My name is James, I’m 21 years old, and I’ve had trichotillomania for about 6 years now. Trichotillomania is a Body Focused Repetitive Behavior where the sufferer compulsively pulls out their own hair. The current DSM connects it to OCD, but some say it is closer to an impulse control disorder.
When my trich started, it was mainly just my eyelashes that were affected. As time went on I started pulling hair from my legs, and then finally from my scalp. I have not had a full set of lashes in many years. I also keep my head shaved, though I still have bald spots. I cover my head most of the time, and wear a wig when that’s not possible. I have had periods of time where I didn’t pull from my head and my hair grew back in. But for me, trich is a cyclical disorder, and it always comes back. Months of new hair growth can be destroyed in a matter of hours. It is devastating to both suffer the damage and be the cause of it.
Trichotillomania (and other BFRBs) can lead to shame, depression, and isolation. I am so happy when I meet someone else with trich, because it means I am not alone with this disorder.
I am trying to attend the 2015 TLC Conference . It would mean the world to me to be able to meet so many other people with BFRBs, hear specialists and experts speak, attend workshops, and feel part of the community. I don’t think I will ever overcome trichotillomania completely, but I think with the right resources I can learn how to live my life despite it.
However attending the TLC conference is expensive, and I am currently unable to work. I have filed for disability but have not started receiving payments, and have no source of income, having been a student until recently. I also live 10 hours away from the conference site.
I am trying to raise $850, which will cover 3 nights at the hotel ($134.47 a night), the $325 registration, and money for transportation and food.
I need to raise the $325 by February 28th, and the rest by March 18th.
If you can help, I would be eternally grateful. I am positive this conference would be beneficial in so many ways, and I know that by attending I will walk away with a sense of hope for the future.
If you can, please donate. If not, sharing this would be really helpful.
Thank you so much.