10 year old now pulling out eyelashes!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by myeverything04, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. myeverything04

    myeverything04 New Member

    It has been a long time (over a year ago) that I posted and I am thankful for that as my daughter's ADHD seemed to calm down, until she began 4th grade this year. She is having trouble again focusing but I am posting today for help with Trichotillomania - she is pulling her eyelashes out.

    This behavior started about 2 months ago but wasn't severe enough for me to really 'notice' unless I saw her doing it. I didn't think much of it as she has always had very long eyelashes and said one was poking her in the eye. Recently though, about 3-4 days ago, I noticed half of her eyelashes on her right eye are gone and the other half are only partially there. I have been doing some research online and found that this can be caused by a number of things but one thing has stuck out to me: it can be caused by bordom with children who have a high level of intellegence. When she was tested for ADHD the doctor also tested her intellegence and it came back in the top 10%. While this is exciting, it has also become difficult to deal with as she has 'done' almost everything I can find to keep her busy (sorting and organizing when she was younger to crafting anything imaginable as a pre-teen) and I have no clue what do now!

    She began seeing a councelor last week (goes back this Thursday) as she has been experiencing high episodes of depression. Not sure if this is caused by hormones as she is at 'that age' (hasn't started menstrating yet, TG!) but I needed the help of an expert. So far she is happy to go. Let's hope that continues.

    So, if anyone out there has any suggestions on how to handle the eyelash pulling, please reply! I have tried to discourage it and we have talked about it together but she gets upset now when I catch her doing it and breaks down crying. She doesn't want to do it but does it without even noticing. Thank you all in advance!
  2. Aimless

    Aimless New Member

    I totally understand your concerns for your bright daughter. Its so odd how the brightest of us can still come up with these odd maladaptation to cope with stress or anxiety. My two years ago my then 11 year old easy child began pulling his hair out around his forehead and I freaked. At first I just wanted the behavior to stop so we shaved his head but then after doing some reading on the topic I realized that it was a very common coping mechanism for 11 year olds. I had a good talk with him and found out that he was getting picked on by a new kid that just transferred into our school and my son's social network was getting disrupted. I talked to several mom's and a few teachers and we nipped the cause of the stress in the bud. I also gave my son some silly putty to play with when he wanted to ring this new kid's neck. : ) Worked like a charm. No more hair picking or pulling. Don't know if that helps but I thought I'd share anyway. Hugs and prayer to you as you work thru this tough time.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't think most of us know much about this. Maybe you'd like to tell us more about your daughter. That may help us help you.

    Welcome to the board, but so sorry you had to come here...
  4. myeverything04

    myeverything04 New Member

    I"m not sure where to even start with history of my daughter :)
    Here is the history:
    I knew from the time she was very little that she was a bright child but was always behind when compared to other children her age. She was a 33 week old premie so I expected her to be delayed with things like crawling, walking, talking, etc, but figured she would eventually catch up to the other children. At 4 years of age she still wasn't potty trained and couldn't sit still for anything, not even while eating. To make a long story short, her pediatrician told me to wait until Kindergarden and see how she is then. Once she hit Kindergarden the pediatrician said wait until she is in 1st grade. Finally in 1st grade I had what the pediatrician considered enough "evidence" to recommend her to be tested for ADHD/ADD. She was diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia and a mood disorder (not specified) in the summer of 2010. Her biggest issue was focusing at school and keeping her busy with something for more than 5 minutes at home. Because her father and I seperated when she was 9 months old, it was just her and I living together until my husband (then boyfriend) moved in with us when she was 5 so I have to admit that she was 100% the center of attention from birth to about 5. Anywho, we went 1 year without medication and tried other things to manage the ADHD and her emotional breakdowns but after a year of little sucess we tried 2 different kinds of medication. Neither lasted as she lost a significant amount of weight with each, wouldn't sleep at night, and was a monster when coming down off the medication in the late afternoon. To top it all off, I diconnected from my best friend (who's daughter was of course my daughters best friend) due to a number of issues she was having and I didn't feel she was a good influence for my family and my daughter went into a world of hurt. I had meet this lady in the NICU when both our children were premies so our girls grew up together and saw each other almost everyday. We all went on vacations together, had sleepovers when the girls were only 2 and were like sisters. It was then that my daughter told me that this 'friend' of mine had told my daughter that I was not her real mother, but that she was. I immediately enrolled my child in counseling as she had thought for so many years that this other woman was her mom and I had just adopted her. We still, 3 years later, battle the issue of my daughter not being able to see her 'best friend' because her mom made bad choices. It also seems as though my daughter hasn't been able to make any other close friends. There are no kids in our neighborhood and although I have tried to enroll her in extra activities (soccer, art class, karate, swimming, etc), she doesn't like any of them. We continued counseling for 1.5 years until it seemed my daughter had understood that this 'friend' of mine really had a lot of her own problems and that even though it's not her daughters fault, my daughter can't be around their family. It was also discovered in counseling that my child has a little PTSD from a horrible car accident we were in when she was 2 1/2. She still can't sleep alone (I have to lay with her to get her to fall asleep) and is still bothered by sirens and ambulances.

