It’s Got Me Pulling My Hair Out!

When Anxiety Becomes Too Much

We’ve all heard it or have said it:

I’m so stressed/worried/frustrated that I’m pulling my hair out!

My son suffers from trichotillomania.

What a freakin’ long word.

(trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh)

For those of you who don’t suffer from this, it is the compulsion to pull your hair out. Oftentimes, it is due to anxiety…and sometimes the sufferer has a history of OCD. Only 1–2% of adults and adolescents even have this condition; my son won this jackpot.

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Stuff Students Say

Beware the gab.

I have taught English and literature classes for twenty years. Private and public schools, grades 6 through 12. It’s a demanding job, most of the time more demanding that this anxiety-ridden teacher can handle. Usually, I can contain it during a workday. Every now and then, though, it takes hold and all I can do is to speak as little as possible and focus on breathing in order to not snap.

This week, I had an afternoon where my anxiety became debilitating. So, after providing assignments to my 14-year-old scholars, I sat, attempted to control my breathing, and attempted to hold onto my sanity.

After listening to my students during these moments of controlled breathing, I decided to type some of the phrases and conversations I was hearing around my classroom. I set my focus on the breathing and typing.

So, for your amusement, here is a list of mutterings…

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Do Not Keep Silent

It has begun.

The pushback from family and friends who do not appreciate that I’ve chosen to write about mental health. That is why I will continue. People battling through each day need to know they are not alone, that others do understand and will listen without immediately trying to “fix” them. Healing is a multifarious process and is gradual. The average time bipolar 2 can go undiagnosed is six years. For me, it was ten. Following diagnosis, the process of pursuing the best path for healing begins.

The road to healing is different for everyone. Trial and error occurs with medication; treatment that works for one, may not work for another. Therapy and other lifestyle changes are slow. I can only share my personal experiences and observations. I can only share someone else’s story if we’ve come to an understanding. Don’t be so quick to silence someone because you disagree with his/her viewpoint. Don’t discredit feelings. Feelings just..are, they are not right or wrong.

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