What Is The Most Effective Treatment For Hair
Therapy is considered the front-line treatment for all BFRBs, including trich. Cognitive behavioral therapyeither on its own or combined with a specific type known as habit reversal training is often the approach of choice, as it targets the thoughts, emotions, and habit cycles that lead to pulling behaviors. Other kinds of therapy such as ACT and dialectical behavioral therapy have also shown promise, especially when combined with HRT.
Does Anxiety Lead To Hair
Anxiety is a common trigger for pulling episodes for many with trich, pulling can be soothing and may provide temporary relief from feelings of anxiety . Trichotillomania and diagnosable anxiety disorders also frequently co-occur. Trich is currently classified in the DSM as an obsessive-compulsive or related disorder, which is itself closely related to anxiety.
Is Hair Pulling An Addiction The Misconceptions And Truths About Trichotillomania
Hair pulling is often misconceived as an addiction or self-harm, but it is actually a chronic health condition known as Trichotillomania. For people who suffer from this disorder, hair pulling can be a way to cope with stress or other mental health issues. It can be difficult to live with Trichotillomania, as there are many misconceptions about the disorder. In this article, we will explore the truths and myths about Trichotillomania.
While hair pulling may provide a sense of relief or pleasure for people with Trichotillomania, it isnot an addiction in the traditional sense. People with Trichotillomania do not compulsively pull their hair out in order to reach an altered state of consciousness, they do it because they have an uncontrollable urge to do so.
While hair pulling may be symptomatic of anothermental health condition, Trichotillomania is actually considered its own disorder. People with Trichotillomania experience a strong urge to pull their hair out, and the act of hair pulling can become compulsive and addictive.
This disorder can cause a great deal of distress and impairment in someones life, which is why it is classified as a mental disorder. Trichotillomania can affect all areas of someones life, including their social, occupational, and academic functioning.
Don’t Miss: How To Cure Nasal Spray Addiction
Wear Your Hair In A Headband Or Beanie
Got this at Fitness Fox Headbands
Wear a banana, headband or beanie to keep your hair out of your face.
When your hair is in your face it is a constant reminder to you that you have hair? Am I right?
I personally have benefited from this tip a lot.
Just putting my hair back securely in one of these headbands has helped bunches.
I like these ones because they have a super great grip, they dont slip and they dont give you a headache.
Beanies are also nice in the winter time because they keep your hair out of your face and your head is warm.
I live in Arizona so beanies are only going to work a certain time of year because its pretty warm for the most part here.
Different Types Of Hair Pulling
Although all trichotillomania involves pulling out body hair, there are two types, explains Jerry Bubrick, PhD, senior clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute: automatic and focused pulling.
- In automatic hair pulling, the individual may not even realize she is doing it until after the fact. For example, she could be zoning out watching TV then look down and realize that the couch is full of hair she has pulled.
- In focused hair pulling, it is done very intentionally because it feels good. Often, focused hair pullers will wait until they are in private to engage in the behavior.
Determining which type of hair pulling a person is engaged in will help establish the treatment. Its not just looking at the behavior of hair pulling, its really understanding what the function is behind it, explains Dr. Bubrick. This is done via interviews with the child and reports from parents and teachers.
In addition to the two types of hair pulling, another facet to the behavior is what people then do with the hair. Sometimes the person will just pull the hair and flick it on the floor, or some people will save the hair in baggies, explains Dr. Bubrick. Other times people might pull the hair out and inspect whether they pulled what looks like the root, then they might play with the root or roll the hair in their fingers. They might put the strand of hair to their lips, they might bite it, and in some cases they might swallow it.
Also Check: How To Overcome Food Addiction
Learning How To Manage Skin Picking And Hair Pulling
Most of the people in my practice who suffer from skin picking or hair pulling initially have a deep sense of shame and guilt about their habit. They often wonder whats wrong with them. Why do they have this issue when others seem to have no problem with their skin or hair? They often feel as though their problems are trivialized, and that no one understands how significantly their condition impacts their quality of life.
In our society, if someone has a common medical condition that impairs their social, occupational, or psychological well-being, most people will agree that they should get help. But while many of my clients report social, occupational, or psychological issues as a result of their uncontrollable urges to pick or pull, they often receive responses like, Why cant you just stop?
Instead of feeling supported or understood, they feel they have to hide their behavior or be judged and ridiculed. They try their best to cover up the scars or bald spots and keep their issue secret. Although hundreds of thousands of people suffer from picking and pulling, the behavior is often not very well understood.
One reason skin picking and hair pulling can be difficult to stop is that the motivations behind them are wide-ranging. Its commonly believed that skin picking and hair pulling are a result of stress and anxiety alone. But while this is true in some cases, they can also occur while you are simply bored.
