The physical effects of Trichotillomania are relatively easy to detect. Sufferers of the disorder are usually left with the tell-tale bald patches on their heads and sparse eyebrows or eyelashes. Stress and your genes might play a part in your propensity towards compulsive behaviors. People who have other obsessive compulsive disorders may be more likely to develop a behavior like Trichotillomania. The experts think the urge to pull happens because the brain’s chemical signals (neurotransmitters) don’t function optimally. Negative emotions associated with the disorder can wreak havoc on the sufferers wellbeing and self esteem. Since the emotional effects are hidden and internalized, unlike the physical effects, they are significantly more difficult to cope with.
Trichotillomania is generally described as a condition in which a person compulsively pulls their hair out of their scalp until bald patches appear on their head, or they are left without hair. According to a recently published research paper on trichotillomania, it is:
"a disorder that involves persistent and excessive removal of hair from one's body (e.g., scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes), resulting in evident hair loss."
Rapunzel syndrome is the name given to an extremely rare medical condition that arises when a person eats their own hair or hair extensions. The clinical term for the ingestion of hair is trichophagia and can have fatal consequences. As a result of the human body's inability to digest hair, any hair or synthetic fibre such as wool, that is eaten accumulates over time into a mottled, enmeshed mass in the digestive tract, blocking it. Surgery is usually required to remove these hairballs, known as trichobezoars that can cause extreme discomfort and even become life-threatening, resulting in death.
The Pull Thru blog is a fresh new online resource that tackles a grim topic like Tricholomania with an incredible sense of humour and wit. Blogger Lindsey, a “Trichster” herself; has pulled her eyebrows and eyelashes for as long as she can remember. She started the blog to empower Trich sufferers and promises that visitors to her site can find “everything Trichollomania, in one place”. She intends to arm visitors with as many Trich hacks as she can. The site provides advice for those with the disorder, coping strategies and tried and tested products.
The Trichotillomania Relief Specialists (TRS) provide cutting edge services and support for sufferers of Trichotillomania or hair-pulling disorder and other Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviours (BFRBs) worldwide. The specialists provide one-on-one coaching or web based video conferencing to help treat those with the disorder. Each program is tailored to the individual, because no two Trich sufferers are the same and what works for one may not work for another. The Trich-Free Solution treatment provided by TRS shows sufferers how to unlock their own innate ability to easily and naturally control not only the pulling but the urge to pull.
Brittany is a 25 year old university graduate from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She was always active as a child; she played sports liked tennis, rode horses and loved to dance. But Brittany had a secret, she has trichotillomania or compulsive hair pulling disorder; a disorder related to obsessive compulsive disorder, and is characterized by the compulsive urge to pull out one’s own hair. She has been living with trich for 5 years now. She started pulling at 20 years old but her condition worsened after 2 years and she was forced to finally tell her mom that she was pulling and didn’t know why, and that she simply could not stop.
Trichotillomania or hair pulling disorder is often triggered by stress and anxiety. Hair pulling can sometimes be a subconscious action; sufferers of the disorder usually have no inkling of their actions and often do it in their sleep. Sufferers often, experience feelings of guilt and embarrassment for their pulling. Therapists therefore, encourage pullers to develop an increased awareness of the times of day, emotional states, and other factors that promote pulling, in an effort to control the behaviour.
Hair pulling disorder or Trichotillomania is an obsessive compulsive disorder characterized by the compulsive urge to pull out one’s own hair. Sufferers of the disorder may pull out the hair on their head, or from other places on their bodies. The compulsion to pull is severe and sufferers experience feelings of anxiety and tension until they do pull, claiming to feel a release or sense of relief after pulling. The constant pulling is habitual and can result in bald spots, most commonly on the scalp. Individuals are understandably self-conscious, because of the shame and stigma associated with the disorder. Sufferers agree that explaining the disorder is embarrassing and complicated, they report a lack of information the topic and support for their struggle.
Body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) such as trichotillomania are of the most under-diagnosed psychological disorders due to the intense shame and embarrassment people who engage in compulsive hair pulling behavior experiences. Although the efforts of advocacy groups such as the then named Trichotillomania Learning Centre (TLC), now named the TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs) and the Canadian BFRB Support Network (CBSN) has been instrumental in increasing awareness of the condition, probably the more significant contribution they ahve made is help people feel less alone. Technology has given us the gift of anonymity when seeking answers to our most personal questions and our darkest secrets. But it also gives us a window into a world we might not otherwise have known existed.
Here at Trichstop.com we try our best to bring you the latest news and research about compulsive hair pulling and related disorders. In countless blog posts and articles there has been a resource we have referenced, cited and recommended for its great work in advocating and spreading awareness about not only trichotillomania, but all body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs). The Trichotllomania Learning Center, or TLC for short, has been a source of support and hope for thousands of people around the world for 25 years!
Online Test for Trichotillomania
Find Out The Severity of Your Hair Pulling With This Free Online Test