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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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Do people with Trichotillomania often feel their eyelashes

Customer Question

I pull my lashes out because the feel uncomfortable and I just need to get that one that is causing me the bother.


Do people with Trichotillomania often feel their eyelashes 'sore' before pulling them out?

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I agree that the blepharitis or irritation is not the reason that you are pulling out your eyelashes; rather the pulling out of these hairs is causing the irritation.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

The discomfort is emotional/psychological and the hair pulling is giving you relief.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

This is indeed trichotillomania, which is sometimes limited or specialized to eyelashes, eyebrows, or public area, as well as the scalp.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You may be causing eye irritation which should be treated/medicated. You do not want to have eye infections. This is not the cause of your problem which is indeed trichotillomania, in my estimation.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

This can be treated with psychotherapy (first choice) or with medications.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

The best psychotherapy would be cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), particularly Habit Reversal Training (HRT) which has shown great success, more so than medication.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Biofeedback is also a means of treatment, from a therapist who uses this technique.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Finally, the most effective medication is clomipramine (Anafranil) which has been shown to be more effective than other medications. It is a tricyclic antidepressant.

Customer:

When this started 3 years ago I was using a treatment to make my eyelashes stronger and longer, the eyelashes seemed to stay in far longer than they should have and this was when I got an irritation. This was why I thought it wasn't trichotillomania

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Why did you get the treatment in the first place?

Customer:

A friend who was a doctor offered it to me as I had a lot of contacts....think he wanted me to advertise his product

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

So you did not feel a need. Rather you did it as a favor to a friend, you might say?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

And what did it do to you?

Customer:

Well I liked the sound of having longer, stronger thicker lashes so thought why not!

Customer:

It did work but then I started to get uncomfortable eyelashes and feel the need to pull them out. I stopped using the product more than 2 years ago

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

A combination of several genes can make you more vulnerable to trichotillomania.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have the classic symptoms and the use of this substance and the focus on your eyelashes may have triggered the latent disorder and directed the focus on this area.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You can be treated successfully.

Customer:

So what do you think is the best solution? I'm not so keen on taking drugs

Customer:

Drugs being antidepressants

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Find a good therapist in your area that works with impulse control disorders and who practices CBT and or Habit Reversal Therapy.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I am not keen on drugs either, and the psychotherapy is also the FIRST line of treatment, not the drugs.

Customer:

Ok it's worth a shot as it's really annoying me. Just one more thing...why would it be worse after I have worn make up?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

This can be turned around with professional help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Perhaps because the make up is an irritant and makes you more aware (physically and psychologcally) that you have this problem.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I have a book recommendation for self help. You can get this from the UK.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :



This may be a good place to start as you seek a therapist.

Customer:

It's funny I don't feel depressed, anxious, upset or anything that I thought would be linked to such a behaviour. Thanks I'll have a look at the book. I live in Switzerland and I believe that therapists are quite expensive so may be a better option to start with. .

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You don't have to feel depressed or anxious to have an impulse control disorder.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I lived in Switzerland for awhile, before you were born, and was a member of a well-known psychodrama theater group called Les Treteaux Libres de Geneve. Just a side-note.

Customer:

It's lovely here, live just outside Geneva, beautiful place!

Customer:

Thanks for your help and hopefully I can get this eyelash thing sorted!

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Yes. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that you can. This is very curable.

Customer:

Well that sounds better than chronic blepharitis!

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It certainly does. :)

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I wish you great success.

Customer:

Thanks very much, better get on with some work now. All the best!

Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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