BFRB awareness week is approaching! Every year from 1-7 October those involved in the advocacy and awareness of BFRBs such as hair pulling and skin picking disorder, observe BFRB awareness week. This year a group called the TLC Millennial Task force have come up with an engaging online awareness campaign designed to show the many faces of BFRBs. BFRBs affect people from many different walks of life—people of different races, genders, socio-economic statuses, and locations—in both obvious and subtle ways. #thisisme is a way for the global BFRB community to reach out and get that message across, and hopefully raise awareness in all communities.
Trichotillomania can be a debilitating condition and the road to recovery is long and ongoing. Although cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown to be the most effective type of treatment approach for trichotillomania, many people ask about the availability of a medicinal cure. To date there is no single pharmacological treatment that has been seen to be an effective 'cure' for trichotillomania. There are however a number of medications that have shown to reduce the urge to pull in hair pullers, which greatly increases the chance of successful CBT treatment. However not all medications identified for trich will work for everyone and there are different categories of medications that are commonly prescribed. One type of medication known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), commonly prescribed anti-psychotic used to treat depression, is a class of drug also commonly used to augment trichotillomania treatment.
You may have never heard of Trichotillomania before your own child started pulling out his or her hair. But the reality is that compulsive hair pulling affects thousands of children around the world. And contrary to popular belief, it is not just a bad habit. Watching your child pull out his or her own hair can be very painful and distressing for parents. So what can you do to help your child to overcome this disorder that can begin in children as young as nine months old and continue right into adulthood?
Meet Jay a well-known celebrity for his technology channel who has come to be known as the ‘You Tube Geek’ and also a successful weight loss blogger. These accolades have led many subscribers to his main channel as well as attracted many followers to his blog. In this blog where he has a wide audience of followers from his success as a weight loss blogger Jay confesses for the first time publicly about the torture and shame he has endured for the past 21 years due to trichotillomania. Deciding to share publicly for the first time about this disorder makes Jay feel he is taking control over something that has controlled him for way too long.
You doing it, you don’t want to do it, you know you doing it, but you cannot stop doing it. What then do you do?!
It may seem strange walking around with a bagful of unusual toys if you are a teenager or an adult with no children of your own. But if you are a sufferer of Trichotillomania, a hair pulling disorder common in a large number of people around the world, your bagful of toys might be your salvation. Trichotillomania is the repetitive pulling of hair from any part of the body, most especially the scalp. This disease often goes unnoticed because those inflicted by it are often able to hide the symptoms, covering up their baldness or scabs with hats, scarves or longer length clothing. Sufferers continuously pull the hair from their head or body in an effort to relieve tension and anxiety when confronted with a stressful situation.
Your son has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a common childhood disorder that often persists into adulthood, and after starting treatment with conventional drugs for ADHD, a few months down the line you realise that you’re sitting with another problem - your son has started pulling out his hair. Or perhaps you have a daughter whose compulsive hair pulling has led to a diagnosis of ADHD. Compulsive hair pulling or Trichotillomania, is an impulse control behaviour that is categorised under Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Related Disorders (OCD-R) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM5). So does hair pulling cause ADHD or does ADHD trigger hair pulling, or is there even any connection at all? To date there is not alot of research into the possible links between the two, which should be addressed by research community as the problem of hair pulling seems to be common concern for children with ADHD.
For some people pulling at the hair is just a bad habit, but for millions others it is a compulsive action that they are unable to control through willpower alone. The effects of this condition known as trichotillomania can be debilitating. For years many have suffered alone and in silence, often feeling guilty and ashamed for their actions and for not being able to control it.
It is encouraging to see the increased awareness and academic interest in the medical research fields in body-focussed repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) such as trichotillomania. These widely experienced, yet little known disorders often go undiagnosed because either the patient is too ashamed to seek help, or the patient or mental health professional is not aware it is a clinical condition. Often clients engaged in the online therapy program offered here at Trichstop report that the health professionals they spoke to about their hair pulling concerns, would shrug off their concerns saying that it was just a bad habit the individual needed to learn to control themselves.
One of the frequently asked questions on forums and support groups from compulsive hair pullers is whether or not the inability to stop pulling ones hair is due to lack of willpower and can strengthening the willpower enable them to stop? Partly this question stems from the deep inner feelings of shame and guilt at not being able to control a behavior the person is inherently aware is not healthy and so desperately does not want to engage in despite the damage it may cause to the area of targeted pulling. But it also stems from the common societal ignorance regarding mental illness where behavioral control is compromised such as is the case with addiction, obsessive compulsive disorder, and body-focussed repetitive behaviors (BFRBs).
Online Test for Trichotillomania
Find Out The Severity of Your Hair Pulling With This Free Online Test