"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Thursday, 7 March 2013


 When I was young I suffered from trichotillomania, much to my mother's distress.  As an infant I had curly hair and Mum blamed the fact that it went straight on my trichotillomania.

Trichotillomania is the act of tearing one's hair out - usually as a result of a state of mental disorder,  grief or distress.

Tearing your hair out is a common phrase used to describe frustration. While we all know the feeling, the physical act is very real for sufferers of Trichotillomania.  A little-known condition, often called Tric for short, the problem is normally triggered by high stress or anxiety, such as a relationship breakdown, divorce, or even pressures at school or work.  Women seem more prone than men, and although the hair pulling usually starts at about age 12, it can also happen later in life too.

Charlotte Suggett, 22, was 11 when she started pulling her hair, after her dad was diagnosed with cancer.  To people who ask, ‘Why don’t you just stop pulling it out?’ (an incredibly common response) Suggett says: “Why can’t people just stop smoking? Or why can’t people stop biting their nails?”


  1. I had a former student like that a few years ago. His started in the middle grades. (not my grade, praise be) It was hard on his mom as well as the boy himself. I never .

  2. People can be quite daft at times. Although I must admit I rather appreciate a blunt but honest comment or question than the pretense of compassion and oh-so-sympathetic looks people sometimes give others who are suffering some disorder or other.

    1. Yes, I too would prefer blunt if silly to pretend compassion.