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I started eyelash picking at 12 or 13

Hi, I’m Anne from Essex, England, a teacher with eyelash pulling disorder Trichotillomania.

I have been pulling out my eyelashes since I was about 12/13. My older sister used to pull out her eyelashes and I remember being about 8 or 9 when she was told off by our father for pulling them out. My mother used to have a fascination with in-growing eyelashes which she would often pull out from my eyes, it was always very painful. I had a lovely upbringing and can’t really pinpoint the reasons for my eyelash pulling. I was extremely embarrassed and ashamed. During my teenage years, it tended to be small eyelash pulling, I would have a gap, which I would grow out and then 4 weeks later, I’d start again. One eye would always match the other and I would always try to find the eyelash to pull out (the ingrowing eyelash, the one that hurt the most, but it would take quite a few other eyelashes to be pulled out to find the one).

As I got older, it got worse. I am 46 now, and am proud to say it’s been about a year that I have had a full set of eyelashes. My eyebrows are getting a small bashing but I have an excellent pencil that covers this up.

If it helps anyone, to cover the gaps between lashes, some clever black kohl eyeliner pencil run along the inside top of the eye conceals the gaps. Another way of getting rid of the urge to pull is to have a manicure and nail laquer set next to you while you watch TV, it keeps your hands busy and you have to wait for it to dry, knitting is also a good thing to do.

I started teaching 5 years ago, and this has probably given me the push to make the biggest effort to not touch my eyelashes, I have slipped a few times and find I’m trying to avoid looking at people so that they can’t see my lashes.

Children are very quick at pointing out things about their teacher, and forget that they are human beings. I really like it when the girls ask how I apply my eyeline and which mascara I use and, how I have curled long eyleashes.

I can honestly say that it is the most embarrassing thing ever, not having eyelashes and maybe I am finally on the road to recovery!!!

Good luck to all of you!!!!!