What You Don’t Know About Ashly

What You Don’t Know About Ashly


– With social media, we’re
able to make our lives look however we want them to. Whether or not it’s actually true, we can feign happiness and stability. So I’m here today to look
behind the handle once again on someone you probably already follow to tell you something about themselves that you probably don’t know. This time, Ashly Perez. (haunting instrumental music) – Hi, I’m Ashly Perez. I used to work at BuzzFeed for five years and now I am producing
and acting freelance. I do a lot of videos about being awkward or not feeling comfortable in my body. Mainly scripted comedy videos
that are very physical. So I would say I was known for being a more comedic person online. – [Interviewer] What do
you think people take away from your social media
when they look at you? – It’s interesting
because my social media’s kind of different everywhere. My Twitter is half Baltics, half jokes, and then my Instagram is
like, here’s the hottest that I ever look and it’s on Instagram and there’s not much humor there unless you’re on my story,
and it’s just my cat. And then my YouTube presence is very funny and silly and open. I think in general,
people probably take away from my social media that
I am a very happy person. Part of being a public figure
is needing to find the balance of what is private in your own life. People have scrutinized truly
every single part of my body down to the veins in my hands. As a layer of protection,
you start curating what you want the audience
to see versus letting them comment on every single
part of you that’s real. So at any given point in time, even though I’m being honest about what has happened to me in the past, you probably only know 60 to 70% of what my actual life is at that moment. – [Interviewer] What
we’re talking about today, how many people know this about you? – I have cumulatively
probably a million followers on social media and less
than 10 people in my life know what I’m about to talk about. – [Interviewer] Why is it so few? – It’s just so personal. It’s like the most
personal thing in my life. It’s weird to talk about
something and know that a lot of people are gonna see it, because even if only 10,000
people watch this video, that’s 9,999 more people than
have ever heard this before. I’ve done so many videos but it feels a little bit unsettling. I can’t believe I’m talking about this. It’s definitely not in the
media, and so I just felt like I must be the only one going
through this and this is like a shameful little
secret that I have and so only my absolute best friends
and family know about it. I’ve talked about struggles
with mental illness before. I’ve talked body weight issues. I’ve talked about not feeling sexy, but for some reason I think
because this seems so weird and specific, I’ve just
never talked about it before. I’m tired of not talking
about it and I know that there are gonna be
people who watch this video who do the same thing and will be seen and I want us to have less
shame and stigma about it. This is 100% the most
private thing about myself. So you know all of this about me, but there is something
you don’t know about me. I have Trichotillomania, which
is a hair pulling disorder. The beginning of my hair
pulling, it just started one day and it didn’t stop for like 10 years. One random day in college,
I found a scab on my head and I started picking at it
and I kept picking from there. I was really concerned with
wanting my head to feel smooth, so I had this tiny little bald spot. Wow, this feels so familiar, this feeling. I had this tiny little bald spot and I would just feel like this. And I could feel the tiny,
tiny little hairs growing back and those would bother me so
much that I would spend hours trying to pick them out
until my head was smooth. When I would pick my
head, I would go into kind of like a trance-like state. I would always have terrible
headaches and migraines. Sometimes I would start bleeding. It would be debilitating, but it felt impossible to not pick. A lot of the relief is
from the actual pulling and so no matter how
much I would hurt myself, once I pulled a hair, it felt so relieving that you kept doing it. But another thing that I had
to do was take pictures of it. I have hundreds of
pictures in my camera roll of trying to get a
closeup picture of my hair because since I couldn’t
see it, I was obsessed with, what is the thing that is
bothering me right now? I remember one night staying up super late with just the flash on
trying to get the right angle and I was like, maybe
I can turn on my phone, stream it to the TV so I can see it and set up the camera in a way… And then when you realize
what you’re doing, you feel insane and it feels like, how have I gotten this bad? You do feel sad too that you
can’t beat this thing, I guess. It’s pretty easy to hide. You know, I’d be leaning
