r/AskDocs Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional 29d ago

My mom pulled my hair so hard it formed a bump Physician Responded

Hi please this is my second time posting this, I’m 17 female, 5’6 and about 153, my mom and I got into an argument where she pulled my hair so hard and held onto it for so long, and it’s throbbing. I have an ice pack, and my head feels a bit heavy but I think it could be because of my anxiety and crying a lot, but there’s a small bump that formed that is kinda throbbing and hurts to touch. She also pulled out some hair too. Will I be alright? I’m so scared of death that I looked up what happened to me to find out a gir died from internal bleeding because her mom pulled her hair so hard. I just need to know I’m so scared please answer this quickly.

293 Upvotes

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u/WreckedEmKilledEm MD - Peds GI | Top Contributor 29d ago

Nothing serious is likely to happen from the hair-pulling itself. Rarely, trauma from traction on the hair can cause a hematoma (a bruise) under the scalp called a subgaleal hematoma. This isn't inside your head or anything. It's surface trauma.

But, I am very concerned that if your mother will do this, she might hurt you in a way that could actually threaten your health or life. This is not OK. It's never OK for anyone to do this to you, but especially not someone who's in charge of your safety and well being.

If you're in the US, you can call 1-800-799-SAFE for help on next steps when you've been the victim of domestic violence. Please speak to the authorities wherever you are. It's 100% not OK, excusable, reasonable, or legal for your mother to do this to you.

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u/[deleted] 29d ago

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u/hootahswaitress Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional 29d ago

Can I ask how you make sure they don't do it again?

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u/nyvivianv Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional 29d ago

The best answer is unfortunately not easy in pretty much every aspect. Emotionally, financially, socially- but that is to leave. The sooner you get help the easier it will be.

Theres a few homeless youth centers ( particularly lgbt ones ) that can provide service and counseling to youth that are being abused at home since there can be a risk of displacement. I know the one I ended up going to never required using their shelter services to get counseling and resources, but your mileage may vary.

Everyone should remember that you dont owe your family anything by default. Oh they gave you life? Big fucking deal happens every day that was their choice and you dont deserve to be mistreated by them simply because of shared genetics.

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u/SpaceXBlaze Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional 28d ago

You can’t. First time these things get investigated they offer things like parent training and basically give a warning. The family is assigned a case worker and they follow up often. If abuse still continues further action is implemented including removal from the home usually.

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u/crybvbay Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional 29d ago

Thank you so much, right now I can’t tell if it is a bruise because it hurts so much to apply pressure and even lay on it. How can you tell if it’s bruised? I also can’t call anyone, but I’m going to be staying with a friend for a while. But thank you so much for giving me a number to call, I might call/text them. Also my face feels kind of heavy and hard to move/make expressions. Is this normal and that i could be overreacting?

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u/alexa_ivy Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional. 29d ago

The feeling on your face could be because of the trauma, but not the physical one, the emotional one. You are scared, you have a million things going though your mind right now and you also cried, so this could be why you are feeling that way. Crying makes your head feel heavy and your face swollen.

Please be safe, try to call one of the numbers people have commented here or reach out to a trusted adult near you, be it your friends parents, someone from your family or someone from school. This is abuse, and no one deserves it. I know you probably feel helpless right now, but there are people that can help you. Don’t worry about your mother, she is an adult and should’ve known better, she should be taking care of you. Focus on yourself right now and try to get some help, one step at a time, you can also ask your friend to help you call the hotlines or talk to someone else.

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u/ayeayehelpme Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional 29d ago

I agree. definitely could be you being exhausted from emotions and the situation at hand. if it doesn’t improve after a day or so then I’d say it’d be fourth getting checked out.

edit: and, I hope you’re planning to get out when you turn 18? if you’re able to get some sort of job to get money to move out when you do turn 18, I assume that would be amazing for you (if you aren’t doing so already). if you split the cost of renting a place with some friends, it can be a lot cheaper. i hope the best for you. being a child being abused is extremely traumatic. you can do this, I believe in you.

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u/WreckedEmKilledEm MD - Peds GI | Top Contributor 29d ago

Nerve injury from this kind of trauma can certainly happen, but it’s pretty uncommon. Probably worth getting checked out if it doesn’t get better.

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u/Frustratedparrot123 Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional 29d ago

You can also call the police to report this assault. have a friend take photos of the injury

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u/Sharonkash Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional 29d ago

Also if she goes to the hospital and let’s them know how it happened, I’m pretty sure the hospital has to report it to authorities. Then that at least makes it easier on her, so she doesn’t feel like she told on her mother.

