Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a unique psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behavior change strategies. ACT teaches clients to become present in each moment fully as a conscious human being, and based on what the situation affords, changing or persisting in behavior that is in line with chosen life values or goals. Based on Relational Frame Theory, ACT highlights the ways that language reinforces or refutes thoughts and beliefs and how this in turn can be used as apowerful tool to counter the negative thought processes that influence out behaviors. Clients learn how to make healthy contact with thoughts, feelings, memories, and physical sensations that have been feared and avoided.
Hair pulling disorder is thought to sometimes stem from habitual behavior and evolves into something more serious. In children this could be related to sensory experiences such as being over or under stimulated and therefore either seeking out sensory input or trying to self-soothe. It may also be something more simple such as itchy eyelash that your child gets into the habit of rubbing or pulling, even after the original itchiness is gone. For many parents this can be worrysome, especially when there is noticeable hair loss. One mother expressed her concerns by seeking advice from the health expert from The Irish Times:
You’re watching tv, staring at the screen, barely registering what you’re watching. You’re listening to your teacher, or your boss, going on and on and you can’t even fathom what he’s talking about. Your hands stray to your hair, spurred on by an irresistible urge to tug, to pluck. You yank out your hair and feel an immense sense of relief. You can’t stop. You do it again…and again, day after day, week after week. Bald spots appear and still…you can’t stop yourself. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Trichotillomania is the medical term for a condition that describes young children and adolescents who pull out the hair from their scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, or other parts of the body, resulting in noticeable bald patches. It is estimated to affect one to two percent of the population, or four to eleven million Americans, and often begins in childhood and adolescence. Although the symptoms range greatly in severity, location on the body, and response to treatment, most children with Trichotillomania pull enough hair over a long enough period of time that they have bald spots on their heads (or missing eyelashes, eyebrows, etc.) pubic, or underarm hair.
Trichotillomania (TTM) is defined as recurrent pulling out of one’s hair, resulting in noticeable hair loss, which is not due to another medical condition. There is often, but not always, an increasing sense of tension strong urges immediately before pulling out the hair, or when attempting to resist the behavior, and pleasure, gratification or relief during and/or immediately after the act. While the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM5) only reccently recognized it as a clinical condition, recent researchers have proposed the phrase Body-Focused Repetitive Behavious (BFRB) to describe the full range of behaviors associated with trichotillomania. The most common examples are nail biting, cuticle biting and picking, skin picking, and other compulsive, excessive grooming behaviors. The treatment described here applies equally well to this full range of specific body focused problems.
Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-may-nee-uh) is a disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows, or other parts of your body, despite trying to stop. The cause of trichotillomania is unclear, but like many complex disorders, trichotillomania probably results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Also, abnormalities in the natural brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine may play a role in trichotillomania.
Signs and symptoms of trichotillomania often include:
People who have trichotillomania have an irresistible urge to pull out their hair, usually from their scalp, eyelashes, and eyebrows, but any part of the body where hair grows can be a target. Trichotillomania is a type of impulse control disorder. People with these disorders know that they can do damage by acting on the impulses, but they cannot stop themselves. They may pull out their hair when they're stressed as a way to try to soothe themselves. The exact cause of trichotillomania isn't known. It may be related to abnormalities in brain pathways that link areas involved in emotional regulation, movement, habit formation, and impulse control. Some people with trichotillomania may also have depression or anxiety.
A recent MailOnline article described the story of Eden Cahill, a 15-year-old teenager with trichotillomania, who shaved her whole head to beat the urge to pull. Eden suffered through most of her childhood with trichotillomania causing her to have large bald patches that she tried to hide by wearing thick headbands and hats at all times. Eden also used to hide in the school bathrooms for fear of ridicule. However as a teenager Eden decided to tackle her trichotillomania head on. Inspired by Sam Faiers, a star from the popular British reality show 'The Only Way is Essex', who revealed in 2012 that she was afflicted by this condition too;
Trichotillomania or compulsive hair pulling disorder was the first of the body-focussed repetitive behaviours (BFRBs) to be recognized as a clinical condition by the American psychiatric Association(APA) in 1987, when it was included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). Prior to the latest revision of the DSM, trichotillomania was classified in the DSM-IV-TR as an impulse control disorder (not elsewhere classified) along with four other impulse control disorders namely: kleptomania, pyromania, intermittent explosive disorder, and pathological gambling. However in 2013 trichotillomania was moved to be classified under obsessive compulsive related disorders in the DSM5.
Online Test for Trichotillomania
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