Are There Any Complications
Trichotillomania can cause permanent hair loss and scarring. This is more common in people who continue to pull their hair out into adulthood.
Some people with trichotillomania may also eat their hair, a condition known as trichophagia. This may result in hair building up in the digestive tract and can also cause a dangerous obstruction.
Recommended Reading: How To Stop My Video Game Addiction
What Can I Expect If I Have This Condition
TTM isnt usually a danger to your physical health . However, it can be very disruptive and damaging to your mental health and quality of life.
Because people with TTM often feel ashamed or embarrassed of this condition, most avoid treatment. Those who avoid or delay treatment are much more likely to have issues like permanent hair loss, scarring and more severe mental health problems.
How long does TTM last?
The available research, while limited, shows that people with TTM have this condition for an average of about 22 years. In some cases, the condition is a lifelong problem. People also often describe that the condition has phases, becoming more or less severe for periods of time. Overall, early diagnosis and treatment are the best chance for limiting how long this condition lasts and how severely it impacts your life.
Whats the outlook for this condition?
The overall outlook for this condition depends partly on the age of the person who has it. Infants and children with TTM often have the best outlook, with the condition commonly going away on its own.
However, the older a person gets especially from adolescence onward the greater the odds that treating the condition becomes difficult. TTM on its own is rarely a life-threatening problem. But its impacts on a persons life, especially their mental health, are often severe. Because of this, early diagnosis and treatment are very important.
Automatic Vs Focused Hair Pulling
Psychologists have observed 2 patterns of behavior in hair-pulling disorder: two different hair-pulling styles. Automatic hair pulling can happen without us even noticing. Children who pull automatically may not remember anything about the pulling session or realize why hair is missing. The other style, Focused hair pulling, involves rituals and sensation seeking. In other words, focused hair pullers want to feel the relief of hair pulling, get rid of hairs that feel strange, or find specific kinds of hairs to remove. This style is more conscious than automatic hair pulling.
You May Like: How To Help An Addict Get Help
Stay Ahead Of The Trend In Fashion And Beyond With Our Free Weekly Lifestyle Edit Newsletter
Christina Pearson was 14 years old when she started pulling out her hair, creating bald patches on her head. She was taken to a psychiatrist, but in 1970 there was no name for her disorder, and certainly no treatment.
The doctor issued a psychiatric discharge that removed Pearson from high school. In that moment, she felt relief. Going to high school meant that somebody might pull off her hat and reveal that her head was mostly bare a possibility she found so frightening that anything was better than that.
In the ensuing months, Pearson holed up at home, pulling out her hair and feeling, she says, like a monster. Scared and searching for relief, she eventually decided to leave. I hitchhiked across Mexico at 14 and was doing peyote out in the desert, all kinds of things, she says. I really lived a very fringe life. At 15, she started picking her skin, her body frequently covered with open sores. By 20, she was addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Pulling Out Hair Addiction
498 Likes, 28 Comments. TikTok video from Not Juliannas Tik Tok : “Im thriving!! #trichotillomania #hairpulling #addictionrecovery #recovery #foryoupage #PerfectMarcJacobs #SyncYourMiO”. This was filmed before I stopped pulling my hair. | Trichitillomania: The urge to pull out your own hair due to anxiety | 50 days of no hair pulling later.. . good 4 u.
Read Also: How To Stop Nicotine Addiction Naturally
Which Medications Can Help With Trichotillomania
Currently, no medications are specifically approved for the treatment of trichotillomania. However, some patients have benefited from antidepressantsespecially if comorbid anxiety or depression are presentor other psychiatric medications, including atypical antipsychotics. Supplementing with the amino acid N-acetylcysteine has proven effective at reducing hair-pulling behaviors in some small studies.
Trichotillomania Ocd And The Brain
In people with trichotillomania, brain imaging studies have shown abnormalities in activity in certain regions of the brain, including areas involved in regulating impulses and habits, emotional processing, and reward processing. Neuroimaging research also points to abnormal activity in those with OCD.
At Amen Clinics, brain SPECT imaging scans of individuals with OCD show abnormal blood flow in some brain regions. SPECT is a nuclear medicine study that evaluates blood flow and activity in the brain. Basically, it shows three things: areas of the brain with healthy activity, too little activity, or too much activity. SPECT scans of those with OCD show increased activity in the following two regions:
- Anterior cingulate gyrus : This brain region acts like a gear shifter, helping people go from one thought to another or from one action to another. Too much activity in the ACG is associated with getting stuck on recurrent thoughts or behaviors.
- Basal ganglia: This area of the brain is involved in setting the bodys anxiety level and in the formation of habits. Overactivity in this region is associated with increased anxiety and fear.