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u/LokiRook Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional. 29d ago

You'd think so but i called the cops on my mother when she did this and they told me it was my fault and that i was lying

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u/fer-nie Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional. 29d ago

If this happens to OP (or anyone) try to get the cops to write down that it was reported and the reason they are ignoring it. You can also try to escalate the report.

Absolutely have your friend take pictures. And go to the hospital to get it documented.

Edit: I had a similar interaction with police and their response was that my mom knows best.

Remember that a large percentage of police commit domestic violence themselves.

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u/LokiRook Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional. 29d ago

Yeah this was 20 years ago now. My mother is a schizophrenic narcissist so it was constant. The hey i can do is not repeat history and do better by my own kids

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u/nyvivianv Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional 29d ago

Sad to report than 10 years ago was not a different result either :') from personal experience

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u/Nopeantilope Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional 29d ago

Yeah, my mom was a drug addict she would get mad and punch me in the face and drag me around by my hair. When I was 15 I ran away from home to get away from her and the police hunted me down and forced me to go back with her even after I told them everything. They told me "You can run away when you turn 17" and left me there in tears. Police are really hit or miss with this stuff. Medical staff would be more likely to help. She needs to get away asap..

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u/LokiRook Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional. 29d ago

Yeah i told them i didn't feel safe in the same room and they told me they would leave. I said she makes me feel crazy, they said fine we'll commit YOU, i said I'm the one bleeding and i called you and they yelled that how dare i call them stupid and if i spoke up one more time that they would take me into custody. I didn't really have a good go with them.

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u/Duke-of-Hellington Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional. 29d ago

I’m sorry

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u/Ok_Historian_7116 Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional 28d ago

I seriously just want to hug you and take you away from that situation.

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u/Asparagussie This user has not yet been verified. 28d ago

I bet that everyone reading this would join you in these actions.

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u/stabbyspacehorse Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional. 29d ago

That's a bruise. Apply ice and find a way to get away from your mother.

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u/crybvbay Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional 29d ago

Okay thank you so much. And will my mother be okay? I pulled her hair out of defense when she pulled mine and I feel awful about it. She’s in her late 40s and has diabetes, she does take care of her diabetes though. She won’t have any damage or anything fatal?

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u/WreckedEmKilledEm MD - Peds GI | Top Contributor 29d ago

Very unlikely to be serious. But you need to involve the authorities. Physical altercations between minors and parents aren’t acceptable. It’s not on you. You’re the kid.

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u/[deleted] 29d ago

You shouldn’t feel bad for pulling your mothers hair back. It was self defense. You are a child and she is an adult. She knew better.

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u/mitsupyon Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional 29d ago

not a doctor but as another teenager you’re a victim, pls don’t overly pity her think of it like this, would you be able to fight a 7 year old to this extent? a 40 year old should not be trying to fight with someone so much younger than them they’re the adult here they’re meant to be mature

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u/megggie Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional. 29d ago

Very well said, and your perspective is appreciated. Thanks for a great comment

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u/SneakyJesi Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional 29d ago

OP I know it’s really hard, but please consider calling that (1-800-799-SAFE) or authorities, for real.

When I was a 15 my dad and I got into an altercation and I was so upset that I accidentally scratched him - even though he gave me a black eye. And years later, I really, really wish I had reported it because it was completely unacceptable. I put my dad’s safety and needs before my own because I didn’t know any better.

And I don’t know if you feel this way, but telling a trusted adult or the authorities doesn’t make you a bad kid, or mean that you don’t care for your family, it just means you are protecting yourself (self-respect/care) because you are worth it and deserve better. <3

I’m sorry you have to work through this experience OP. When you’re feeling better and are in a safe place, definitely think about reporting. <3

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u/Little_Conflict_6489 Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional 29d ago

If you're in Canada, Kids Help Phone is 1-800-668-6868 or you can text 686868. Please stay safe.

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u/murdervino Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional 29d ago

You may feel like it’s your fault or you caused it but you absolutely didn’t cause someone’s actions. You are not the problem nor the adult in the situation. Please consider reporting this to someone even if you feel like you can’t. Hope you are doing okay mentally

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u/Jetlagador_Spartacus Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional 29d ago

You can search for local resources here. I'm sorry she is subjecting you to this abuse. No matter what the reason she gives, physical aggression like this is wrong and is not your fault. I hope you're able to get the help you deserve.

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u/Plantsandanger Layperson/not verified as healthcare professional. 28d ago

How large is the swollen area of the scalp?