People grappling with trichotillomania have an intense impulse of pulling their hair. They pick hair from their eyelashes, eyebrows, and scalp. This is an impulse control disorder and by picking their hair, afflicted people feel a sense of relief.
Symptoms of Trichotillomania
Some of the characteristic symptoms of trichotillomania include:
Repeated hair pulling
Feeling distressed before pulling hair
Resisting the urge to pull hair
Feeling relieved after pulling hair
Problems at work, school or relationships due to their hair pulling
Development of bare patches at the site from where the hair has been pulled out
Irrational behaviors like inspecting the hair or hair root, chewing on hair, and even eating hair.
People grappling with this disorder try to hide their illness and conceal their condition by wearing scarfs, hats, and artificial eyebrows and eyelashes.
Causes of Trichotillomania
While the exact cause of trichotillomania is not known, scientists believe that it may associated with some abnormalities in the pathways of brain that link sites involved in habit formation, impulse control, and emotional regulation.
Trichotillomania is often association with the development of other mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression. Since it is hereditary in nature, the risk of developing it increases if someone in the family is already afflicted.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Trichotillomania
Trichotillomania is diagnosed based on the signs and symptoms. The main treatment approach for this disorder comprises a behavioral therapy known as habit reversal training. This is based on the approach of replacing a bad habit with some other habit which is comparatively safer.
During this therapy, the patient is taught to identify their triggers and recognize when and where they have an urge to pull their hair. They are also taught to do something else to feel relaxed when they experience the urge to pull their hair.
In medication, a category of medicines called the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs) may be used for symptom alleviation. Sometimes, atypical antipsychotics are also used.
Trichotillomania Treatment at Medical Concierge
It is important to understand that trichotillomania is a serious mental illness which if left untreated can greatly affect one’s quality of life. The mental health specialists linked with Medical Concierge provide compassionate care to the patients suffering from this disorder. They use a combination of medications, psychotherapy, and alternate therapies, individualized for each patient depending on the severity of the condition and medical history. Such a comprehensive approach towards treating a mental health disorder ensures that the patient achieves lasting recovery.
To learn more about the services and treatments available for trichotillomania or any other mental illness, call our 24/7 mental health treatment helpline (877) 636-0042. You can also chat online with a representative for further assistance.
Medical Concierge offers quality, innovative and compassionate care for mental illnesses and co-occurring disorders. We also offer alumni services and continuing care to ensure sustained recovery.