Trichotillomania

Posted by on Feb 17, 2018 in Ask The Therapist | 0 comments

Trichotillomania is a lesser known, but not uncommon disorder affecting both males and females of all ages. It is characterized by repetitive pulling out of one’s hair. Trichotillomania is classified as a body-focused repetitive behavior. Research indicates that 2-4% of individuals experience “trich” in their lifetime. Onset is typically in early puberty. By adulthood, trich is more common in females. It is a “cousin” of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

 

Treatment for trichotillomania typically includes a combination of therapy, education, and medication. Often times, hair pulling can occur as a focused, deliberate behavior in response to an urge. At times it is described as mindless and automatic, as the individual is less aware of the behavior.

 

This disorder offers many challenges as it is often embarrassing for the individual. They may try to conceal missing hair which can result in avoiding sports or other activities which would “expose” the missing hair (ex: swimming, sleepovers, intimacy).

 

Help is available! bfrb.org (body focused repetitive behaviors) is a website with support/education/research. Find a therapist educated and experienced for help with trichotillomania.

 

Thank you Judith Zaher, M.A.Ed., LPCC, LSW for writing this post! 

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