Trichotillomania (Hair-Pulling) Disorder is related to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It is characterized by:
Pulling Out Hair.
This most commonly involves pulling hair from the scalp, but can also include hair from eyebrows and eyelids, facial hair, pubic hair, or hair on the arms and legs. This often results in noticeable hair loss. Individuals may experience a feeling of tension prior to the hair pulling and a sense of relief or pleasure after the hair has been pulled out. They may also seek hairs with particular qualities (e.g., colour or texture), pull them out in specific ways (e.g., including the root), or do something with the hairs after they are pulled (e.g., ingest them). Individuals may deliberately choose to pull out the hair, do so without awareness, or both.
Attempts to Stop.
Individuals with Trichotillomania Disorder will often make an effort to stop or decrease hair-pulling behaviours. They be unsuccessful in these attempts or return to hair-pulling after a period of abstinence.
Distress or Impairment.
Trichotillomania Disorder often has a negative impact on individuals' quality of life. They may, for instance, avoid social situations, school or work due to feelings of shame or embarrassment. They may also experience feelings of stress, anxiety or loss of control. Trichotillomania is further associated with physical problems such as repetitive strain injuries, infections, or digestive issues (when hairs are ingested).
If you or someone you know has some or all of these symptoms, it may be due to Trichotillomania Disorder. Psychologists at EBT3 are trained in using psychological assessment tools to find out whether this is the case. They are also experienced at treating Trichotillomania Disorder and the related symptoms using approaches that have been proven to be effective, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
For more information about Trichotillomania Disorder, or to find an experienced psychologist, please contact us.