up against my desk or just like this, but
really what I was doing was picking my head. I was always sure that
everyone knew, but no one knew. Sometimes I would wear hats if
it ever got like bad enough. It was always a little bit alarming being around taller people. My bald spot was at the
top of my head so truly, unless you were taller than me, there was no way you
would naturally see it. It was always super
embarrassing to get my hair cut and when she would slick my hair down, my little Alfalfa hairs or
the hairs that have grown back would stick right up and she’d be like, what’s going on here? And I feel like she must have known. I think people are just afraid
to talk about these things, but I would lie and say that, oh, I hit my head on the cabinet, the straightener burned it
and so now I have a scab. I would just make up all
these reasons of why. It’s kind of like the same thing of smelling to see if you have deodorant on. It’s pretty impossible to
tell right now that I could be picking my head, but
that’s what I was doing. My friends had no idea
that this was something that I was dealing with, but
afterward it was actually really hard to go from being
a completely isolated person to then having my three
best friends know about it and then being on my case about it. They were just trying to help me, but it wasn’t with the help
of an actual therapist, people just trying to have good intentions and being like, don’t pick your head. It’s crazy to say to anyone
who has a mental illness, don’t be depressed, don’t have anxiety, don’t pick your head,
because if it was that easy, then I would have done it. In my brain I was like, oh
yeah, don’t pick my head. I just need to have as
much willpower as possible and every time I failed I
felt like I was just a failure or didn’t have enough
willpower because no one was even talking to me
about the root causes for this kind of disorder. It was treated by me and my
friends and family for so long like it was a bad habit. The best way I would
describe what my hair pulling feels like to someone
who hasn’t had a similar obsessive compulsive disorder is, if you’re ever at home
and it’s really quiet and then all of a sudden a
fly starts buzzing around and you can hear it, and as
much as you want to ignore it, you can hear it and it’s following you and then you get up
and you try and find it and you go crazy until
you can kill that fly or get it out of the room. I think that’s just the
beginning of what an obsessive compulsive disorder feels like. Sometimes I would have
peace for a couple days because I would get my
hair pulling to a point where I was satisfied with it, and then all of a sudden
here come 100 more flies and I can’t deal with it again, and it’s just as annoying
as when there was one fly. I started getting a little
bit of tennis elbow, carpal tunnel from the
repetitive motion of picking at my head because
my bald spot is up here. If you go back into old BuzzFeed videos, you can actually see me picking my head. It was so out of control
that I couldn’t even stop for the moments that I was on camera. I was picking my head like
every 30 seconds probably. – [Interviewer] When you’re
looking to treat hair pulling, how did you treat yours? – Whoo! The treatment is the
hardest part, honestly. The first part is recognizing
that you have a problem and that it actually is something that needs to be addressed and treated. For me, it was really
hard to recognize that I had a mental disorder because I had had histories of mental disorder in my family and I always just saw this
as so much less than that, that I was like, I don’t
have a mental illness, a mental illness is, that’s crazy. It’s not this thing, but it
was 100% a mental illness. I met with three different
therapists over my lifetime, but it was never just for hair pulling. Hair pulling was a larger
part of a symptom of a lot of stuff I was dealing
with and it was weird because I felt like,
well I’m here to tackle my hair pulling, I don’t want
to deal with my whole life, but you really kinda have to deal with the holistic version of yourself. The third time I went to therapy, which was the most helpful
in terms of my hair pulling, I was also dealing with coming out and so I stopped going to that therapist because I didn’t want to admit I was gay and then that stopped me from
dealing with my hair pulling and my hair pulling kinda
got worse and worse. And so when I finally
came back and I was like, okay, guess what, you were right, I’m gay, which my therapist was like, yeah, I was able to fully
address the issue head on. One of the first thing we
tried was replacement therapy, which meant instead of picking my head, I would pick at something else. Lots of different textile
things, kinetic sand, my girlfriend got me these
magnets that I would play with. I wore gloves at one point, I had a pair of gloves
