Trichotillomania: Symptoms & Treatments

Trichotillomania: Symptoms & Treatments

March 15, 2021

There is a deep relationship between hair and self-esteem; we know the saying, “bad hair day”, the day where everything seems to be going wrong. Well, this can be every day for someone with trichotillomania. Trichotillomania, also known as ‘hair-pulling disorder’ is a condition that causes an urge to pull out their hair. People may pull out the hair on their head or on other places, such as their eyebrows, eyelashes, beard/mustache or genital areas.

But why on earth would anyone want to pull their hair out? This question ruminates in the minds of those who have never experienced the impulse to pull and stirs the shame felt by those who experience this issue. Trichotillomania causes an immense impact on the lives of people suffering from it. It affects far more than physical appearance. Low self-esteem, poor body image, increased feelings of depression and anxiety, isolation and fear of intimacy can be the common consequences.

One of the trichotillomania causes can be unresolved anxiety or stress, or people may do it without thinking about it. Often, people may not realize their condition and consider it as an unpleasant habit, until they experience severe psychophysical symptoms.

Symptoms of trichotillomania

People with trichotillomania feel an intense urge to pull their hair out, and they experience growing tension until they do. After plucking out their hair, they feel a sense of relief. Other trichotillomania symptoms are:

1. Repeatedly pulling off hair from any area of the body.

2. Attempts to control hair pulling habit.

3. Hypertension before pulling out the hair or while resisting to do so.

4. Feel relieved from tension after pulling.

5. May play with pulled hair or rub it across the skin or face.

6. May feel like biting or chewing pulled hair.

7. Feel like pulling hair with selective textures.

8. May have hair loss with small or large bald patches.

9. Often privately pull off hair and feel like hiding the disorder from others.


Things you can try yourself

Here are some tips from people with trichotillomania that may benefit when you feel the urge to pull your hair:

•  Squeeze a stress ball or something similar

•  Use a fidget toy

•   Wear a bandana or a tight-fitting hat, such as a beanie

•   Come up with a saying that you repeat out loud until the urge to pull passes

•    Practice deep breathing until the urge to pull goes away

Also read:

Options for trichotillomania treatment

Therapy: Behavioral therapy seeks to identify and help change potentially self-destructive behaviors. It functions on the idea that all behaviors are learned and that people can change unhealthy behaviors.

  • Habit reversal training (HRT): It promotes replacing the hair-pulling behavior with a different behavior.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): It focuses on the link between thoughts and behaviors; it helps people become more aware of the unhelpful thought patterns which lead to the overwhelming desire to pull out hair.
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT): ACT uses mindfulness and acceptance strategies where a patient simply observes and accepts the previously unwanted symptoms and events as part of the disorder.         

Medication: A variety of medications have been used for trichotillomania treatment, however, there have been few carefully conducted clinical trials.

  1. SSRIs: They ease symptoms of depressed mood and anxiety.
  2. Antidepressants: Antidepressant drugs are designed to relieve symptoms of depression. It reduces symptoms of depressive disorders by altering chemical imbalances of neurotransmitters in the brain.    

Currently, no conventional drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for trichotillomania treatment and conventional medications may often have potential side effects such as nervousness, restlessness, excitability, dizziness and anxiety, among others.

Trichotillomania treatment homeopathy

Homeopathy comes to the rescue for the people suffering from trichotillomania. Homeopathic medicines are based on detailed case studies, which also include mental and emotional aspects of the patient’s personality besides physical trichotillomania symptoms. Homeopathic medicines thus selected help in improving the body’s response to stress, which helps in controlling the urge to pull out hair.

Homeopathy is a safe, natural and effective treatment for not only trichotillomania but also other psychological issues and personality problems. Homeopathic medicines aid in calming the mind and promote healthy expressions and behavior. In homeopathy, a patient’s body is viewed as a complete connected system that is suffering from a disturbance in well-being rather than just the affected scalp. It improves immunity, balances the body functions and energy system.

According to a study published in Clinical Psychology Review, homeopathy has proven to be a safe and clinically effective line of treatment, with up to 90% patient recovery. Furthermore, no FDA-approved allopathic treatment currently exists for trichotillomania. However, homeopathy works through controlling the underlying urge to pull hair.

At Dr Batra’s™, we provide you with the best solutions so that you get treated with no pain and worry. Our doctors address the trichotillomania causes and reduce the chances of recurrence of the condition. These homeopathic medicines are safe, non-habit forming and provide long-lasting relief. Book an appointment at Dr Batra's™ homeopathy clinic for a side-effect-free for trichotillomania treatment.

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