The brain imaging work at Amen Clinics shows what many doctors miss about OCDthe fact that there is more than a single brain pattern associated with it.
You May Like: How Easy Is It To Get Addicted To Cigarettes
Learn To Play An Instrument
Learning to play an instrument like guitar or the keyboard is a great way to keep your hands busy.
I personally like playing the keyboard or piano.
Im not very good but I find it therapeutic and fun to learn.
Maybe a drum set is in your future?
This is really GREAT for our youth battling with Trich because they pick up music so much faster than adults and its a great way to build confidence and keep their hands busy.
Links With Other Mental Health Conditions
Trichotillomania appears in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Version 5 or the DSM-5. This is the manual most mental health experts use to diagnose mental health-related conditions.
The DSM-5 classifies trichotillomania as an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Previous versions of the manual had classified it as an impulse control disorder.
According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, some people with trichotillomania also have other conditions, including:
Read Also: How To Quit Meth Addiction
Trichotillomania Treatment And Home Remedies
Many types of therapy can support people with trichotillomania and even help them stop hair pulling completely.
- Acceptance and commitment therapy. Youâll be able to practice accepting the hair-pulling urges without actually hair pulling.
- Habit reversal. This is often the main treatment for trichotillomania. Itâll help you practice other, less harmful habits instead of hair pulling, like clenching your fists when you have the urge to pull your hair.
- Cognitive therapy. This helps people explore and change the beliefs that lead to hair pulling.
There are no FDA-approved medicines for trichotillomania, but these drugs may control symptoms in some people:
- N-acetyl-cysteine, an amino acid supplement
What Is Trichotillomania
Although doctors used to think trichotillomania was a rare condition, they now understand that it is a widespread disorder. It tends to affect girls more than boys and usually starts happening around adolescence, although it can start in children as young as one. The mania part of trichotillomania comes from the Greek word for madness, but studies have shown that people suffering from this disorder can be otherwise emotionally healthy. Doctors tend to think that the compulsion is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain.
People suffering from trichotillomania tend to pull their hair out by the root from the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, or pubic region. While some people prefer pulling out large patches at a time, others pull one strand at a time. This can leave behind small or large bald patches. Some people with the condition like to play with their hair after it has been pulled, while about half of them put the hair in their mouths. Although some people are aware that theyre pulling out their hair, others tend to do it absentmindedly.
Those with trichotillomania might feel like they are alone in their struggle. They may feel embarrassed, shamed, frustrated, or depressed about their compulsion to pull out their hair and try to hide it from friends and family. Its important to understand that theyre not doing this because they want to: Theyre doing it because they cant stop.
Also Check: My Friend Is Addicted To Videogames
Who Gets This Disorder
Based on statistical research, we know that trichotillomania generally first shows up between the ages of 9 and 13. Children tend to pick hairs from the scalp in 86% of cases, eyelashes in 52%, eyebrows in 38%, the pubic region in 27%, and from the legs in 18% of cases. There is a genetic component to this condition, which means that it is likely to run in families. During childhood, the disorder is just as common in boys as it is in girls. However, when the disease presents later in life, during adolescence, it affects mostly girls . Unfortunately, the later in life that the disease presents, the more resistant it is to treatment.
Symptoms Of Hair Pulling Disorder
Here are the signs and symptoms of trichotillomania or hair pulling disorder:
â Repeatedly pulling your hair out from any area with hair including lashes, brows, and armpits
â A sense of tension before pulling your hair out
â A sense of pleasure after pulling your hair
â A sense of tension when you try to resist hair pulling
â Hair loss, balding, or hair thinning
â Preference for specific types of hair
â Liking routines that come with hair pulling
â Chewing, biting, or eating pulled-out hair
â Playing with pulled-out hair
Many people who have this disorder also pick on their skin. They also bite their nails or chew the skin from their lips. Sometimes, they pull hair from toys, pets, or other things like clothes and blankets.
In addition, those who suffer from trichotillomania pull their hair in private. They also hide the issue from others.
Furthermore, for people with hair pulling disorder, hair pulling can be:
â Focused. Some people pull their hair on purpose to relieve stress or tension. For instance, they pull their hair to get over the urge to pull hair. Some may also create rituals for hair pulling like chewing, biting, eating, or brushing pulled hair.
â Automatic. Some people pull their hair without being aware of it. They automatically do it when they do something else such as watching movies and reading.
Recommended Reading: Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviving Lip Balm
What Are The Symptoms Of Trichotillomania
According to the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition , the diagnosis of TTM requires a person to meet five criteria:
Some people with TTM pull their hair deliberately, such as when they feel a hair is out of place or looks different from others around it. Other people pull their hair automatically without thinking about it.