hat was a crutch. Out of sight, out of mind. I don’t want to be ashamed of how I look anymore. I am plain sick and tired of it. I want to be able to go through each day like a “normal” person. I should wear a hat if I want to, not feel like I have to.

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It’s been quite awhile since I have seen my counselor. The holidays were super busy of course, and lately I have been more focused on getting my medications where they need to be. So I have been meeting with the gal who prescribes my meds. She is so sweet.

I’m gonna try to sum up our last two visits.

A few weeks ago when I went to speak to her she asked me some hard questions about myself. That’s one of the many things I did not think about or realize when I first started my journey into beating trichotillomania . . . this issue does not stand on its own, there are underlying issues or skeletons in the closet, if you will, that contribute to it. Those issues must be dealt with first before you can even get to the trich.

My biggest issue that contributes to the anxiety that in turn feeds my trich is the way I look and feel about myself. I literally believe I am the ugliest person on the planet. You won’t see a photo of me on here, and I rarely let anyone take a photo.

That is combined with the idea that I the only one in my town who does this, who has this. I live in Pocatello, Idaho, not exactly a thriving metropolis. My psychologist swears that she has treated other people here who have this, I’ve never met anyone else who has this and I feel incredibly alone. I’ve dealt with this for most of my life and never met anyone else who knows how I feel, how this feels. I mean, of course I have watched tons of videos and chatted with others online, but for me it is really important to physically meet someone else with TTM. That will cement for me the fact that I am not alone in this.

Anyway, I just cried and cried in her office that day. I did not go in with the intent of telling her exactly how I feel about the way I look and the isolation I feel, but when prompted it came out and then some. Is that what the folks in this field would call a break through? I really opened up.

She told me I am beautiful, and of course I did not believe her. I almost get angry when people tell me I am beautiful. It does not happen very often, but when it does I feel like they are flat out lying to me. I don’t want people to lie to make me feel better about myself. I want the truth.

But it felt good, the release.

Anyway, my visit yesterday was better, I didn’t cry. The last few weeks I’ve just felt sort of numb. Not necessarily in a bad way, just that I am not stressed out the way I would have been ordinarily. I’m calm.

I have not been pulling as much. I can go the entire day without doing it and then the last two hours before bed I just go crazy. I am trying to find things to combat that. This blog, for example. When I am typing my hands are busy. I have also been learning how to play guitar (It is so much harder than it looks) . I have also gotten into these intricate adult coloring books that they sell at Costco. Maybe I will post some pictures of those.
I’m trying so hard. I can’t talk to any one about this, but I am trying, all on my own to rid myself of these horrible urges.  And slowly, very slowly, I am noticing a difference. I am feeling better overall. I just wish the progress were faster, but beggars can’t be choosers.

I’ll get through this, and if you reading this have this too, so will you.

This is not meant to encourage or discourage anyone from taking or not taking a certain medication. This is simple what I have tried and how it has affected me.

Let it be hereby known that I very much dislike taking pills. Besides their chalky taste and bulkiness that makes them hard to choke down, the thought of putting something so synthetic, especially one meant to alter my brain chemistry, into my body has always been a bit scary. But what do you have to lose when you’ve tried everything else and you’re beyond desperate for a solution? Besides, the folks in the white coats went to school for half a life time to be able to tell me what works, so I have to trust. Beggars can’t be choosers!

But I digress.

When I first enlisted the aid of professionals to fix this, my psychologist, who is an amazing person, by the way (no sarcasm there, she really is a great human being) prescribed me Fluvoxamine. It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Yeah, try saying that out loud a few times. It is primarily prescribed to treat Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and disorders on the OCD spectrum, such as Trichotillomania (TTM). It also aids with anxiety including social anxiety and major depressive disorder. Check and check, sounds like a home run!

As I happily took the little white prescription note from her hand and prepared to dash off to the nearest pharmacy (one of the many times in life when I’d wished I had rocket skates) she cautioned that it would make me both nauseous and drowsy. Ok, nothing I can’t handle, and besides, isn’t that a side affect listed on all these things now a days? It can’t be that bad!

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