in my car and at home. Another thing that I tried, this medicine. My psychiatrist said
that OCD is one of the hardest things to treat medically. I took Lexapro, but then it
led to other side effects. I had to go on Wellbutrin
and before I knew it, that made me not feel like myself. What often happens is
cognitive behavioral therapy, which has been the only thing
that’s been helpful for me. Cognitive behavioral therapy
means a lot of things. I personally have tried 10
to 15 different strategies to see which one works for me. I had to figure out how
to change the behavior of what I’m actually doing,
putting my hand up and down, and then change the
mental state behind it. So the thing that was most helpful to me, basically every time I pick my head because I couldn’t stop doing this, when I was aware that
my hand was up there, I would have to stop, leave my hand there, breathe in and out, think about what was making me anxious, take a second and only when I
was ready, put my hand down. And even that is so relaxing. I feel more relaxed than
I’ve been this whole time. Problem is, one and a half seconds later my hand was here again
and you couldn’t just skip and be like, oh well,
I already did my thing. You had to go… (deep breathing) Over and over and over
again until your body starts to unlearn the
behavior and your body starts to become aware
of what you’re doing. So I had to start keeping a journal. When am I picking my head? When am I picking it the most? How long am I picking my head for? Is there other things that
are making me anxious? It was this slow, terrible
process of elimination that took so long for progress
that seemed so minute, but just like it started,
it very much felt like the first time I stopped picking my head, that just one day I
stopped picking my head. But I think it was because I
was doing so much small work. After the first time that I got better, I had about a year clean
where I didn’t relapse. And then I had a scab one day, started picking and picked for
probably another six months. The one thing that really
helped me this last time was just putting a tiny little
butterfly clip in my hair right there and it looked ridiculous, but it stayed so well
that I couldn’t move it and every time I’d put it up there, it made me immediately
conscious of the fact that my hand was up there,
and that was the most helpful thing for me in terms
of stopping my hair pulling. Once you know what works for you, tell the people who love you,
what works for you so that they can remind you specifically
what you need to do. Sometimes my girlfriend
would catch me and be like, do you want to take a breath right now? In a very easy way that wasn’t shaming me, that wasn’t making me feel bad. It was like, oh yeah, I do want
to take a breath right now. Thank you. Take a breath, and be done with it. It’s not always dark and always evil and always this thing
that will bring you down. Even when I was getting
better, the experience of having my little hairs
grow back and my Alfalfa’s, I was so proud of having it. I would be like, look, my
Alfalfa’s are coming back. Oh my God, my hair, and it was comical. My hair would stick up like this, but it felt like such a big win. It did feel like a hard
thing that I went through, but it didn’t change
who I was fundamentally. Because mental illness is
something that we think of as such a bad thing, we
often try to just not show it or not talk about it, but that’s
the most destructive part. Creating a culture of
shame where we can’t talk about it and because it’s
harmful, we don’t talk about it, gives it so much more power. – [Interviewer] So how does it feel now that you’ve talked about it? – This video is gonna
be online and everyone’s gonna know this thing about
me or a lot of people. It feels weird right
now because I don’t know what the response is gonna be. Part of me feels so much
relief in just talking about it and so I would encourage you guys too, you don’t have to go through this alone. In fact, you absolutely
shouldn’t go through this alone. I wanted so desperately
for it to be something that I could fix myself,
but it is a mental disorder and you need help. It doesn’t make you a weirdo and it doesn’t make you an oddball. It’s just a normal thing
that there are people and professionals who can help you, and that if you stick with it, you will get better eventually. – [Interviewer] I think that’s great. – That’s all folks. Man, I need to pee. (laughing) – [Interviewer] Cool,
let’s go ahead and cut. – [Ashly] Cut. – [Interviewer] For more information, resources and support
groups for Trichotillomania, check out the links in
the description below. There are people out there
who want to help you. You got this. (upbeat music) – Hey! Unsolved is on a new
channel and now your part. – Subscribe here.
– Subscribe here. That was my part.

