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Trichotillomania in my aspie kid

My nine-year-old kid plucked part of his eyelashes out on Sunday. It was not the first time, but the second.

The first time was when he learned that his best friend was changing schools. As a consequence, he plucked out 90% of the eyelashes in one eye, and half of them in the other.

Back then I took him to the ophthalmologist because his eyes started to look red almost all the time, and she diagnosed him with trichotillomania. Hence, she asked me to take him to a psychiatrist, because he might need some anti-anxiety medication.

I did not do that. Instead, I took him to a psychologist that the pediatrician had recommended a few months before, because he was not gaining weight (back then I didn't take him to the psychologist because it was too expensive).

Anyway, the thing is that he went to the psychologist twice, and then she did not show up for the third appointment. She didn't even apologized, so I decided to stop taking him to the so-called therapy.

Also, the ophthalmologist, on a second appointment, had said that he was fine, since his eye-lashes had grown back.

I asked my son when and why had he pulled his eyelashes out again. He answered that he did it because they were itchy, and that it had been on Sunday.

Sunday was the day when he came back from a weekend with his father (we're divorced) and also the day I told him that I had broken up with my boyfriend. I don't think it's a coincidence.

I've noticed that his father has been disappearing from his life little by little (actually, he's disappeared from my fourteen-year-old daughter's life too, but she copes differently). A couple of weeks ago my son said to me: "I feel like I'm spending thirty days with you, and only five minutes with daddy". That was not true (my kids spend one weekend in and one weekend out with their father), but he has realized, just as I have, that his dad is disengaging from their life little by little.

Just as it hurt me that my boyfriend was spending less and less time with me, he is hurt that his dad is spending less and less time with him. I guess that telling my son that I had broken up with my boyfriend, was the last straw that broke the camel's back. We had spent a wonderful time with him just the weekend before, hiking around some woods outside the city that where inside his property, and now we would not be able to do that again.

When he had plucked his eye-lashes the first time, it was the same. He had held it together during the weeks before, when he had learned that two of his best friends were leaving the school. But when he learned that a third one (his best friend of all) was also leaving, it was too much.

Likewise, when I told him that I had broken up with my boyfriend, he asked, "Why do you have boyfriends if you are going to break up with them?"
 It was the second time that he had met a boyfriend of mine. This time I waited for three months before introducing him to my children. It was obviously not enough.

Today I asked him for forgiveness because we were not going to be able to go to those woods again. Nevertheless, I know that he was hurt deeper that that. I know that he thought that there was going to be another male grown up on his life, to replace the time that his dad was not spending with him. I know because I had hoped for the same.

I'm sure my son is also an aspie, but I don't feel like taking him to the psychologist and comment on this because I don't think a non-specialized practitioner would be able to diagnose him. On the other hand, if I do find a specialized psychologist, I'm afraid he's going to be labeled. Actually, I did find someone specialized in autism in this small city, but I didn't like her. Her approach was on correcting the patient, and not on giving him empathy, and validate his feelings, which is what he needs to hear. Just imagining that someone is going to tell him that something's wrong with him terrorizes me. I think that what he needs to hear is exactly the opposite.

I've started giving him the eye- drops that the ophthalmologist had ordered the first time. I will also watch him closely, psychologically speaking. I truly hope that the eye-lash plucking was just a way to cope with his anxiety, and that he won't do it again, once he gets used to the new status quo.

Nevertheless, this time I explained to him the medical reason of why he was plucking his eye-lashes (I had avoided it the first time). I told him that it usually happened when he was worried about something. He got it, but insisted that nothing worried him, so I told him that next time he felt that his eyes were itchy, that instead of plucking his eye-lashes, he could close his eyes and count to sixty, to see if the "itch" went away by itself, before plucking his eyes-lashes. He agreed.
Let's hope my little one can learn how to cope with anxiety without medication.



Could you paragraph it?
I wanted to read it, but it's one massive block of text.
Could you paragraph it?
I wanted to read it, but it's one massive block of text.
Thanks. I can read it now. :)

The girl across the corner from me when I was a kid used to pull out her eyebrows and eyelashes.
She was my baby sitter.

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