This month, we are highlighting stories “In Our Voices,” where community members share the tremendous impact that you can make by donating to TLC. Today, we hear from Raphaele.
Hi! My name is Raphaele. I’m 43 years old, and I pull out my hair. I did about 3 times today.
I had a long period of over 10 years when I did not pull at all. Then I was very disappointed about 5 years ago when I started pulling again. I really don’t know what the trigger was, but I haven’t been able to stop this time around.
I’ve tried anti-depressants, but I didn’t notice myself pulling any less.
I tried seeing a doctor but he didn’t know about trich – and didn’t help.
I’ve tried everything – wearing gloves, wearing things on my fingers – eventually I just got so frustrated with all those little things that don’t work.
I’ve really felt on my own in terms of managing my trich.
But last April I went to the TLC conference – and it was life changing.
I met others who pull and pick, heard their stories, and shared mine. The TLC Community became my family – we talk to each other almost daily on Facebook. To have people who just get you — when you can write a few words on a Facebook post and everyone understands — that’s truly a blessing, a gift.
- We need to give the gift of community – by supporting TLC’s outreach programs so that no one ever feels like they are “the only one.”
- We need to give the gift of treatment access – by continuing to train more treatment providers – so that EVERYONE has access to knowledgeable providers trained in best practices.
- We need to give the gift of answers – by moving the BFRB Precision Medicine Initiative forward. This is a ground-breaking opportunity to finally understand why some treatments work – and others don’t – and provide the answers we’ve all been asking.
So, that’s why I am sharing my story with you – we need to come together to end all of this suffering.
If we don’t do it, who will?
Please, think about the gifts you’ve received thanks to the generous hearts that support TLC.
Will you pay those gifts forward?
Here is something we all know: there is nothing easy about trichotillomania or skin picking.
Accessing treatment, getting support and understanding from loved ones, finding recovery – are all challenging, and leave many of us feeling defeated, ashamed, and stuck in an endless cycle of pulling and picking.
But, thanks to the TLC Community – this is changing. And with your help, some things WILL get easier.
Here are three big ways your gift can make a difference.
TLC donors sponsor a public awareness campaign every fall. This year, one donor’s gift of $650.00 enabled us to boost our awareness campaign with Facebook ads -reaching 150,000 people with skin picking disorder with information about how to find help.
2. Access to Treatment
TLC Professional Training Institute graduates report higher abstinence rates for their BFRB* patients. Clinicians also report seeing more BFRB patients and training their colleagues in BFRB treatment. Last year, your support trained 30 clinicians in Best Practice Treatment for these behaviors.
Your gift of $1,000 educates a treatment provider – bringing the best current treatments close to home.
3. Better Answers, Faster
TLC is launching a cutting edge research effort to dramatically improve remission rates in the next seven years.
Your support has brought together the world’s top BFRB researchers and clinicians to create the BFRB Precision Medicine Initiative – a nationwide, collaborative research effort to transform the landscape of treatment possibilities for hair pulling and skin picking.
Your gift of $10,000 or more will help launch BFRB research on an unprecedented scale.
TLC is the only nonprofit organization in the world training treatment providers, funding research AND raising awareness.
And, with your support, we can do SO MUCH MORE!
If we don’t come together to create a better future for all affected by BFRBs, who will?
PS: With your gift of $4 a month or more, you’ll receive access to TLC’s extensive webinar archive and free registration to all future webinars, a subscription to TLC’s quarterly newsletter, InTouch, and discounts on registrations to regional events. Please make your tax-deductible contribution today!
We need your old video footage!
Artifact Studios in Los Angeles is in the midst of creating a short promotional video about the TLC. Titled “Breakthrough,” the video celebrates those moments when family members, friends, therapists, researchers, and community activists have had breakthroughs—and shows how TLC helped make them possible.
The “Breakthrough” video will be used by TLC on the web and during outreach activities to help educate people about the organization and encourage them to donate or help with fundraising efforts. By submitting a video, you will need to sign a permission form.
We collected some incredible footage at the last TLC Conference – and now we’re looking for visuals to help bring the video to life. And we need your help!
What we are looking for is anything you would be comfortable sharing publicly that reflects your experience with BFRBs AND your personality. Any videos, of any quality. Old home movies, or videos that you shoot now with your phone. We have a few suggestions below for the kinds of things we’re looking for, but we are open to surprises. We’re especially looking for any material that conveys emotion.
Could be videos showing activities like:
- Trying on hats, wigs, getting hair cuts
- Looking in the mirror
- Wearing a TLC wrist band
- Close-ups of your hands
- sweet dance moves
- playing sports
- learning a new skill
- meeting and hanging out at a TLC event
- checking out the TLC website
- footage of birthday parties
- parents hugging kids
- selfies with your doctor or therapist
- demonstrations of a craft project
- any footage that shows their creativity, sense of humor
- simply laughing and having fun
By submitting a video, you are giving TLC and Artifact films permission to use your footage as we deem appropriate. To submit material, please visit this website for instructions:
The deadline for submissions is January 5, 2015.
