BFRBs are not a single disorder but a group of disorders characterized by repetitive behaviors that cause injury to the body. BRFBs include trichotillomania (hair pulling), excoriation (skin picking), onychophagia (nail biting), morsicatio buccarum (cheek biting), and others. While each of these disorders is different in its focus on the body, they do share common trajectories. BFRBs result in varying degrees of physical injury to the body and can markedly impair emotional and social functioning. BFRBs are relatively common and not everyone will have significant problems. However, for those that do, finding treatment that can reduce symptoms and improve their quality of life is a priority and sustained effort.
In a recent TrichStop.com webinar, Dr. Vladimir Miletic tackled the topic of hair-pulling “trances”. While this behavior is something we know happens, there is surprisingly little literature on this phenomenon. Much of what we know about trance pulling comes from anecdotal evidence. In other words, people report doing it and talk about it. So, just what do we know about trances? Turns out, quite a bit.
Defining A Hair Pulling Trance
A hair-pulling trance is a prolonged episode of hair-pulling that is all-engaging. The person becomes intently focused and completely absorbed in the experience of pulling. They may be completely unaware of what’s happening around them and they might not even be aware that they’re pulling. As a result, the use of competing responses is rather ineffective because they’re not going to attend to it. The focus of the trance is pulling.
When it comes to physical health, the benefits of healthy lifestyle habits are well-known. Actions like maintaining a proper diet, exercising, not smoking, and getting enough sleep have been shown to improve many health conditions. What you might not know is that lifestyle habits can also have an effect on mental health. A growing body of evidence has linked healthy lifestyle habits to improvement in conditions like depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Now, research suggests that sleep quality can have a major impact on trichotillomania (TTM).
A new study in the journal Comprehensive Psychiatry looked at the effects of sleep quality on trichotillomania (TTM) and skin-picking disorder (SPD). What they found could be a game-changer for people dealing with body-focused repetitive behaviors.
While trichotillomania (TTM) can occur at any age, the onset is most often seen in children ages 10-13, and more common among females. Some studies suggest that it’s not uncommon to seek out a dermatologist for treatment. After all, trichotillomania and skin picking present with distinct dermatological issues. But, these disorders also have distinct psychological underpinnings that perpetuate the behavior that creates skin and hair issues. Other studies suggest that people tend to seek out mental health support. Determining who to see and when isn’t always clear. So, the logical question one might ask is, “Do I need a psychiatrist or a dermatologist?” When it comes to body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) and some other skin disorders, the answer seems to be both.
When it comes to Trichotillomania (TTM), not all hairpulling is the same. While hair pulling is the dominant feature of TTM, new research published in The Journal of Psychiatric Research suggests that there’s much more to the clinical picture. These results have significant implications for diagnosing, categorizing, and treating TTM.
The Need for Better Data
A relatively common disorder, TTM affects about 3% of the population. Despite its prevalence, TTM remains under-represented in the research literature and often goes untreated.
Trichotillomania, also known as hair-pulling disorder (HPD), could be more common than originally thought. In fact, approximately 2% of the general population struggles with HPD at any given time. But, because HPD sufferers tend to be ashamed of their behaviors, many do not seek treatment, leaving many cases unreported.
Trichotillomania, also known as hair-pulling (HPD), is a condition that involves pulling at, “messing with,” yanking out, and/or over-plucking (i.e. eyebrows, genital hair, and hair on your arms and legs, and under your armpits) your hair. This behavior not only affects your appearance, but also your self-esteem, sense of self, mood, and quality of life.
Body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) like trichotillomania, also known as hair-pulling disorder (HPD), can trigger a wide range of emotions and social and psychological issues. It can also impact various areas of your life, such as friendships, romantic relationships, family dynamics, and/or work productivity. The most common feelings associated with HPD are shame, embarrassment, anxiety, depression, mood swings, low self-esteem and self-confidence, body image issues, frustration and loneliness, and guilt.
Can Art Therapy Really Help Reduce BFRBs like hair-pulling disorder (HPD)? Possibly
Approximately 1 in 20 people struggle with a compulsive pulling, picking, or biting disorder like trichotillomania (hair pulling), dermatillomania (skin picking), or onychophagia (nail biting). These BFRBs are listed under the “Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders” heading in the DSM-5.
COVID-19 has had an impact on everyone. It has affected people’s mental, emotional, physical, social, sexual, financial, and spiritual lives. This year has been filled with ups-and-downs, uncertainties, sickness, loss and heartbreak, financial hardship, and social isolation. It is enough to cause anyone to struggle with anxiety, but even more so people with mental health conditions like trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder).
Online Test for Trichotillomania
Find Out The Severity of Your Hair Pulling With This Free Online Test