They say that beauty is only skin deep, but in a world where aesthetics determines value and stature in life, the desire for physical perfection is rigorously sought. Media and marketing campaigns perpetuate the perception that human beings should define themselves by their physical appearance and that our propensity for success is dependent on our ability to project outward beauty.
If you are a hair puller and are feeling concerned that your behaviour is more than just a bad habit, you have no doubt searched for answers on the web and come across the term trichotillomania. It can be scary to read up on a condition and find yourself relating to all the signs and symptoms of a clinical disorder.
Trichotillomania, or hair pulling disorder, involves the obsessive compulsion to pull out ones hair. The focus area of hair pulling varies and can be anywhere on the body where there is hair. Pulling at the hair on the scalp is most common and often automatic. For some people hair pulling is just a bad habit which does not affect them negatively in any way.
This year, in the first week of October, the hair pulling community, along with the other body-focussed repetitive behaviours (BFRBs) such as skin picking disorder, observed BFRB awareness week. Many people with BFRBs are never diagnosed and never receive any help or support due to lack of awareness that these behaviours are classified as a disorder.
Living in secrecy with any condition that affects your health or well being can be very lonely. People living with mental or emotional disorders are particularly vulnerable to isolation because of the negatively perceived stigma attached to conditions of the mind.