So, last week was mental health awareness week, and we’re here to talk about trichotillomania. ‘Most suffer in silence and hiding, terribly self-conscious by the damaging condition.’

What is trichotillomania you ask? 

Trichotillomania is an impulse-control disorder. This is when an individual fails to resist temptation and is unable to stop them-selves from carrying out a specific action, in this case, pulling out their hair. This form of alopecia takes place when one feels the urge to pull out their hair, whether that is the hair on their head, eyebrows or eyelashes. 

People who suffer from trichotillomania will feel an extreme urge to pull out their hair feeling uneasy until they have done so. After they have pulled out their hair, they feel a sense of relief and accomplishment. The individual will pull out a significant amount of hair leaving nothing but bald patches.

Why do I do it? 

Many professionals think hair pulling is a type of addiction, the more you do it, the more you can't refrain from it. Psychologists suggest hair pulling may be a way of relieving stress and anxiety for some people, and in some, the more you do it, the more you can’t refrain from cases psychologists believe trichotillomania may be a form of self-harm, where people intentionally harm themselves to relieve them from momentary tension. On the other hand, the disorder may run in the family. 

How can I stop? 

As there is no progressive medical cure for trichotillomania yet, research suggest therapy is the most effective way to change your ‘hair pulling’ behaviour. Psychotherapy is a talking therapy mostly used for emotional difficulties and mental health conditions. It gives you the opportunity to discuss your fears or troubles with a specially trained therapist. It is also important you receive emotional support to build your confidence and help you cope with any feelings or desires. 

As well as this many women look at wearing wigs, hair extensions and hair pieces to stop them from pulling out their own hair and causing alopecia. There are also numerous trichotillomania support groups you can contact to help you get the encouragement and assistance you need, our favourite being ‘Trichotillomania support online’. Till then, always be positive, a positive mind-set is always the safest.

Stay strong ladies! 

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