Comments

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    marina svensson

    I’ve heard of this, I don’t have a hair pulling disorder but sometimes I get extreme impulses to pull my hair and I sometimes do. it’s usually when I haven’t self harmed for a while.

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    Autumn Martin

    When I was between 10-14 I would get super anxious or upset and I would twist and rip out my hair so much. It just started out of nowhere. When I did it I wouldnt even notice. I would be reading a book or watching tv until I became obsessive and would do it in a mirror .I would have multiple bald spots so bad people always noticed and made me feel bad about it which just made it worse. It was so embarrassing I started hiding my hair and tried to stop. I moved onto my eyelashes and eyebrows so bad I once ripped out hair of my eyebrow in one sitting and I felt so ashamed. I plucked out almost all my eyelashes and even now sometimes catch myself pulling at them 7 years later. I eventually stopped doing it and mustve gotten past it somehow. I never knew it was an actual thing people did.

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    vivian leigh

    I Know How It Is Because I Would Say To Myself …..Hey I'm Not Gonna Chew On My Nails. Ok Id Do That For a little while And Then Do It Again. And Now Because Of it My Nails Are Weaker Now And Harder To Grow With out Being Bendy.

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    Robot Unicorn

    I have Dermatillomania. Instead of hair, it's skin. I hate it, and this video made me realize it. My family always saw it as just a bad habit, now I see it's a mental disorder. Thank you, Ashly.

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    Jensen Wehri

    6:41 I love that she says this because so many people do say that but that's not how it works. If we want to really help people with mental illness we need to be understanding.

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    Emily Skarbowski

    It is SO incredibly difficult to unlearn a behavior. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story ❤️

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    Lynda Bird

    Thank you for these videos. You are being brave helping others be brave to help others find help and be brave themselves. Kudos

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    Katie Reed

    Thank you for talking about this! I’ve been dealing with trich since the 7th grade and since have only actually met ONE other person with it. I feel like i can’t talk to anybody about it because many people don’t really view it as an actual mental disorder

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    Ly Ly

    I do recognize myself in this in some ways, I dont necessarily pick at the hair (I actually hate pulling hair, even plucking my brows) but I do pick at pimples and blackheads a lot etc, and when she said that she got obsessed with having no bumbs I recognize myself so much. I always have scabs at my head and hairline because I always pick there, mostly when im stressed. It starts with a tiny bumb that becomes I huge scab that bleeds cus I won't stop. I did this to my ear too, I told myself that I had to stop tho cus the wound ended up really big and were always bleeding..its just when I do it I dont think about anything at all, im at peace. And as a person whos always thinking all the time, its soo relieving.

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    Lainie Riehs

    I have Trich to.. and I’m 10 years old it’s terrible I haven’t told anyone not even my parents

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    Maya Jøyce

    Ok, so I'm going to share my story even though barely anyone will read this (but please do because I've never been able to talk about this before). It started when I had just turned 10. I just had weird urge to pull out a hair, so I did. It felt weirdly pleasing, so I pulled out more and more, like I spent a good half-hour doing it. My head even started bleeding a tiny bit so I stopped–but the next day I did the same thing. And I kept on, day after day. I went through various different stages of thinking about it, from "is this just a bad habit?" To "am I going crazy?" I thought there was something very wrong with me and I could never tell anyone. The fact that I was only 10 made it worse, because I didn't know much about mental disorders and thought they were always very extreme, life-long things that only "crazy" people had. I also didn't know about therapy or counseling, so I thought I had to handle it on my own. I tried to make it go away, because I thought it was "just a bad habit," but nothing worked for more than 10 minutes. I started losing a TON of hair. I had generic long hair in no particular style, so I never really went to get haircuts. But my dad started to notice because every night I would play video games on his computer, and sometimes he would watch me play for a few minutes. He commented on it a lot (mostly jokingly) but I got really scared. I only ever wore my hair in a pulled-back ponytail, because that was the only thing that hid it. Eventually (and I know this sounds COMPLETELY insane) it started to get boring, and I stopped doing it. Like, stopped for good. One day I literally woke up and the urge to pull out my hair was gone. Later that summer, just to make sure it wouldn't return, I shaved my whole head. Now I have short hair, and am extremely proud of it. One side of my head is still shaved to remind me of that time. I am so lucky that the entire thing only lasted about 8 months. It's been three years and I can truthfully say that that urge is gone for good. (THIS IS THE LONGEST FREAKING COMMENT I'VE EVER MADE HOLY SHIZ)

