Dermatillomania

Julie Mason

I Shaved My Head to Stop Pulling Out My Hair

On January 17, 2014, my hair and my head were in rough shape. I would say that about half of my hair was gone. After ten years of struggling with trichotillomania, I had reached a breaking point. The evening before, I had begged my father through tears to get his electric razor and shave all my hair off. My scalp burned and itched, my hands shook with the need to pull out whatever was remaining. Mom and dad gave excellent council and told me to sleep, and to make my final decision after my (VERY timely) therapy appointment the next day. After my appointment, I had made my choice.
Dusica Paripovic via Getty Images

A Letter to My Suicidal Self

I will tell you that I know you've tried what feels like everything to create a tolerable existence, but it hasn't worked thus far. I also know that you have hoarded your past expired medications in your toy hamper waiting for this day when you finally get "the nerve" to go through with ending it all. Please don't let today be your last, I want you to experience what it's like to smile for real again and you'll be taking that opportunity away.
Getty

Yes, I Literally Pull My Hair Out -- So do Millions of Canadians

At the age of 12, I developed a disorder called Trichotillomania, also known as "Hair Pulling Disorder". Trichotillomania is defined as an irresistible urge to pull out hair from one's scalp, eyebrows, or other areas of the body, resulting in noticeable bald spots/patches. It is classified as a Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviour, and roughly 1 to 2 million Canadians live with one. It's time to spread awareness.