Trichotillomania Blog

Trichotillomania and the complete list of BFRBs

What Are The Various BFRBs?

Trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling)

Trichotillomania is one of the main BFRBs and the criteria for diagnosis are as follows:

  • Recurrent pulling out of one’s hair, resulting in hair loss
  • Repeated attempts to decrease or stop the hair-pulling behaviour
  • The hair pulling causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning
  • The hair pulling or hair loss cannot be attributed to another medical condition (eg, a dermatologic condition)
  • The hair pulling cannot be better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder (eg, attempts to improve a perceived defect or flaw in appearance, such as may be observed in body dysmorphic disorder)


Excoriation disorder (compulsive skin picking)

Depression and Trichotillomania

We are all familiar with the main symptoms of depression: sadness, lethargy, changes in appetite, feelings of hopelessness and failure, low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts or feelings. These are all very serious, and hard enough to handle in their own. But what happens when depression moves from the internal to the external? The physical symptoms of depression can be just as distressing as the mental ones: cutting, burning, and other forms of self-harm are common among people struggling with depression, but there are lesser-known conditions that can be triggered by depression. One of the least understood, and often un-diagnosed of these is trichotillomania.

CBT vs DBT vs ACT - Treatments for Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is a medical condition that causes people to have the urge to pull out their hair. Patients, who suffer from it, suffer from the physical effects but also from the emotional effects that come with the disorder. The disorder is known to put a strain on people’s relationships as well as cause the sufferer to feel embarrassed and isolated. The causes of the disorder have yet to be identified. There are various ways of treating Trichotillomania with the main three approaches being cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy.

Exercise and Trichotillomania

Medical conditions of all kinds can cause enormous frustration. When sufferers are faced with a medical issue that is ongoing in their lives, they may feel unable to so anything about it. While treatment methods exist to treat many common medical issues, such medical treatments may not alleviate all of the sufferer's medical symptoms. This is particularly true of a condition called trichotillomania or trich. Trich is a disorder that affects many people of varied backgrounds. The condition is one where people may feel the compulsion to pull on their hair. Trich is what is known as an impulse control disorder. Those with this condition frequently feel the urge to literally remove all of their including the hair on their head and the hair on other parts of their body as well. Sufferers usually feel really tense before they pull the hair. Once they have pulled the hair or a few hairs, the tension they feel is released, allowing them to feel better. 

Male vs Female Presentation of Trich

Trichotillomania or simply just “trich” is an disorder on the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Spectrum and is characterized by the irresistible urge to pull out one’s hair and is usually persistent and difficult to treat. This usually leads to hair loss or balding (depending on the affected area of pulling), distress and in many cases, functional or social impairment. This hair pulling disorder affects just a small percentage of the general population (1% to 4%) but unfortunately, it is often a mistreated and underdiagnosed disorder. Although it is usually thought to be a disorder that primarily affects women; the male patients’ clinical presentation may be unique. When assessing and treating this disorder, sex difference may be a major factor. In most cases, there are many similarities in male and female patients of trich, but there are important differences to note as well.

New Research: Link between emotional regulation and trichotillomania found

What is trichotillomania?

The Mayo Clinic states that trichotillomania is an impulse control disorder that becomes an overwhelming compulsion to pull out your hair at the roots. The sufferer knows that the compulsion is not healthy but is unable to control himself or herself. The results are not only physical, i.e. bald patches that the sufferer goes to great lengths to cover up, but also emotional, which is to say depression, anxiety, and shame. Paradoxically, the act of hair pulling provides an immediate release from the compulsion until it builds up again. The compulsion to pull hair can be slight and relatively easy to control with therapy or severe and virtually uncontrollable.


Online Test for Trichotillomania

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