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    GreyTheGreat

    I wonder if that method she used works with nail biting. I struggle a lot with that and even though it's not some mental illness I hope to stop lol

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    taesmulletarmy

    2:13 I'm sorry but Highly disagree to call 10 people not enough…Why is it that you need to have 50 60 people knowing about your personal life? 10 people are really enough to know about your personal life and stuff that is private to you… It again societies stupid norms telling us that we need large amount of people in our life to have a 'good' life…

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    Kaden Rea

    I have dermatillomania, which is similar but focused on the skin. Anything that is perceived as a blemish – a pimple, a blackhead, sabs, warts – I pick at. I have little scars all over my face, neck, chest, and arms from picking at blemishes until I bled. Trich and dermatillomania are rarely talked about in the scope of obsessive compulsive disorders and it can feel so alienating. People usually downplay the OCD part of my skin picking and only refer to it as a form of self harm. I love hearing somebody I admire and look up to talking about their experience with trich and addressing the underlying issues that can cause a disorder like trich or dermatillomania to develop.

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    Laura Wauters

    I used to pull my eyelashes out when I was about 12, it was a huge stress relief. I'm 26 and still suffer from anxiety. Thanks for talking about this.

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    Hoodie_Girl 92

    I used to pull out my eyelashes and eyebrows, it was just so relaxing, I’ve recently stopped it took forever but I needed to stop. People always asked me why my eyebrows were kinda … well gone. I always replied “oh they just started falling out, plus my potassium is low soo…”, I always felt like I was alone and couldn’t get help. What really helped me is I got glasses so I couldn’t reach my eyelashes and I could cover my eyebrows. If you read to here thank you for listening, you really didn’t have to. So Thanks!!! 🙏

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    Vodka _

    I don’t have this but best of luck to anyone that does. I still see you as human and I love you ❤️

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    yu

    im really glad that she briefly described what ocd disorders are like. i have ocd and i really dont know what to do about it and i feel like nobody takes it seriously. “i keep my clothes in color order. im so ocd!” “i have ocd. ObSeSsiVe cAt diSorDer”
    long story short i feel the need to do things a certain number of times or touch something in a certain way. i also have really disturbing thoughts that stress me out to the point of crying and i cant get rid of & i absolutely do not want to think of. a therapist told me that its normal for teenagers to have sexual thoughts but i know that what pops up in my head is most definitely not normal. i wish people would take it more seriously

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    Apple Pie

    So I realised that I had Trich when I was 12. I had been pulling my eyelashes out for a few years before hand. My friends saw me doing this, and were very open with what they thought 'eww get away from her'. After a while I was getting worried to I did a lot of research into what it might be. I had been diagnosed with synethesia a few years before, and was very open about it, with it being one of my 'fun facts' ( you can't blame me, it's quite an interesting condition!) I was in two minds about telling people. One half of my brain was telling me to be open about it, people would stop saying things about it. The other half of my brain told me that people would just think that I was making it up just, wanting attention. I told my mum about it and she was sceptical at first, but after a while she helped my research ways to help it. I'm still not fully over it , and we don't quite know what's causing it, but slowly, with help of therapy, I'm getting there. If your reading this, and struggling with the same condition:
    Your
    Going
    To
    Be
    Ok

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    Thoughtful Mind

    I don't have this condition but I had some idea about it. I learn a lot today. And those who has this condition, Stay strong! You can do it! Love you.

