Trichotillomania Blog

Trichobezoars: What They Are and What You Need to Know

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.

Online ACT for Teens with Trich: Can It Work?

Trichotillomania (TTM) is a disorder frequently diagnosed in late childhood or adolescence. It is estimated that the lifetime prevalence of TTM for adolescents is about 1-3% so it is not an uncommon phenomenon. TTM is also associated with other mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, diminished self-esteem, and impaired social and academic functioning. It is generally accepted that the early intervention can help to manage the effects of TTM.

Hair Pulling and Emotional Regulation: It’s Complicated

Nail biting or even picking at a scab just a bit too much is something most of us have done. We’ve done it and been able to stop. For some people though, the urge to pull or pick continues and can even become too much to resist. Why does that happen?

Habitual nail biting, hair pulling, and skin picking are collectively referred to as body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs). These recurrent, destructive behaviors directed toward the body are thought to be triggered by some unpleasant emotional state. They’re not uncommon and many people engage in these behaviors from time to time (e.g., nail biting) but do so at subclinical levels that create little or no distress. For others, however, their emotions somehow get misdirected, and the result is destructive body-focused behaviors like chronic, repetitive skin-picking and hair-pulling.

Trichotillomania and OCD in Children: New Insight into Neural Mechanisms

Trichotillomania (TTM) is a chronic disorder characterized by repetitive hair pulling that results in significant hair loss, emotional distress, and impaired functioning across settings. Because it shares some characteristics with other disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette’s Syndrome, TTM is currently classified as an Obsessive Compulsive-related disorder. However, TTM is not OCD nor is OCD the same as TTM, although they can co-occur. There are distinct differences that create a dilemma for many in the TTM and research community. How significant are these differences and what implications might they have for treatment, if any? There remains quite a debate as to whether TTM and other body-focused repetitive behaviors are correctly classified or should be in a separate category.

Hair Pulling, Anxiety, and Relaxation Techniques

Anxiety is a key component in BFRBs and is sometimes difficult to manage. In a recent TrichStop webinar, Dr. Vladimir Miletic discussed anxiety its biological and psychological underpinnings, and its connection to hair pulling. He also shared a number of relaxation strategies and resources for dealing with anxiety.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Hair Pulling: New Hope for Treatment

Hair pulling is a complex disorder that is characterized by hair-pulling that impedes functioning. The pulling is in response to overwhelming urges that subside once the pulling is done. Not all hair pulling is the same. There are two identified subtypes of hair-pulling disorder – focused and automatic pulling. Some people are quite aware and methodical in their pulling behavior. They may use tools like tweezers or mirrors. 

Getting Creative: Treating Hair Pulling in A Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often experience co-occurring mental health disorders, including trichotillomania (TTM). Diagnostically, both disorders share some similarities including early onset (in pediatric TTM) and restricted, repetitive behaviors. Both disorders can result in social distress and stigma for the child suggesting that early intervention can be helpful in reducing symptoms as well as the emotional distress that can result.

Domestic Violence and Trichotillmania: A New Look At Treatment

It is well-established that survivors of domestic violence (DV) often struggle with mental health issues following their abusive experience. They can experience depression, anxiety, post-traumatic disorder and problems with emotional regulation. It is not uncommon for survivors to develop multiple mental health issues including trichotillomania (TTM). However, identifying and treating co-occurring disorders isn’t always a clear path. There are established treatment modalities, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), that are effectively used to treat certain aspects of post-DV trauma and the resulting emotional dysregulation. New research suggests that some of the same treatment modalities used to treat survivors of domestic abuse may in fact, be helpful in addressing those survivors who experience TTM as well. 

When Your Child Pulls Their Hair: What Parents Need to Know

Parenting a child is hard on a good day. Having a child who deals with a challenging body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB), such as Trichotillomania, can leave even the most skilled parent struggling to know the best way to parent and support their child.

You want to support and guide your child. You want to protect them from anything that can hurt them. You also want to help them overcome their challenges. Research into child mental health tells us that parenting can play a key role in a child’s mental health and ability to cope in healthy ways. But, knowing just how to do that isn’t always clear and you may have more questions than answers. If you find yourself searching for answers, this article is for you.

Self-Help Manuals for BFRBs: Can They Help?

When we think of treatments for body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) like hair pulling, we typically think of someone being treated by a therapist using Habit Reversal Therapy (HRT). In fact, HRT is considered the gold standard for the treatment of BFRBs and is most often conducted by a therapist as part of the treatment process.

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