Trichotillomania is a sneaky little booger. Everything that I've read about it says that there isn't usually one "cause," so how in blue-blazes are we supposed to treat this? Carefully, slowly and with a variety of approaches. That's how.
Before I get too far into this post, I wanted to say thank you to those that have read my earlier posts and have gone out of your way to reach out to me directly. Friends, friends of friends and even a fellow alum from high school have experience with trichotillomania, and I am glad for the offers of help. Thank you.
My oldest agreed to have me write about this journey to help someone else that may be going through the same thing. Neither of us expected the rapid response with offers to help us. I'm so grateful.
Today was my oldest's second visit to the therapist. We are incredibly blessed to have employer provided health insurance that is actually paying for most of these visits. Again, I am immensely grateful. However, because we belong to an HMO, we have to go to the therapist the pediatrician refers us to.
When I google mapped the location of this therapy office, I was told it's 18.7 miles and would take 33 minutes to get there. Ha. Not in this lifetime. One way takes me 45-50 mins, because of traffic and lights.
Since school is a stressor and one of the reasons my daughter pulls in the first place, the LAST thing I want to do is pull her from school to do her therapy. Because she was a new patient and there were minimal choices available before March, I picked today at 4 pm for an appointment. OH.MY.WORD.
I rushed home from work, fed the dogs, while my oldest popped into the house fresh off the school bus. Then, we turned and high-tailed it out the door at almost exactly 3:15 pm.
It's frigidly cold here, the snow is plentiful, but light and fluffy, and the wind is nearly constant. The traffic was a nightmare, as were the roads. Throughout the entire drive, I kept thinking, "Oh my goodness, how am I going to do this every two weeks?" We barely made it in the main door to the professional building at 4 pm.
Now, I was stressed and needed therapy. Sheesh.
We got right in and my sweet girl, that asked for help, was mildly antagonistic and incredibly over-dramatic with the therapist. I'm SO glad the therapist does this all the time, because I wanted to throttle that kid.
Our first step is to get my girl to tally how often she's pulling. It will help us to help her if we know how much she really is yanking out hair. Unfortunately, I'm already seeing areas of her hairline that are significantly thinner than they were just a couple of weeks ago.
We have some coping techniques and some "distraction" techniques in place for my girl. Some behavior modification and talk therapy should get us going in the right direction soon.
As for those crazy appointment times, I'll tell you how good God is...
...my girl's therapist, just today, had a regular opening for Saturday around noon come available for us. No more rush hour, no more rushing, no more trying to find someone to watch my youngest while we're gone.
We'll be able to sleep in, still have pancake Saturdays and take our time getting there.
So, even though we are walking through a valley, God is there with us. He knows what we ALL need, and when we are faithful and true, He blesses us in ways we couldn't even think to ask for.
It's worth posting the entire Psalm. I know you've heard it before. Read it again. Take it to heart. Pray it and know that it is Truth.
Psalm 23 (NIV)
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Do you have a Trichotillomania story you'd like to share? Join the conversation in the comments below, click here to chat on Facebook, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk more privately. Perhaps we can help each other.
Sign up below to get an email whenever I publish something new. Just me, no spam. Promise. You don't really want to miss this, do you?
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.