Trichotillomania Blog

How to start a peer support group - Part 2

 

Last month we shared part 1 of a three part series webinar hosted by the Trichotillomania Learning Centre (TLC) and the Canadian BFRB Support Network (CBSN) on starting and maintaining a peer support group for BFRBs. In this recording they briefly recap over the information from the previous video. There is then a detailed discussion about promotion of the group with examples of ways that you can get the word out.

The content of the group

The speaker provides a really useful breakdown of what content you can fill the groups with and how to ensure that the groups are more purposeful and fruitful each session. She provides a list of suggested topics or themes to focus discussions around.

Resisitance is futile, address the behavior not the urge

Let us conduct a little experiment. For the next 2 minutes DO NOT think about a pink elephant…

The irony is that the harder we try not to think about something the harder it is to achieve this goal. The urge to pull hair or pick the skin in body-focussed reptitive behaviors (BFRBs) is much the same. Many patients report feeling that the urge to engage in these compulsive behaviors magnifies the more they resist it. This can be extremenly demotivating, particularly when an individual is excited at the prospect that they have made progress by not picking for a period of time, only to relapse, often with magnified effect.

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How to start a peer support group - Part 1

Many trich sufferers report that they struggle to find local help for overcoming or dealing with compulsive hair pulling. Having the support of others is an important element of any effort to treat trichotillomania. Although you can find many resources and information about the various types of peer support groups on websites like the TLC or the CBSN, but it may be that none of these are in your local area.

How to start a support group

Thanks to the Trichotillomania Learning Centre and the Canadian BFRB (body-focussed repetitive behaviours) Support Network this is part 1 in a three part webinar series about starting and maintaining a BFRB support group. The webinar for part 1 will address the following:

 

Meet Jillian Clark - Living with trich

Meet Jillian Clark, an award winning editorial and portrait photographer and an advocate for people with Trichotillomania.  Like many trich sufferers, Jillian struggled with this disorder for many years in silence, not knowing that her daily struggles had a name or that there was help available for her. Fortunately we live in the age of technology where we have access to information at our fingertips. Jillian found answers when she searched the term "pull out my hair" did she come across the term trichotillomania.

Decoupling - An effective treatment for trichotillomania

Trichotillomania involves the compulsive pulling out of one’s own hair. This act of pulling is precipitated by an urge to experience the sensation of the hair pulling action. For many the act of hair pulling is tension relieving, for others it is stimulatory, whatever the resultant feeling is that an individual experiences, it is this feeling that compels them to pull again and again despite wanting to stop. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been found to be the most effective form of treatment for body-focussed repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) such as trichotillomania.

Lucinda Ellery solutions for trich

As a young woman, Lucinda Ellery suffered a condition called Alopecia Areata (AA), a condition that resulted in hair loss and was the source of physical and emotional turmoil. In a bid to prevent others from experiencing this same torment, Lucinda set about to find more permanent hair loss solutions. She wanted to find a solution that would offer women something that looked natural, could be looked after like your own hair and could be worn 24 hours a day. At first Lucinda worked with extensions, which also offered women the option of adding more volume to their hair. But it is only after meeting her first client with Trichotillomania that Lucinda created and developed the revolutionary Intralace System™ which is now used by ladies managing various hair loss conditions, including those with trichotillomania.

Men Speak Up!

 

Women who suffer from Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours (BFRBs) such as trichotillomania or dermatillomania may find it strange to discover that there are a number of men who are also afflicted with these conditions. Doug Shorts, one such sufferer, has come forward in his you-tube video titled Men Speak Up to encourage men who are suffering from BFRB’s to share their hair pulling and skin picking disorders so that other men, especially the youth or those who have just started engaging in these compulsive behaviours, do not feel so isolated in their compulsion.

Trichotillomania and the Elderly

The onset of compulsive hair pulling ranges in age from childhood to late adulthood. We still do not know exactly what causes trichotillomania, and the trigger for onset differs for everyone. Studies have pointed to genetic predisposition to the chemical processes in the brain as a possible cause. However, one thing is clear is that compulsive hair pulling is not a condition that just occurs overnight. Many people pull at their hair out of habit, but do not necessarily have a hair pulling disorder. However what starts out as a habit can evolve into a clinical condition in some cases.

Therapeutic Reflexology for Trichotillomania

While we don’t know exactly what causes trichotillomania, studies have shown that there is a link between anxiety and hair pulling. Many hair pullers report that the urge to pull often occurs at times of high stress, tension or anxiety. However, despite the fact that the act of hair pulling brings short term relief, the situation gets worse as one gets anxious when large portions of his or her hair that get lost due to the pulling. This creates a cycle of hopelessness as the sufferers try to resist the impulsive behavior without success. Overall, despite hair pulling being a way to relieve anxiety, it also creates more stress to the sufferers. The most effective form of treatment for body-focussed repetitive behaviours (BFRBs) is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

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Online Test for Trichotillomania

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