Diagnosed with trichotillomania, Natalie shares what she does when she has the urge to pull out her hair in public.
Well, strangely enough, I pull mostly when I am alone. When I am in public it’s something, I need to do something with my hands. So, I’ll start cleaning, or I’ll get my phone out and start texting. So I do a lot of that stuff. Most of it comes when I am alone. I don’t have something or someone to talk to; I don’t have something to do. That’s pretty much what I do.
I have been at a party before where I just started cleaning, and I am pretty sure it was my anxiety, and I just needed to clean. I needed to do something and I needed to get out my anxiety, and right then, pulling was not my urge. My urge was cleaning, and it was not a good time to pull my hair. I mean, that would have looked kind of silly, but, so I started cleaning and ended up looking silly also because people noticed around me and they said, “Stop cleaning; why are you doing that?”
And I said, “Well, I am just going to clear out these bottles here and get these cups put away, and oh, you know, while I am at it, I might as well just get out a rag and start wiping down the counters." And someone had to physically grab me and take me away from the kitchen, and we just were laughing about it, but I know inside that why I was doing it.
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