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    Hyunk Kim

    Wow. I've had the same symptoms as Ashley for more than 10 years and I haven't realized that it was an actual mental illness… I just thought it was a weird thing that I had whenever I study hard. Thank you Ashley and the team for bringing this up. I should go and do some more research about this.

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    Just Food

    I started pulling my hair out in December and I created a small bald spots. Now I have the little baby hairs that stick up and it really sucks that I have done that to myself. And seeing them makes me want to pull them out 😅

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    Sara Al_ahmadi

    I have the same condition thank you for speaking and sharing your experience with us 💛💛💛💛💛✨

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    Human Being

    i feel bad for the people who have this. i have naturally curly lashes and big hair, and it’s weird to just know that people pull that out. to anybody who has it, goodluck and you aren’t alone, and you can’t prevent it so it will be ok💖💖💖💝

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    ana a. martínez

    when she said it i just immediately started crying. i can't believe i can finally have some who understands what i'm going through. i have never had a pull-free day.

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    whale

    I cant even wear my hair down anymore 😭😭😭😭its always in a ponytail and with about 10 to 15 bobby pins just to make me feel normal….and at the end of the day I get made fun of for my hair looking like a spikey mess on top…it really hurt…it made my elements to high school years suck…I couldn't even get the hairstyle I wanted for my quinceañera…i still cannot believe that someone is actually talking about this…THANK YOU SOOO MUCH…

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    Andrea Ferreira

    I had the opportunity to meet her once. She was the maid of honor for her cousins wedding and delivered such a funny, engaging speech. She was so confident. I am so sorry she deals with this. Praying for you Ashley .

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    Rachel Murtagh

    After making excuses for a long time I told one of the hairdressers I went to, she had never heard of it and was interested to learn. Once I explained it was a lot easier for her to understand what to do with my hair, thin patches and flyaways. She uses products/straightens my hair when she's done to help the flyaways and new baby hairs stay down. I only go to her now and it's a relief not having to make excuses. She'll also comment when she feels like my hair has gained strength & reassures me when I beat myself up during times where I've been pulling a lot. Although it's super scary to do, just some reassurance for those who debate whether to tell the hairdresser or not, it might be a good thing:)

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    Daniela Hernandez

    I feel this but with the skin of my lips… I will pick & pick & pick till I bleed & it gets out of hand so bad that I will pick at it in my sleep… I wake up with dry bloody lips thank you for sharing ❤😖

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    Linley Macmillan

    I am only 12 and I have trich from pressure and anxiety at school and this has really helped me admit it to my parents and get help! Thanks Ashley for sharing your story

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    annabelledeery xo

    I’m so glad this is getting coverage. I’ve had trichotillomania for nearly a year now. I even went to a therapist to try to stop because it got so bad. I had to cut my hair shorter because I had pulled so much, the hair on the left side of my head was shorter than the hair on my right side. I’ve been doing much better and haven’t pulled since I cut my hair. My hair looks thinner now because I would always pull the deeper layers of hair near my skin, and it won’t look the way it used to until it grows back fully. I can’t wear my hair up in public anymore because the short hairs that are growing back will poke out to the side. It really sucks and no one knows right now except my family. But at least I’m not doing anymore damage to it now. I know no one else in real life who has dealt with trich and it’s felt really isolating. Thank you for making this video ❤️

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    rvanderzee 1

    So i have a question: I sometimes pull my hair out. Not all the time, but idk there’s something about pulling it out that feels satisfying. But I had a scab too and I would pick it at and went to a doctor and i got medicine to put on it and I didn’t and somehow I just stopped. So i guess I stopped but sometimes i will pull out my hair just to feel the tiny tug of pain that feels satisfying.

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    Gurnoor Dhami

    To all the people who are going thru trich or any other mental or anxiety disorder and/or trying to cope up. Even though I don't know you all, I'm so damn proud of you for recognizing it and trying to move thru it. So damn proud! Thank you!
    Lots of love, strength and courage to you all.
    ❤️🌸✨

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    Lorena

    I do this on my eyelashes. its gotten to the point that it’s very noticeable it looks as if I have no lashes at this point.

