Trichotillomania Blog

Sleep Quality and Hair Pulling: What’s the Connection?

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.

Psychodermatology And Hair-Pulling In Children

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.

Trichotillomania and Defining Subtypes: The Latest Research

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.

The Role of Self in Hair-Pulling Disorder

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.

Living with Trichotillomania – The Real Deal

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.

Art Therapy & BFRBS

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

OCD & BFRBs Awareness Week

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.

Hair Pulling and COVID-19

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). 


Excavating the Meaning of Hair Pulling

In this month’s webinar with Dr. Vladimir Miletic, he talks about meaning and how meaning applies to therapy for compulsive hair pulling from the perspectives of George Kelly and Paul Watzlawick. In addition to talking about meaning, he describes the therapeutic process by describing his work with a client. The full webinar is available on YouTube.

Every Person is a Scientist

Dr. Miletic’s discussion on meaning highlighted the work of George Kelly. For those unfamiliar with Kelly, he expanded on Freud’s approach to mental health by changing the premise. Freud’s psychoanalytic approach included a therapist interpreting what was going on with a client in an authoritative manner. However, how would a therapist know what a client experiences? There are myriad influences on a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and there is no way for a therapist to know enough about this to be an accurate interpreter.

Research Supports the Efficacy of Internet Therapy

Internet therapy can be as effective, if not more effective than face-to-face therapy with the added bonus that it costs less.

The COVID-19 crisis and subsequent stay-at-home orders have caused numerous life disruptions, with people forced to switch to internet-based therapy. Many mental health providers agree that in-person therapy is by far the best because interpersonal contact is crucial for developing a trusting therapeutic relationship, but new research suggests that internet therapy is just as effective.


Online Test for Trichotillomania

Find Out The Severity of Your Hair Pulling With This Free Online Test