Barbara is an advocate for BFRB awareness and works to break down the stigma, as well as shame, around trichotillomania. She is a proud member of the BFRB community and was featured on our #IamHabitAware campaign and inspires us with her work!
Now, onto Barbara's story!
Hi! I’m Barbara Lally the author of The Trichster Diaries and host of Trich Talks!
A little bit about me:
I was diagnosed trichotillomania when I was ten years old. I began by pulling out my eyebrows, which ultimately lead to me pulling out my eyelashes, and then the hair from my scalp. I was extremely insecure growing up, struggling to accept myself and a disorder I couldn’t change. Only recently, at age 28, I began my journey to self-acceptance. I realized that trichotillomania isn’t the worst thing about me, it is just a part of me.
The Trichster Diaries:
In 2018, I had a dream about writing a book about my life with trichotillomania. This came as a shock to me because I rarely ever spoke about it. Trichotillomania was like my “dirty little secret.” I hid it as best as I could, would lie if I was approached about it, and rarely ever acknowledged it. Why was I dreaming about writing a book about it? Was I crazy?
According to my closest friends and family, the only crazy thing would be if I didn’t publish this book. Their support and love helped me realize that my “dirty little secret” wasn’t meant to be kept a secret, it was meant to be shared. It was meant to open doors for other people with trichotillomania to share their story with the world. To be given that sense of freedom that I felt. Because sharing my story changed my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined, I wished that for others.
In January of 2021, I began an Instagram live series called Trich Talks where I interview other people with trichotillomania from all over the world. I have interviewed 19 people so far and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon! The episodes vary from around 30 minutes to over an hour. They’re extremely informative and a wonderful way to spread awareness of this disorder that is more common than we think!
Notable Trich Talks episodes:
Aneela - Co-founder of HabitAware Keen Bracelet
Anna - Model (photographed without eyelashes for a magazine!)
Dorin - Wig and Bonded Hair Specialist
Dahlya - Holistic Specialist
Leighanne - Celebrates One Year Pull-Free
Also in HabitAware Blog: Soul Fuel
In this guest post Dr. Richard Lopez, Cognitive Neuroscience, PhD, looks at how how behavior change research can inform the management of body focused repetitive behaviors. The article also highlights how HabitAware Keen2 delivers evidence-based behavior change strategies. Perhaps one day this system of behavior change can become an official treatment for trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling), dermatillomania (skin picking) and onychophagia (nail biting).
When I was a kid, stepping on extra crunchy leaves, sticking my bare hands in snow, playing with bubbles from a bubble bath, were all little things that I’d look forward to. I just wanted the satisfaction that only certain textures could bring. I annoyed so many poor kitties and puppies for the chance to shove my face into their velvety soft fur. Every time my parents got a package, I begged to shred the packing peanuts apart, or pop all of the bubble wrap. And honestly, when confronted with these objects, my impulse control was really low.