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    Sam The Remake

    Ashley, this was so courageous of you to put this out there for the world to see. Thank you, and I am happy that you have made so much progress toward recovery, keep it up, you have so many people that are behind you 100%.

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    Javine Whitter

    These videos r so good they show that people on social media has a life and have mental illnesses that aren't just your usual anxiety and depression and we all love you ashly

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    Korndiddy is my daddy

    It is great to see some representation of some lesser known but still common mental health issues.

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    Shana Mcdermott

    Ive been dealing with it all through high school knowing what it is and when i went to talk to a nurse about help they called my family and told them about it. They told me to just stop and forgot about it like it was a habit even though the nurse told them it was me self harming. no one talks about it and I've felt like it was something only i had. I still have it and deal with it. Thank you so much for bringing attention to this disorder

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    lucy claire

    ❤️ It annoys me that my friends pretend to have mental issues. Like, they causally say, “Yeah, I’ve got like bad anxiety.” When they actually don’t know what bad anxiety is like. Mental illnesses have become so normal now, like, seriously. It’s annoying when people glorify them. Please stop. I appreciate it when people speak out about what they are actually like, the trauma, therapy, and general toll it takes on your life. Stop normalizing them, stop saying you can relate if you truly can’t.

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    MalolaAnime

    Wow… I seriously wouldn't guess you got tricho.
    I feel you, sistah. This BFRB is so annoying. Hard to get rid of it.
    And lol, I hate the "don't pick X"… like it's that easy.

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    Natalie Page

    Thank you so much for being open about something people don’t like talking about. I’ve had trich for about 4 years and it sucks. I am just now getting control of it, and that is because of people like her who are open with their stories and supportive and encouraging of others. Thank you so much for sharing your story and helping me finish mine. ❤️❤️❤️

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    Amelia Bond

    I hate it when I get really overly stressed about something and everyone’s just like just don’t think about it.

    Don’t y’all think I would do that if it was that simple!!

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    Georgina D. Kanyanda

    Thank you for sharing and bringing more awareness to mental illness and the importance of understanding it and finding help. Mental health is something that is so undermined or disregarded, but its one of the most important aspects of life. Thank you for speaking up

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    Madi Ashley

    once I picked so badly at the skin on my jaw that blood actually dripped onto my shirt and covered my hand and face,,, i think i might have a problem, constantly am picking at bumps on my skin or scratching at them and just bugging them and yeahh

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    Harry mother Of child

    It’s been a month since i pulled hair out I really want it to grow I don’t wanna look bald all the time

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    Ara Kim

    This is so true, the moment when she said she had a thricotillomania, I started to cry so hard because i’ve been dealing with thricotillomania for almost 2 years. I mean, lots of people didn’t know about this mental illness.

    My family and friends will always ask me to ‘stop pulling my hair’ and i’ll be like “yeah, okay” but honestly, i just cant. This thricotillomania thing is so addictive, i keep on pulling my hair until i feel satisfied about it. Other than pulling my hair, i will also pull my eyebrows or lashes.

    I used to have a thick hair back then, but now, all i can see on my head is just a bald spot. Sometimes i would talk to myself, saying ‘why am i doing this? this is not good. you should stop’ and stuffs like that and sometimes i would cry silently in my room just to let out the feelings that i cant tell to anybody else.

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    Sarah Heckman

    i used to and still kind of do…….. pick at my head but not to pull the hair out but for relieving stress and anxiety. i still have the scars and the hair damage

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    Calico Bunny

    I don’t know if this counts but I always pick at the skin on my lips. I’ve tried so hard to stop, but I can’t. You would be surprised on how much money I’ve spent on lip balm. I do it so my lips can feel smooth. I know the smoothness was temporary but I couldn’t stop. Im not asking for pity or anything, I just felt like it was a good place to finally say it. It’s been going on for more than five years and I just don’t know how to stop. It got so bad that my fingers would just automatically go up to my lips if I was bored.