We’re casting a wide net to obtain as many video submissions as possible. Please help us spread the word to your friends and within the community. We’re looking to represent the full spectrum of experiences and emotions.
Thanks so much for all your time and help with this. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. We look forward to seeing your videos.
Please come join our very special meeting and show your support for people with Trichotillomania.
Date: Wednesday, December 17th 2013.
Time: 6:30-8:30 pm.
Where: Lucinda’s Hair and Boutique
650 Highland Ave.
Cheshire, Ct. 06410
We will be holding a support group for anyone suffering from Trichotillomania. We welcome men, women and children to attend. This is a safe and non-judgmental place to share ideas, strategies, difficulties and successes. We encourage you to ask questions and share insights. We aim to discuss, help and mutually support each other in our efforts to understand and control this impulse control disorder. Anyone who has trich or has a relative or friend with trich is welcome to join. We aim to include all opinions and age groups and talk on issues mainly related to trich. Most importantly, we want to give people the opportunity to know they are not alone, meet others with the same difficulties, and provide an opportunity to support each other.
Please come and the crew at Lucinda’s Hair & Boutique!
At this meeting we will be featuring guest speaker Dr. Dana LaPointe of Sustainable Health and Wellness, a licensed naturopath, who will naturopathic approaches to wellness.
My personal struggle is with trichotillomania. I began pulling my hair around 9 years old and I am now 54, so I have a long history. I am passionate about TLC – and members like you – because you have been the single most important catalyst to my progress.
When TLC asked if I would share my story with you, I was torn. I believe in TLC wholeheartedly – this organization literally changed the course of my life. But I hate asking for money. Then, I was reminded of the words of Robin, a developmentally-delayed man I met when I ran a community kitchen. Out of the blue one day, he said to me, “Kathy, there is no free lunch. Think about that if you get something for free: somebody else had to pay for it.”
That comment reframed for me how I feel about getting something for nothing. There is no such thing. Every research study I can refer to, every strategy I have learned, every time I can allow myself to believe that I am not crazy, every time I email a ‘conference friend’ who understands, it is because of the work of TLC. And all of those resources have been created at the expense of someone who came before me. What better way to show my gratitude than to pay it forward?
Your donation to TLC ENDS the SHAME.
As a teenager, I was bullied non-stop for having trich. I don’t have any horror stories about mean kids at school, or cruel family members – I was the bully. I never had anyone to counter the comments in my head, and they became my truth: you’re ugly, you’re crazy, why do you do this? why can’t you stop? you’re a failure, you don’t fit in… Some of my worst moments were waking up in the middle of the night after a bad spree. Late night darkness magnified the gut-wrenching grief for the damage I had done. How could I possibly face tomorrow?
TLC is our ‘credible voice’ in the public realm. By providing solid information about BFRBs, TLC strips power from the bullying voices in our own minds, and fights the ignorance that creates real-world bullies.
Your donation to TLC ENDS the ISOLATION.
I was 52 years-old before I met another person with trich at a TLC conference. What made me happiest was seeing the many young people there with their parents – and the thought that their journey might be immeasurably easier because of what TLC offers. TLC events, social networks, and their hands-on help to get local support groups off the ground means we no longer have to suffer alone.
Your donation to TLC CREATES BETTER TREATMENTS
This year, we’ve all heard a lot about the “BPM,” TLC’s impressive initiative for BFRB Precision Medicine research. “Precision Medicine” means to analyze the cause of an individual person’s disorder – and then to utilize targeted treatments to address that. In other words, by gathering a ‘database’ of hundreds of brain scans, blood work, and patient-histories, they expect to be able to identify patterns or sub-types within our BFRBs – and to personalize treatments that will work best for each unique patient.
No one would be doing this kind of research if TLC wasn’t there. And TLC can’t do it without all of us working together.
I tried to stop (using will power) for 42 years and nothing changed. Your support for TLC gave me knowledge about this disorder and tools to improve my chances of success. You made it possible for me to meet people who are like me, who know the burden of this disorder. And you gave me answers – better understanding my BFRB was the key to silencing the bully in my brain and lifting my shame. This is the greatest gift you have given me. I’m still not pull-free, but in the past 2 years I have made more progress than ever before.
I give in gratitude for what I have received, to honor my progress, to express my hope for change, and to help my community. I hope you will join me in donating as generously as you can.
Written by Mackensie Freeman, a 15 year old who is a member of TLC’s Millennial Task Force, raising awareness about BFRBs in the community by speaking with national media about her experiences with BFRBs.