Traveling abroad to overcome Trichotillomania with a surprise! – The story of Rachel
Trichotillomania: covering up, suffering inside
For more than 9 years I was suffering from compulsive hair pulling (Trichotillomania). A habit that had occurred at some point in my life which caused me a lot of emotional pain. Because although I tried to cover up this behaviour and the results from the outside world, I was suffering inside.
The struggle with fighting hair pulling on my own
But also the misunderstanding of others - finding it strange, did not really help to overcome my hair pulling habit. Their well-intended advise to just stop with it was not always very pleasant. Stopping was something I really wanted myself, so after time it really becomes frustrating when people keep reminding you when you don´t know how to accomplish this.
Because when the urge to pull out my hair was strong enough, I would do it every time. Also I could never really explain why I did this when people asked me. Yes, for a brief moment it gave me a nice feeling inside, but I always regretted it when I saw the physical damage I had caused afterwards.
Previous experiences to overcome Trichotillomania
Previously I had tried everything to overcome this. I had seen doctors and psychologists in Belgium where I live, who often just wanted to understand and explain why I did this kind of behaviour. But their explanations and well-intended advice did not really help me. I had also used several types of creams on my hand, trying to make it more difficult to get hold of the hairs. But whatever I came up with and tried, nothing really helped. Over time both I and a select number of family members who knew about this gave up hope that something could be done.
New hope to beat Trichotillomania through the internet
Then I found on the internet the story of another person who was helped by Rik in the Netherlands to overcome Trichotillomania. That really appealed to me and gave me a new sense of hope, because I immediately recognized myself in the story of that other person. After a personal interview over the phone it was nice to hear that in Rik’s opinion I was not crazy at all with this type of behaviour and that many people around the world suffer from this.
That to him it is actually the same as someone who smokes and wants to stop, but keeps having the urge for smoking and has great difficulty to control this behaviour. And that it is very achievable to take back the control and learn how to overcome this when you really want to. When I also heard about the satisfaction guarantee he works I had just one thought: everything to gain here, so on to the Netherlands.
Breaking free from Trichotillomania, the experience
In the early hours of the morning I left Belgium with my boyfriend and arrived around 9:30 at Almere. After 5 hours and different kinds of fun exercises together we were done. During that time I had not only worked on overcoming my compulsion for pulling out hair, but also on my compulsion for nail biting. I coincidentally mentioned this habit for nail biting during the coaching, which we then worked on as well. To me a pleasant surprise.
After the day of the coaching I immediately felt very lightheaded. But I also noticed to be a bit anxious still. Because when you have pulled out your hair for more than 9 years, it is a little awkward at first to live without such a habit. You kind of expect that you are going to do it again. Also knowing that in the past I had managed to stop with the behaviour temporarily, but it did feel different this time.
Breaking free from Trichotillomania, the first month after
Meanwhile I can gladly confirm that I am very happy with the results. The first month immediately after the coaching I found myself in a very hectic and stressful time with lots of obligations. But both my hair and nails easily continued to grow. That was remarkable, because previously that would have been different when I had to deal with stress in my life.
I have also noticed that I feel much more confident since the coaching. I no longer feel different compared to other people and no longer have to feel weird about the comments and reactions of others when confronted with my habit in the past. Which always felt as if something was wrong with you, if you're crazy. Even though I knew inside that I was absolutely normal, I simply did not know how to stop when I felt the urge to pull. And then it is really wonderful when someone knows how to help you with this and to experience the progress you make on a daily basis afterwards.
Trichotillomania: having enough, finding a way out
Looking back on this experience, my conclusion is that people are complicated creatures. At first you're all on the straight path and occasionally you wander off. And then the question becomes how to get back on track? At first you try to do this all by yourself. Then you get everyone's help who finds out, solicited or unsolicited. And when nothing changes after a while everyone simply gives up.
And years pass by, until you say to yourself: "Now I've had enough", and you will find a solution. All I can say is that I am very happy with this and that I wish for others who are still suffering from this that they too learn how to overcome this, just like me. With the surprise and enjoyment of not only having my hair back, but also my nails :).
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"Traveling abroad to overcome Trichotillomania with a surprise!"
The story of Rachel