So, we had our exam for our first module in grad school on Friday. And now I have maybe half my eye lashes, and half my eye brows. Woot. Trichotilomania is currently classified as an impulse control disorder, though some are starting to classify it with "body-focused repetitive behaviors" (BFRB's). It can manifest itself differently between individuals; it can include hair pulling from eyebrows, beards, eye lashes, arms, legs, armpits, and pubic regions. For some, it's a mild nuisance that can be controlled by remaining focused on one's actions and thoughts. For others, it completely eliminates the ability to think until the tic is completed.
The act itself can be both relieving and stress-inducing. Some people feel tension before pulling, some during, and many, after. The actual act itself of pulling out one's hair for many, is relaxing and slightly enjoyable. Some feel as though there is a particular hair that hurts, and once it is removed, the stress leaves. However, by this time, they may be missing a rather large chunk of hair from that part of the body. After the tic is completed, the damage may be significantly noticeable. Individuals often feel stressed and self conscious that others can see the destruction the behavior has. For me, I can at least fill in my eyebrows with makeup, but I can't cover up my missing eye lashes without fake ones, which just make the tic worse for me. If the tic is affecting your every day life, you should try to seek help for it. For more information, visit the trichotillomania learning center.