Trichotillomania Blog

Common myths about trichotillomania

Trichotillomania? Sounds like Giberish to others or a somewhat difficult to understand disorder, but we know how debilitating this disorder can be, so we want to try to help you manage the behaviour by helping you understand it better. The more you learn and understand about your condition, the better equipped you will be to make informed choices about treatment and recovery. Before we discuss the most common myths about trichotillomania, here is a snapshop of the disorder.

Scalp pain remedies for trichotillomania

It is estimated that 1 in 50 people experience the compulsion to pull their own hair out. For the majority of people the compulsion is focused around the scalp, although many also pull from their eye lashes eye brows and even the pubic region. This caused immense shame and guilt with many never seeking help and suffering in silence. While the pulling itself can cause stress, stress initself can also trigger pulling. This sets in motion a cycle of behavior and consequence that is difficult to break.

How habit awareness can help you stop pulling

Research on treatment of trichotillomania is limited. However, some treatment options have helped many people reduce their hair pulling or stop entirely. There are a lot of treatment options to deal with trichotillomania, some may not work for you as much as they work for others. 

Trichstop Launches Self-Monitoring App

Here at trichstop.com we offer a therapist guided, online therapy program, based on CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). CBT has been consistently found to be the most effective form of therapy for the treatment of body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs). It is the method of choice that is primarily used by expert therapists worldwide, who specialize in treating this disorder. There are many methods within this treatment framework that can be applied in isolation of each other or together as a holistic and comprehensive whole. Regardless of the primary method of CBT employed by your therapist, one fundamental principle of CBT is the developing of awareness by the patient of the behavior they are trying to change and the contexts in which they occur.

When your child pulls - supporting your child with Trichotillomania

Though trichotillomania is a mental health disorder with physical ramifications, it can result in consequences that affect every aspect of your well-being. Hair pulling disorder can hurt a person emotionally, physically, and socially. In addition to feeling shame and embarrassment, people with hair pulling disorder can have other psychological problems like depression and anxiety. Trichotillomania can also interfere with social life, school, and/or work. Engaging in conversations about compulsive behavior with a child is not an easy task. As a parent you can feel helpless and feelings of guilt is common. Recognizing that it is neither yours or your child's fault and understanding trichotillomania and the painful challenges is the first step to tackle when you have a child that has the disorder.

Recognizing the social effects on your child

Because of low self-esteem persons with trichotillomania may also experience the following social effects

3rd Trichstop Essay Scholarship Winner

Our scholarship programme is still going strong. We are pleased to publish the 3rd winning essay authored by Brittany Nicole Kogut, who will be awarded a scholarship to the value of $500 towards her studies. Applicants are required to submit a 400 word essay explaining the impact trichotillomania has their study efforts. Brittany has requested to be named as she would like to contribute to creating awareness. We salute your courage Britanny and thank you for your beautifully written essay.

BY BRITTANY NICOLE KOGUT:

Trichotillomania: what a loaded, unspoken, life-changing secret many of us share?  Though trichotillomania is not a secret at all.  People notice.  People look twice at the spots on your head, the wigs, hairpieces, extensions, bandanas and hats.  Why are they always wearing a hat?  Why do you have spots on your head?  Do you have cancer?  Do you have alopecia?  Oh, you pull it out yourself!

Bipolar disorder and Trichotillomania

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is an mood disorder that causes emotional instability that brings extreme high and low moods and changes in sleep, vitality, thinking, and conduct. Individuals who have bipolar can have periods in which they feel excessively cheerful and stimulated and different times of feeling exceptionally sad, miserable, and languid. In the middle of those periods, they us usually feel normal. You can think about the highs and the lows as two "poles" of state of mind and mood which is the reason it's called "bipolar" disorder. "Manic" depicts the circumstances when somebody with bipolar disorder feels excessively energized and happy. These sentiments can likewise include crabbiness and hasty or careless decision making. About half the portion of individuals during mania can likewise have dreams (believing things that aren't true and that they can't be talked out of) or pipedreams (seeing or hearing things that aren't there).

 

Emotional Health and Trichotillomania

We operate in a very medicalized model of health and wellness. This is partially the reason mental health has suffered such severe stigma for many, many years. We tend to discount the intangible, including the influence of the mind and our emotions on our well being. However for many people with compulsive hair pulling disorder, the onset and continued struggle with the disorder is linked to their emotional and psychological health. While there may be neurological or physiological explanations and descriptions available for how the brain or body functions during times when the urge to pull is high, it still does not answer the why. Dr Joy Saville, a doctor with the Tibb Ibn Sina Institute believes that we need to look at wellness holistically in order to combat ill health. Dr Saville is passionate about health and wellness, and is particularly interested in the marriage btween ancient and modern systems of medicines. She has shared her insights with us in this guest blog:

Nail Biting Disorder

Nail biting, also known as onychophagy or onychophagia, is an oral compulsive habit. It is in some cases depicted as a parafunctional activity, the common use of the mouth for an action other than speaking, eating, or drinking. Nail biting is very common, particularly amongst children. Severe forms of nails biting are viewed as a body focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) in the DSM-IV-R and are ordered under obsessive-compulsive and related disorders in the DSM-5. The ICD-10 characterizes the practice as "other specified behavioural and emotional disorders with onset usually occurring in childhood and adolescence. Other body-focused repetitive behaviors include excoriation disorder (skin picking), dermatophagia (skin biting), and trichotillomania (the urge to pull out hair), and all of them tend to coexist with nail biting. However, not all nail biting is pathological, and the difference between harmful obsession and normal behaviour is not generally clear

Scalp Care for Hair Extensions

Hair extensions are instantly gratifying and can be an enormous morale booster – giving immediate body to fine hair, or enabling a change in style for a special event. For people with trichotillomania it can also mean the difference between going out or becoming socially isolated for shame of the condition of your hair due to constant hair pulling. However for some having them in can also be a trigger for hair pulling due to itchiness, dandruff and dry scalp. It is therefore important to take care of your scalp when trying out weaves or other hair extensions in order to avoid increased hair pulling episodes. Keeping hair extensions in for an extended period can cause a lot of damage, and can leave you with less hair than you started with. Old-fashioned hair extensions were put in by weaving threads with hair attached between your natural hair.

Tips for scalp care

Use a Sunscreen for Your Hair

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Online Test for Trichotillomania

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