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Last Updated: Aug 26, 2019
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Trichotillomania - Causes, Symptoms, Treatment And Medication

What is Trichotillomania? What are the symptoms of trichotillomania? What causes trichotillomania? How is trichotillomania diagnosed? What is the treatment for trichotillomania? What are the complications associated with trichotillomania? Can trichotillomania be prevented? How to stop trichotillomania? What is the best medication for trichotillomania? Can trichotillomania be cured? What are the alternatives for trichotillomania treatment?

What is Trichotillomania?

Trichotillomania is known as hair-pulling disorder can be a hindrance to a person’s psyche. The mental health disorder makes it irresistible to recurrently pull hair out from the eyebrows, scalp and other body parts, despite wanting to stop. Pulling out hair from your scalp can often leave bald patchy spots, which cause a lot of distress and can hamper work or social functioning. People affected will often try everything to hide the hair loss.

Some people who affected with might have a milder form of this disorder which can be managed well. In others, the hair-pulling urge gets compulsive and is overwhelming. Some treatments are there which help people reduce pulling their hair or even stop it completely. If hair pulling becomes compulsive or you are embarrassed about your looks because of the disorder, then consult your doctor. People often think it as a habit, and nullify it as a mental health problem. What causes trichotillomania is not known. Like most complicated disorders it probably stems from environmental and genetic factors.

What are the symptoms of trichotillomania?

  • Continuously pulling up of hair from scalp, eyebrows, or eyelashes
  • Increasing tension when trying to stop or before pulling
  • Biting, chewing or eating the hair which has been pulled out
  • Getting a sense of pleasure after hair pulling
  • Bare patches on the scalp, eyebrows or eyelids
  • People who suffer also have the problem of biting nails, or they also pull out the hair of dolls and any other hairy toy, even from blankets and towels

What causes trichotillomania?

The actual cause is not clear but is mostly said that genetic disorders and environmental factors contribute to the disease. These can be the factors which can lead to trichotillomania:

  • Age: The most common factor is the age of a person. It is often among the children of age 10 and 13 years and can lead to life problems. Even infants can get prone to hair pulling but in them, it can go away on their own without any treatment.
  • Stress: It gets triggered up when a person is in stress and makes the condition even worse.
  • Family history: Genetic disorders also play a very crucial role and this condition occurs if any member of the family has the disease.

How is trichotillomania diagnosed?

An evaluation is done by the doctor to diagnose the disease:

  • Examining the number of hair fall you have daily
  • Tests are done by the doctor to determine the actual cause of hair fall
  • Examining the person’s mental and physical health which may be another cause for loss of hair

What is the treatment for trichotillomania?

The treatment options for trichotillomania include two procedures:

  1. Therapy: This is one of the useful methods for trichotillomania.
  2. Cognitive therapy: This helps to identify and examine the distorting beliefs that you might have about hair pulling
  3. Habit reversal training: The situation is recognized which is stressful and you are more likely to pull your hair. Thus, this therapy is done to reverse the habits of the person.
  4. Commitment and acceptance therapy: The person is made to realize the hair-pulling habits and acting wisely on the situations which are urging you to do so.

What are the complications associated with trichotillomania?

Trichotillomania can have adverse effects in your life and these complications include:

  • Avoiding social gatherings: People who suffer usually avoid social gathering and may wear wigs or false eyelashes in the fear of their condition to be recovered.
  • Skin and hair damage: People who have the problem of constant hair pulling can cause damage and infection on the scalp and can permanently affect the hair growth of that place.
  • Hairball: Eating up of hairballs may lead to problems in the digestive cycle of the person and can even result in weight loss, vomiting, obstruction in the intestine and can even lead to death.
  • Emotional distress: People who suffer from trichotillomania usually get prone to humiliation and embarrassment and some of them might also experience depression, anxiety or low self-esteem.

Can trichotillomania be prevented?

Trichotillomenia is disease in which you have an urge to pull your hair as it is a type of impulse control disorder but it is not proven that it can be prevented but treatment can help if taken as soon as the symptoms start to occur.

How to stop trichotillomania?

These are the steps which can stop trichotillomania:

  • Joining support groups
  • Buy fidget toy
  • Meditation
  • Avoiding caffeine at the time of sleep
  • Try stimulating your senses
  • Brush your teeth if you are having an urge to pull your hair

What is the best medication for trichotillomania?

These are the medications which are best for trichotillomania:

Fluoxetine (Prozac), lithium carbonate (Lithobid, Eskalith),clomipramine (Anafranil, sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), valproate (Depakote),fluvoxamine (Luvox).

Can trichotillomania be cured?

These are treatments to overcome trichotillomania are helpful for people but till now there has been no one that can fully make the disease go away.

What are the alternatives for trichotillomania treatment?

There are other medical options like ayurvedic treatment for trichotillomania and homeopathic treatment for trichotillomania. It is an individual interest to opt for the desired treatment procedure.

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