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seth01 , 27 Jan 2016

askin about a friend

I'm new here, just found this site and thought I'd ask my question here. My friend at work has bald patches on his head.
He got them only recently (a few months) and he says it's due to stress. I'm curious to know is this trichotillomania or some kind of other desease?
I cannot openly talk to him about it, he seems very touchy about this subject. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

1 Answer
Tasneem Abrahams
January 31, 2016

Hi, welcome to the community. Thank you for your question. It is great that you show so much care and concern for your friend and particularly that show consideration and respect for his space and not wanting to talk about it. It is very difficult yo know whether your friend has trichotillomania just by the fact that he is balding. There are certain hair loss conditions that can be triggered by extreme stress, such as alopecia, but it very well may be that pulling hair is a stress relieving mechanism. Have you seen him pulling at his hair before?

As far as being there for your friend, the best advice I can give you is not to focus too much on the balding itself as this may be a source of great shame and embarrasment for him. Instead you want to let him know that you recognize he is going through a stressful time and that you are there for him if he needs a friend to talk to. Always come from a space free from judgment and do not offer advice unless he seeks it. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to just listen without judgement and if he feels safe doing so he will talk about his hair loss on him own. And when that time comes you can direct him to sites like this one or the Trichotillomania Learning Centre at

Best of luck with your friend!

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