By nature trichotillomania already causes the sufferer great shame and embarrassment, especially when there is noticeable hair loss. But what happens when the behavior is focused in the pubic region? While this may be easier to hide, it is also the most under reported symptom of compulsive hair pulling due to the extremely private and shameful nature of the behavior. While trichotillomania and other body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) are gaining momentum in awareness from the increasing number of people speaking out about their experiences with this condition, those who pick in the pubic region remain hidden in the dark.
Trichotillomania at times resembles Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in the feelings of compulsion and repetitive behavior, but the two disorders have different symptoms and require different treatments. Trichotillomania may also resemble a tic disorder, as the action of pulling feels automatic and is preceded by an uncomfortable sensation that must be relieved.
Similarities between obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and trichotillomania (TTM) have been widely recognized. Nevertheless, there is evidence of important differences between these two disorders. Many people with trichotillomania try to stop the behavior but feel unable to do so. At times, these behaviors are consciously and intentionally performed as a means of coping with powerful or painful emotions. However, unlike OCD compulsions, people with hair-pulling disorder report a pleasurable gratification from hair pulling.
Body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) is an umbrella name for compulsive behaviors involving repetitively acting upon one's own body, with the unintended consquence of damaging one's physical appearance or causing physical injury. The main BFRB disorders are:
Trichotillomania, hair pulling
Trichophagia, hair nibbling
Trichotemnomania, hair cutting
Dermatillomania, skin picking
Dermatophagia, skin nibbling
Onychotillomania, nail picking
Onychophagia, nail biting
Morsicatio Buccarum, cheek biting
Morsicatio Labiorum, inner lip biting
Morsicatio Linguarum, tongue biting
It is estimated that 1 in 50 people experience the compulsion to pull their own hair out. For the majority of people the compulsion is focused around the scalp, although many also pull from their eye lashes eye brows and even the pubic region. This caused immense shame and guilt with many never seeking help and suffering in silence. While the pulling itself can cause stress, stress initself can also trigger pulling. This sets in motion a cycle of behavior and consequence that is difficult to break.
One of the most common questions that people have involving the compulsive hair pulling disorder known as trichotillomania is “does pulling hair cause hair loss and permanent baldness?” The answer to the question has a lot to do with the severity of the problem and the point at which you seek treatment.
Trichotillomania? Sounds like Giberish to others or a somewhat difficult to understand disorder, but we know how debilitating this disorder can be, so we want to try to help you manage the behaviour by helping you understand it better. The more you learn and understand about your condition, the better equipped you will be to make informed choices about treatment and recovery. Before we discuss the most common myths about trichotillomania, here is a snapshop of the disorder.
Naturopathy or naturopathic medicine is a form of alternative medicine employing a wide array of pseudoscientific practices branded as "natural" and as promoting "self-healing," including homeopathy, herbalism, and acupuncture, as well as diet and lifestyle counseling. Natural treatments for trichotillomania can be a health care practice that does not follow generally accepted medical methods and may not have a scientific explanation for its effectiveness. Examples of alternative medicines are homeopathy and herbal medicine and may involve biofeedback or acupuncture.
Research on treatment of trichotillomania is limited. However, some treatment options have helped many people reduce their hair pulling or stop entirely. There are a lot of treatment options to deal with trichotillomania, some may not work for you as much as they work for others.