The hair pulling disorder known as trichotillomania is an impulse control disorder that causes someone to have an urge for to pull on their hair, often pulling strands of hair out. While this disorder does affect both men and women, typically this disorder affects women more and it often starts in childhood. Those who are afflicted with trichotillomania pull their hair primarily from their scalp, but sometimes from other places as well, like the eyebrows, eyelashes, or arms.
Causes of Disorder
One of the common causes of this hair pulling disorder is family history. Often the disorder is passed down through the generations in a family. Age can also be a factor, as the disorder begins to make itself present around the age of 10 to 13. Other OCD related disorders can contribute to trichotillomania. Often triggers of this disorder include anxiety and stress.
When someone has trichotillomania, they will often pull their hair out of their scalp. Typically they pull just one hair at a time, with each episode lasting for hours. This amount of hair pulling causes unusual patterns of hair loss. Sometimes those with trichotillomania will try and hide their disorder out of embarrassment. As you could imagine, this behavior can lead to low self-esteem and fear of socializing. If you are a suffer from this disorder you need to know that you are not alone and there are steps that you can take to control it.
Treatment for Trichotillomania
Even through trichotillomania can be a lifelong disorder, there are steps that can be taken to lessen the behavior. Habit reversal training can be an affective treatment and it can help control the impulses for hair pulling. This strategy can be especially effective for children whose habits are not fully developed.
Many individuals that suffer from this disorder are in need of immediate solutions for their hair loss while they seek long-term habit changes. Some of the most common treatments for hair loss that is caused by hair pulling includes wigs, hair replacement as well as other non-surgical procedures. These treatments often can help suffers of trichotillomania find their self confidence again by them feeling confident about their appearance.