Trichotillamania

Counseling for Trichotillamania in Fairlawn Ohio

Trichotillamania: What is it?

 

Trichotillamania (trick-o-til-o-MAY-nee-ah), also referred to as TTM or “trich” is a disorder that causes people to pull out the hair from their scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, pubic area, underarms, beard, chest, legs or other parts of the body, resulting in noticeable bald patches. Hair pulling varies greatly in its severity, location on the body, and response to treatment. Trichotillamania has a similar resemblance to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder; in the feelings of compulsion and repetitive behavior.
The onset of Trichotillamania is usually between the ages of 11 and 13, but it can start as early as infancy. Males and females are equally impacted in childhood, but by adulthood 80% to 90% of reported cases are women. The pulling behavior serves as a coping mechanism for anxiety and other difficult emotions. It does not hurt and they are not trying to damage themselves.

 

Trichotillamania is part of a group of behaviors called Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BRFB’s), in which an individual damages his or her appearance or causes physical injury. Two out of 50 people suffer from hair pulling disorder. Other examples of BRFB’s are:

  • Skin picking, resulting in scabs, sores that never heal, holes in the skin, and scarring
  • Nail and/or cuticle biting, causing bleeding or infected fingertips
  • Blemish picking or squeezing, causing scarring and infections
  • Biting the inside of the cheek

 

Trichotillamania is a treatable disorder. Treatment for it would usually include: Awareness training

  • Awareness training
  • Competing response training
  • Securing social support
  • Mindfulness
  • Interpersonal effectiveness
  • Emotional regulation
  • Distress tolerance
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Education for family to support the individual being treated
  • Linkage with outside resources, website, support groups, books, etc.

Talk to a trained professional if you think you or someone you know is struggling with Trichotillomania.  Avenues of Counseling and Mediation, LLC has a Clincian who is specially trained to work with minors and adults dealing with Trichotillomania.