- Psychological Issues
trichotillomania refers to an irresistible urge, or compulsion to pull hair out of your scalp, pulling out eyelashes, eyebrows, or other, and more private areas of your body. This urge can range from mild and occasional, to constant and overwhelming. When severe, this disorder can be quite obvious and embarrassing, especially when it results in bald patches on the scalp or loss of eyebrows and/or eyelashes.
The external signs and symptoms of trichotillomania often include:
However, most people with trichotillomania pull hair in private and generally try to hide the disorder from others, sometimes by going to great lengths (wigs, unusual hairdos, heavy use of mascara, eyebrow pencil or false eyelases) to hide the evidence.
Trichotillomania is classified by the APA (American Psychological Association) as one of a large variety of “anxiety disorders”. But like many other complex disorders, a combination of genetic and environmental factors can probably contribute to the development of trichotillomania. mental health professionals believe this disorder to be a combination of genetic (physical) causes, such as (possibly) inherited imbalances of brain chemicals combined with environmental causes such as emotional or physical stress; loneliness, anxiety, frustration, fatigue (tiredness), or many others.
Risk factors for Trichotillomania are:
Trichotillomania may not, at least at first, seem like a serious problem but it can have serious side-effects:
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Conventional treatments of Trichotillomania include psychotherapy (counseling) and medications. Counseling can help the client understand the conditon and where the behavior comes from. Counseling can also help the client learn to recognize the “triggers” or situations where they might start hair-pulling and learn to substitute other behaviors for hair-pulling. medications, such as an antidepressant migh also be prescribed as short-term or long-term help. Other types of help available that might work hand-in-hand with conventional treaments for trichotillomania are hypnosis, use of relaxation techniques, and support groups.