Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Struggling with Trichotillomania

Well, after quite a few months of a newly acquired habit (started before I cold-turkey quit smoking), I've started to get thinning hair in the spot I pick. It does happen to be in the back of my head, right where the hair twirls outwards from the start.

Jesus, it's been hard putting it aside... Especially since it doesn't really hurt and kind of feels good. I've felt like my scalp was itching since I was about 15/16. I forced myself to stop picking after a short few months of doing it when I was younger, after trying dandruff shampoos and they did nothing. I didn't know why I was doing it, just that I was pulling out hair in the process.

I've come to the conclusion (as perhaps I did the first time, if my memory was perfect) that this is a self-perpetuating habit. I may scratch my head once out of curiosity, or because some outside source has made it itch. From there the perpetuation follows: Slightly scratching stimulates skin which feels good, the skin is damaged so it needs to regrow, the process of healing and regrowing creates more itching, it's scratched more, it re-heals causing itching, then is scratched again, eventually the skin hardens and it takes harder scratching for the same amount of stimulation, so it's scratched harder, eventually to the point where hairs cannot stand the scratching.

I keep finding/making up reasons on the fly for why I should allow myself to scratch. Sometimes it's because "maybe it will be different this time?" I'm actually pulling out hair follicles that for some reason, perhaps because their roots remind me of pimples seem to be bad, and thus GOOD to be pulled out. I'm probably wrong with my conception that those little knobs on the end of hairs are bad for any reason... I shouldn't rule out the environmental factor, possibilities in food consumption or natural surroundings not agreeing with my particular body makeup- or hair follicle make-up to be more precise.

The one thing which is most hard, but most necessary to not even consider stopping my trichotillomania is public opinion. I shouldn't let what others think of my "looks" determine how I look.

I've begun pulling hair out in other places as a test. While I've developed those places to a point where the hair is easier to pull out, it still hurts and at its best never feels good - it doesn't even itch. So perhaps the re-healing/perpetuation theory is out... It's still slightly up in the air.

I know I don't have lice, unfortunately I wasn't lucky enough for it to be something so easily identifiable as this. I've been scratching my head on and off for years and have even shaved my hair within less than a quarter inch to my scalp. There's no flakyness, so I'm not even sure if it's dandruff. Even when shaved though, my scalp still itches. It feels so good to scratch it and that usually ends up being my final justification to allow myself to do it... It's like scratching a mosquito bite... Something which I've prided myself on having self-control over by not scratching... I've prided myself on self-control a lot. Perhaps this is my punishment... Perhaps since I believe I should be punished this is a psychologically self fulfilling prophecy. That would suck. There's so many things it could be. I know what I really need to do (but for what reason?) is to just stop scratching. All of the other mumbo jumbo doesn't matter... But what is my motivation!

It's possible that UV rays may be causing the itching, at least that's one of the things I assumed from this article. I used to have psoriasis when I was younger, but I stopped giving it attention and tried willing it away. I'm not sure if that's why it's gone, but it's gone now. Modern science would suggest that's crazy, but modern science doesn't integrate will power into their calculations far too often. Will power is often an absolute deciding factor in some situations. I'm just curious what will happen if I continue to scratch my head? Will the ultimate lesson be that I should have stopped myself when I thought it might be the right thing to do earlier? Or will the ultimate lesson be I've evolved past the necessity of hair? Hahaha. Who the hell knows? I'm pulling my hair out over this question! :D lol, that's right... laugh... it's not that serious anyways. well, at least not for me since i seek spiritual peace and know that my body will never be as i want it, unless i want it as it is.

I've also thought that perhaps slight scratching of the head, so long as it's greatly controlled and moderated may be good for my hair, since it may stimulate growth.

Who knew I could go on so long about hair? I'm surprising myself right now.

Since global temperature has been rising, and evolutionarily speaking, the hair of my race (white) has been formed to keep warm, the hair is becoming less necessary, perhaps even obtrusive, potentially causing overheating and the scratching of the head is induced by an adaption to environmental changes.

Perhaps I am getting too little or too much UV exposure? Perhaps I need more direct exposure or less? Hahaha. So many things it could be and it could be more than one or even none! Should I shun this for lack of fun? I think I should stop pulling my hair and without pun this matter is done!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Enso Circles

space circlces
space circlces,
originally uploaded by chexed.
Finally, I have someone else who uses the creation of the circle in some of the same manners I do. I used it for years to achieve enlightenment.

While I don't use it as a spiritual diary as is used in the Buddhist Enso, my frame of mind (or "mind set") may be viewable from the circle.

The painting in this blog post is something I did years ago, towards the height of my spiritual journey. As of recent years, I have focused on family. However, in the most recent times, feeling the responsibility of a father, I have become humbled and seek enlightenment once again, so that I may help others achieve happiness.

I found the Enso while skimming an article on Zen Buddhism which I found while researching a psychology article titled "Flow_(psychology)." I found this article when curiosity led me to view the results of a Google search of "the flow" (with quotations), hoping that my recent article (or a past one I had forgotten about) on "the flow" as I know it would have been a top result. My article was not even in the top 100 Google results.

There are so many great things to learn from so many religions. Due to this experience, I am interested in finding a book on Zen Buddhism.

If you want to see the original version of the painting (before the colors were digitally inverted), see it- the "spacious circles."