On a Memorial Day weekend twelve years ago, our daughter (almost nine years old at the time) pulled half of her eyelashes. The effect upon her and the whole family was profoundly unsettling and disruptive.
In her suffering, she was unable to explain what she had done or why she had done it. As parents, we loudly demanded that she change her behavior. Even though she was not quite nine years old, we thought that she could control this behavior when presented with a high enough level of threatened punishment. How sadly mistaken we were.
We went from psychologist to psychologist. None knew how to treat Trich. One psychiatrist put our beautiful daughter on a medicinal regimen that actually aggravated the urge to pull. It was the worst month of pulling in our daughter’s life.
For those who have a loved one with this disease, we don’t have to tell of the heartbreaking emotions, rejections and whispered slights felt by the sufferer. The isolation is compounded when in public. The looks of shock and surprise are hard not to notice.
We do not recall how we came to know of TLC, but we will never forget the first time calling and hearing Christina’s calm and reassuring voice on the other end. She reached out and touched these bewildered parents.
It is vital to learn the causes and contributing factors of trichotillomania. Only then is it possible to test and compare different treatment modalities. This can only be accomplished through research – and good research costs money.
We are grateful for the unceasing generosity and efforts put forth by Christina and her cohorts and supporters at TLC. We would not know of this disorder were it not for the suffering of our daughter. We consider it a privilege to be able to help bring comfort and knowledge to other sufferers and their loved ones. We are humbled by the true compassion that Christina and TLC bring to helping others to learn to cope.
As recipients of this largesse, we believe it an honor to contribute on an annual basis to help continue this mission.
Maryam and Edward, TLC Members