Julie - posted on 03/25/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )
Hello, I'm new to this site and this is my first post. My daughter began pulling out her eyebrows when she was 8. It has been 1 year and 3 mos now and she only stopped once during summer vacation prior to being a flower girl in a wedding. Not sure if it was a relaxing summer or the wedding that helped her stop but after the wedding last November, she started up again and has next to no eyebrows left. One day she pulled some lashes at school but thankfully that was a one-time deal. Last week she began playing with the hair on her head, pulling a small section out of her ponytail and then yanking a strand or two out of her head at a time. I'm terrified she's going to end up bald, disfigured, ridiculed, laughed at and generally scarred for life. She's such a beautiful girl inside and out, I just don't want to see her self-esteem go down the toilet. It will ruin her life. She has seen 3 therapists and the current one seems to be actually attempting to provide her with some relaxation tools. The puzzling thing is that she has a pretty kick back life. Hardly any stress. I'm a single mom and I'm not working but able to pay bills so no prob there. I have enough money for nice clothes, activities, experiences, I pick her up and drop her off at school just like the SAHM's. She gets playdates and doesn't really have a whole lot of responsibilty aside from the basics of home and self care plus her homework. Her dad and I separated 9 months before the pulling started and I have to say I do an awesome job at giving her a 5 star life. We live in the same house we always did. NOTHING has changed, no trauma, just her dad moving out. He was always pretty uninvolved with her - so it wasn't a huge loss. As for me, I'm easy going except when she dawdles and stalls getting ready to go places and then we're late which makes me have to rush her along. But other than tha,t I bend over completely backwards to be helpful, accommodating, supportive, and guide her through life the best way I know how. I try hard so hard to always be thoughtful and caring when dealing with her. I have beaten myself up over this and now I'm to the point where I have to just let it go and hope that she is able to stop somehow. I don't know what else to do. I've given her mittens, squishy toys, read books for parents and kids about trich, we just started going to a monthly support group for kids with trich, she grooms therapy horses, takes ballet, does lots of art, plays A LOT, eats only organic foods, and gets plenty of sleep. She seems happy and has a few friends, not many, and some kids think she's wierd and she is a little quirky but in a good way. She wants her eyebrows back but says she can't stop. I need some more ideas to help her and myself cope with the feelings of fear and anxiety about how this behavior can affect relationships and self-esteem. I'm so confused by this terrible disorder and I just can't understand why she's doing it. Can anyone help me???