Two mental health disorders that gain attention, especially among young teenaged girls, are anorexia and trichotillomania. While these are first noticed most often in teenage girls, either or both can be experienced by anyone, male or female, at nearly any age. Traditionally, anorexia was experienced more my girls, but an increasing number of young men are now being recognized. Trichotillomania affects both boys and girls equally when they are young, but for those who don't get treatment and continue into adulthood, the majority is women. What are these two disorders and are they in some way connected? Few studies have been done addressing this issue, but what is available may help in the treating of both disorders. In this article, we will explore the two disorders, seek any connections and discuss treatment.
A recent study suggests that the use of n-acetylcysteine has had a remarkable effect in treating trichotillomania or hair-pulling syndrome in two patients. One patient, a 30 year-old female, saw the hair pulling behavior subside within two months. The second patient, a 14 year-old girl, stopped pulling her hair within two weeks. The n-acetylcysteine showed no side effects and seemed to be well tolerated and effective.
In a recent YouTube video, user TheNesa67 discusses her struggles with trichotillomania, particularly the way it compelled her to pluck out her eyebrows and eyelashes. She discussed the ways that her condition embarrassed her, before giving viewers a thorough and engaging natural healing method that was inexpensive, easy to implement, and which used multiple essential oils to to help her resist the urge to pull her hair out of her body.
Trichotillomania is the medical term for a disorder that involves a recurrent and irresistible urge to pull out hair from the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes and other parts of the body, typically resulting in noticeable bald patches. It is estimated to affect 1-2 percent of the population (about 4-11 million Americans) and the disorder can affect people of any age, but it often begins in childhood and adolescence. For some children, trichotillomania may mild, but for others the compulsive urge to pull hair is overwhelming, which leads to significant distress and can interfere with social functioning. The majority of children who have been diagnosed with the disorder often pull out their hair one strand at a time and they will often inspect or play with the strand of hair after pulling it out, and about half of those with trichotillomania put the hair in their mouth after pulling it.
Trichotillomania was first named by the French dermatologist François Henri Hallopeau and derives from Greek terms that basically mean 'hair pulling mania'. That gives a clue as to what trichotillomania is; it's an obsessive-compulsive type disorder that compels its sufferers to pluck and pull at hair on their heads and bodies. While the disorder may be present in babies, it most commonly manifests itself in adolescents, from age 9 to 13, and it can manifest in adults as well. Because of social stigmas surrounding appearance, it can be difficult for sufferers to come forward and admit they are struggling with trichotillomania, and many will continue to suffer from it silently for months or years before they are finally treated.
Body focused repetitive behaviors (BFRB) are a group of behaviors where a person repetitively acts on their body in a way that unintentionally harms themselves or changes their appearance. It can take many forms such as pulling out hair, eyebrows or eyelashes as in a condition called trichotillomania. BFRBs can also take the form of skin picking, nail or cuticle biting or biting the inside of the cheek. BFRBs were previously thought of as impulse control disorders, but has since its inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual been classifiedas a disorder related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorders. The individual knows that the behavior can be harmful to themselves but are unable to resist the urge.
The term Body Focused Repetitive Behaviour (BFRB) refers to the compulsive repetitive behaviour that some people engage in that actually causes harm to them and has a detrimental, unsightly effect on their appearance. These compulsive behaviours which usually occur in adolescence or in adulthood and can be triggered by some form of trauma, stress or other psychological conditions like depression and anxiety. There are different types of BFRBs which include pulling one's hair out -including eyebrows and eyelashes (trichotillomania), skin picking (excoriation), and nail and cuticle biting (onchopagia).The two most well known forms of BFRBs are trichotillomania and excoriation, however there is still little research on how to treat these conditions. People who engage in these behaviours may find it temporarily relieves the
The Plight of Pullers and Pickers
There sadly is not as much information or research available on disorders like skin picking or hair pulling disorder as there should be. However, today’s awareness of psychiatric compulsive disorders and Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviours (BFRBs) can be attributed to a growing number of sufferers’ willingness to share their stories through online support forums and on social media platforms, such as YouTube, Face Book, websites and personal Blogs. In the digital age, someone living with a BFRB can openly tell their stories and experiences to the World Wide Web. They can share things that they have found helpful in managing their disorders and easily connect with others. This in turn opens a channel of communication for other sufferers who are able to find more information on their disorder and see that they are not alone in their struggle.
Online Test for Trichotillomania
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