    So that brings me to now. My child is so kind hearted and loves animals of all kinds. It breaks my heart to see her so anxious and upset all the time. I haven't been able to pin point anything that has changed over the past few months other than she found out Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny aren't real. That was a big blow to her and she has even said she doesn't want to celebrate Christmas this year. She was very close with her tooth fairy as she wrote her letters, made her gifts, even asked for a picture (which I printed off Google and said it was her!). So I think she feels as though all the magic of being a child is gone. I just feel like I'm back to square one again, trying to explain all over that I am your mom and I love you and will keep you safe. But she is growing up and also needs to be able to sooth herself.

    Hope this helps and thank you for replying!
  5. Confused

    Confused Guest

    Im sorry your daughter is having this trouble. Yes, counseling is good to keep her in and I understand about her finding out about the Tooth fairy, Santa etc is going to be hard on her, and she may be taking that harder than other kids. My daughter is still upset that we had her 'believe" in all of them. Your daughter has been through some tough experiences so far, and you are doing the right thing to keep letting her know how much you love her and are keeping her safe. I agree with Aimless, try putty or something else to get her mind focused on something else. I wish I can help about the pulling eyelashes, I can just give you my support.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    She's in 4th grade. That alone is often a trigger for anxiety. How? that's the year that they switch from learning basic skills (reading, writing, math), to having to USE those skills to learn other things. For some kids, it's a huge leap, especially if they have other challenges that have sort of been hidden until now.

    I'm just another parent, but... Asperger's in girls looks quite different than in boys, and your daughter sounds a bit Aspie-ish to me.
  7. myeverything04

    myeverything04 New Member

    I appreciate all of your responses! We did use Play-Doh in front of the TV last night as we didn't have any putty and it worked very well. I'm afraid that eventually she will be tired of the Doh but it's working for now!
    I don't know much about Aspergers but will take a look at it online today. She did mention yesterday that sometimes in class she can hear everything that is going on but can't focus on what is important and what isn't. I think this is a sign of an auditory disorder but I hate to jump the gun on anything.
  8. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    Yes, that is a form of Auditory Processing Disorder, called auditory figure ground. There are interventions, accommodations and technology to help, but usually not without getting a diagnosis.
    Here, it starts with a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) screening - but make sure they are screening for "auditory figure ground" specifically - it isn't on all versions of screening tests.
    And on this one, I'd be jumping the gun no matter what... because if it IS a problem, you want to get moving on the things that help, and if this is NOT the problem, you will know to focus on other things.
  9. myeverything04

    myeverything04 New Member

    Soapbox: thank you for your reply. How to I go about getting this testing done? Is this something my daughters pediatrician would be able to help with or should I contact the local children's hospital that she had her learning testing done at?
    I have seen posts about this auditory disorder in the past but since I work in the medical field, I often feel I jump the gun on anything and everything my daughter could possibly have. I often feel like I'm almost bothering her pediatrician a office because I call them with all these symptoms I see 😃
  10. Aimless

    Aimless New Member

    I advised my son's teacher that he would be quietly manipulating play dough during class as he saw fit when he felt anxious or stressed. Teacher didn't bat an eye and it has gone fine. :)

    Our neurological psychologist did the speech/language/auditory testing with our son. These people are great. They don't do "talk" therapy but instead are highly educated on how the inner workings of the brain look on the outside in how the body is functioning. I find it all very interesting and less subjective than psychobabble approach to finding organic causes of cognitive deficits. Ours was not covered by insurance but I hear that is not the case for everyone. Well worth the money tho!

  11. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    I would start with the school Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) (speech-language pathologist). Sometimes, they can do the pre-screening, or they should be able to point you in the right direction.

    Make sure they specifically screen for "auditory figure ground" and "auditory discrimination". Not all of the tests out there include these... and they often get missed.
  12. 3boyzmom

    3boyzmom New Member

  13. 3boyzmom

    3boyzmom New Member

    My son was diagnosed with trichotillomania when he was about 8. For a time we had to shave his head so he wouldn't pull. It is a nervous habit like biting your nails. I hope you can talk to her, find her stressors, and help her. When we noticed our son pulling we gave him a stress ball or something to do with his hands like drawing or crafts. His worst was bedtime. He just couldn't unwind and said it was like his brain was a TV and the channels kept changing. Be patient and be sure to explain it to teachers. Good luck.