When you think of Trichotillomania (TTM), you usually think of hair pulling, right? Most people do. Have you ever wondered what happens to the hair that’s pulled out? For many people with TTM, they simply discard the hair. It might surprise you though that some people who compulsively pull their hair don’t merely pull it out and discard it. There is a significant percentage of people with TTM that go further. Some people ingest the hair that they pull. This persistent, compulsive ingesting of hair is called trichophagia.
Trichophagia primarily affects females and is most often associated with TTM. However, it can also be associated with other mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, pica (the ingestion of non-food substances), and eating disorders.