When you just have a habit of pulling at your hair, you can choose to stop at any time. But when the urge to pull becomes too irresistible, it is possible a clinical condition has developed. One of the criteria for diagnosis of compulsive hair pulling disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM5) is that the individual is unable to stop despite one or more attempts to resist engaging in the behavior. So if having trichotillomania means you have not been able to stop pulling does this means you will never be able to stop?! No it doesn't. We outline a few basic tips from other hair pullers on how to stop pulling:
Like any other mental or physical condition, what we eat plays a significant role in our risk factors, our prognosis and the severity of our symptoms. Anecdotally society has always recognised the link between food and emotions, linking certain foods with love and romance, comfort food, foods that give you a pick-me-up and even celebratory foods. So intuitively we know that what we eat is more than just nourishment and should therefore come as no surprise that what you eat may have an impact on hair pulling. Of course there is no one shoe fits all ideal diet, but we let's take a look at some of the general guidelines to consider that may help you reduce your hair pulling:
Compulsive hair pulling, although common, is still little known within the medical profession. As such there is a lack of resources for those suffering with the condition. In addition, traditional face-to-face therapy can be very costly, thereby making it inaccessible to most people.
Although trichotillomania is a little known disorder and is fairly newly recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM5), those suffering from this condition have been instrumental in creating awareness through various forms of media. One such media format is the age old medium of books. Self-help books have been around probably as long as there have been books, their purpose being to instruct or impart knowledge or skills to the reader that will help him or her solve personal problems. In modern times you can find self-help books and literature on almost anything, so it is no surprise that you will find books on trichotillomania, particularly with the severe lack of professional help and services available to people suffering with this disorder.
Researchers at University of California, Los Angeles are conducting research assessing sleep in individuals with hair pulling symptoms. They are recruiting adults ages 18 and older who engage in repetitive hair pulling. The survey will last approximately 30 minutes and will include questions about your demographics, sleep quality and patterns, hair pulling symptoms, mood, and behavioral and emotional functioning.
Please visit the following link to participate: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/sleephairpullingadults
For further information, please email the Principal Investigator, Emily Ricketts, Ph.D. at ERicketts@mednet.ucla.edu
We are excited to announce the launch of our flagship text-based online therapy program here on TrichStop.com. For years we have been serving the BFRB community by keeping abreast of the latest information and research regarding trichotillomania and other BFRBs. We have served many clients through these times in a variety of formats such as online counselling via skype, as well as the support of a community via our forum. In our interactions with clients we have learned that may clients, although they found skype or telephonic counselling helpful, there was still an element of inflexibility with both client and therapist needing to be present at the same time. Many clients also struggle to talk about their problem in a face-to-face setting.
Biofeedback is the use of alternative therapy to help a person learn how to change negative behaviour and control physical responses and ingrained habits such as OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) or body-focused repetitive behaviours. This type of therapy is used to treat or prevent certain mental or health conditions. It helps individuals gain control over normally involuntary body functions.
Trichotillomania has been considered a disorder that primarily affects women. It is rarely reported in men. Such rarity may reflect distinct clinical features in men that call for different treatment strategies. Alternatively in may suggest that male sufferers are less likely to seek help or admit to ahving a problem. This may be because male hair loss is perceived more socially acceptable than femail balding or hair thinning. To investigate potential gender differences in trichotillomania, one study systematically assessed the descriptive characteristics as well as psychiatric comorbidity of 14 male hair pullers and compared them to 128 female hair pullers who had been similarly assessed. Although a few gender differences existed, male trichotillomania was very similar to that seen in women.
It is said that everything works for someone, but nothing works for everyone. This saying holds true for the use of Inositol in the treatment of Trichotillomania (TTM). So what exactly is Inositol? Inositol is a vitamin-like substance, a natural mood stabilizer, which is found in many plants and animals. It can also be manufactured in a laboratory. Inositol can be used to treat a wide range of diseases and disorders such as high cholesterol, cancer, depression, schizophrenia, autism, ADHD, psoriasis, diabetic nerve pain and most recently trichotillomania. It has been found that Inositol is converted by the body to a substance that regulates the action of serotonin within brain cells. Serotonin is a brain transmitter chemical implicated in OCD and trichotillomania. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), ‘Inositol, one of the B-vitamins, is indicated as a viable treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders such as depression and anxiety.’
The Trichotillomania Learning Centre (TLC) recently hosted a webinar with Dr. Ali Mattu, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD). Dr. Mattu specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with anxiety disorders and body-focused repetitive behaviors such as trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder) and excoriation (skin-picking disorder). Dr. Mattu is passionate about destigmatizing mental health and translating psychological science into practical applications. His work has appeared in the popular press, he is the founder of an award-winning blog, the producer of YouTube’s The Psych Show.
Online Test for Trichotillomania
Find Out The Severity of Your Hair Pulling With This Free Online Test