    If anyone can help, I would really appreciate it if you could reply to this comment. And if you’re still reading this, thank you 🙂

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    Emily Rae

    I got diagnosed with this when I was about 2 and I've never met someone else with it…I am literally crying. Although watching this video does make the urge a little worse it was worth it and I am so happy someone brought this up.

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    jazzy6675

    I had no idea that trichotillomania was a thing. i was picking my hair while i was watching this video. I have 3 places on my head where I like to pick and i know that feeling when you find that hair you have been trying to pull for like 10 minutes and you finally get it. But while I was watching this I tried to stop to see if i could make it through the video without picking and i could not. My anxiety went up i found my self grabbing at the chair to stop myself. Thank you soooooo much for telling you story, i don't think i would have found out about this any other way. Thank you.

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    Ευαγγελια Τσιτσανη

    I have to say that Im very proud of her bcuz is sth personal and eventually felt okay with the idea of telling it and let people now her "problem". And if someday Ashly read this I wanna tell you honey that you are gorgeous and DO NOT be afraid of telling someone what you are dealing with that moment it will relax you for sure….keep smiling and bring happiness with your smile 😊💕

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    Swetha K

    I have skin picking disorder, under which I have specifically on my face picking my pimples and its been almost 11 years now. One of the other effective ways to withhold yourself is being acknowledged or knowing that you're doing it cause it's soo involuntary we never realize we're picking it. My boyfriend of 3.5 years has gotten his way to tell me 'Stop picking' everytime I do it. He does this without turning his back and while gaming, Idk how he does this, but its worked for a while now.

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    Evie

    I chew on my cheek and pick at my arms so much that I have a wall on my inner cheek of dead skin and giant crops of scabs on my arms. I have general anxiety and picking feels satisfying and relaxing. Can someone explain this? Give it a name, a reason, etc?

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    Jera Mercurio

    I didn't know that Trich was a thing until I took psychology in high school. For years, I would twirl the hair in front of my ears until it made a huge knot, then one by one pull each hair out and then chew and sometimes eat the knot. I finally stopped doing the knot thing 2 years ago when I gave myself a mohawk, because if the spots are shaved, I can't pull them. But about 9 months ago I started pulling in the front and on the sides of the mohawk. It's now starting to grow back and it makes me happy, but I still feel weird about it when people comment on the patch of alfalfa hairs, and I just lie and say I had a mishap when shaving my head and it's growing back now. The struggle now is to stop touching it and leaving it alone. I've resorted now to pulling a random hair here and there instead of concentrated patches. I know that's not exactly a treatment, but I consider it a step in the right direction. I'm definitely gonna try Ashly's breathing thing and see what that does for me.

    It feels so good to talk about it and see that other people also struggle with it. It's nice to know I'm not alone ❤

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    SUGA 1993

    I used to have a trich for 1 year. It was so bad that I got weird looks everywhere I would go. I was even afraid to go to school. My mom found out and she got me with a psychologist and then I never pulled my hair again since.

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    Hippie Chick

    So much love and support to you sister!! ❤ thank you so much for your strength, courage, and vulnerability!

    P.S. I love the veins in your hands! They carry blood to your beautiful body and deserve to be appreciated and honored! You are enough! You are worthy of positivity, love, and acceptance!! Trust your journey!

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    Elle Jay

    For all the peeps in the comments saying they have the skin version of this, that's called dermatillomania. They're both forms of OCD or can be seen with anxiety, etc.

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    EarthArtBalance

    Thank you for sharing this. Incredibly powerful and so inspiring. You honesty, vulnerability and truth telling is what we all need more of this. Hope you continue to find health and balance on your journey. <3 <3

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    fatii cruz

    This is funny, this video made me realize I have this problem. I feel weird rn tho. I do have the obsessive compulsive problem

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