Trichotillomania Blog

Is Boredom Causing You to Pull?

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!

Baby Hair Pulling

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.

Group Therapy for Hair Pullers

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.

Hypnosis for Trichotillomania

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:

Hair Loss and Trichotillomania

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.

What Desperate Measures have you Taken?

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 and Impulse Control Disorder

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.

Trichotillomania and Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Trichotillomania, also known as Compulsive Hair Pulling disorder, was only first recognized as a clinical disorder by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 1987 when it was included in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-III Revised edition). Since then the diagnostic criteria for trichotillomania has been revised to the current version found in the DSM-5. The DSM-5 characterizes trichotillomania by recurrent repetitive behaviour (hair pulling) and repeated attempts to decrease or stop the behaviour. The behaviour can occur during both relaxed and stressful times, but there is often a mounting sense of tension before hair pulling occurs or when attempts are made to resist the behaviour.


Online Test for Trichotillomania

Find Out The Severity of Your Hair Pulling With This Free Online Test