What is Trichotillomania?

Have you ever had any experience of meeting someone whose eyebrows are drawn on with pencil? Have you ever seen someone who will twist hair repeatedly before pulling it out?

Trichotillomania is an impulse control disorder that increases with tension and finally pulling hair out of the body. This will be followed by feelings of relief, pleasure or gratification. This can result in noticeable hair loss and also cause significant distress or impairment in various aspects of functioning.

This is like a psychological condition rather than a medical one. As the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual stated it is "better accounted for by another mental disorder and is not due to a general medical condition".

These impluse control disorders refer to conditions where the sufferer is unable to resist the temptation to perform an act that is harmful to others or his/herself.

Trichotillomania is first used by a French dermatologist who began using it in 1889. The term "thrix" is Greek for hair and "tillein" means "to pull". Even though "mania" refers to madness or frenzy, this part of the word is a misnomer as those who have the disorder are not "psychotic", "mad" or "crazy" as the name suggests.

There are many treatment for Trichotillomania and they include individual or group therapy, medications, or other support through written materials and other resources from many different organizations. There is a type of treatment called the Cognitive-Behaviour techniques which can help the person. It includes a two-fold process that involves developing awareness of the situations and events which trigger the hair pulling and then learning alternative behaviours in response to them.

If you or someone you know is suffering from trichotillomania, take heart! There are effective treatments to help you. Your first step is to set an appointment with a professional who has training and experience in this area of practice.

Discover how you can join over 432 trichotillomania ex-sufferers who have already ended their years of pulling hair disorder, and had completely stop pulling hair using an easy 3 step therapy treatment system

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