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Trichotillomania - A message to my younger self

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Lucinda asks four of her Trichotillomania clients what they would say if they could send a message to their younger selves.

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Transcription of Conversation - Trichotillomania - A message to my younger self

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If you could go back in time to talk to your 13 year old self, what would you say if you had that first hair?

Well, I mean the obvious thing would be 'please don't do that, please don't do that, don't go there, don't start it.' Of course if you could turn back the clock of course you'd never do that. But then I also probably think, it's been a very hard journey, and it's been a very self-inflicted hard journey in parts. I think the causes for me to start it were beyond my control, they were just the situation I was in, at that stage they pressured me into going down this route of stress relief, some sort of release and some sort of soothing repetitive thing. And it gives you, it's like all sorts of, it like if you catch yourself which I've never done, but you get that sort of thing - you cause yourself external pain to offset the internal pain. And to focus on the external pain, but I think I would say to that person now, 'Don't worry, you can live with it, you can manage it, you can even get over it, but don't be afraid to ask for help'.

What about you?

I think the first thing to say would be you're not alone, because that's how I was for years and years, I was the only person, so I think just knowing that there are other people out there can make an enormous difference.

That's the first thing you would say to your 11 year-old self?

That's the first thing I would say to myself, this is not unusual. There are millions of people on this planet - you're not exclusive on this one. You're not a freak, you're not special even. It's just something a lot of people do - it's not shameful, it's not 'bad', it's just something you do.

What about you Terry, what would you say to your 11 year old?

I would say in general, don't worry, it's just something you do, it doesn't define you. When people find out, they won't actually care, they'll be more interested than anything, and there are things that you can do to help yourself, like coming to the salon, obviously I did that from a young age anyway, but I think it was important for me to know I wasn't alone, it was just something I did, there are a lot worse things I could have done, or all those conditions I could have had, and don't worry about it, don't panic.

Yes I think that's very good advice that you women have given your younger selves.