Trichotillomania, otherwise known as Compulsive Hair Pulling, is determined by an overwhelming urge to pull out ones body hair. While the disorder was thought to be highly uncommon, it has been traced all the way back to 1889. Nonetheless, Trichotillomania wasn’t recognised as a real disorder until 1987.
Today, it’s believed that between 2 – 4% of the Australian population suffer from the compulsion. Sufferers of trichotillomania often feel ashamed, embarrassed or guilty about pulling their hair out and commonly keep the disorder hidden from family and friends. It is common for difficulties for compulsive hair pulling to begin in adolescence.
What are the symptoms of trichotillomania?
Symptoms of trichotillomania include repeated episodes of pulling out hair leading to hair loss along with recurrent efforts to decrease or cease hair pulling. The process itself is often accompanied by distress or impairments in engaging in important life pursuits such as work, study and relationships.
The hair removal may be focused on any body region where hair grows including the scalp and facial area. The site of removal may change over time and individuals may find themselves engaged in the process for brief short bursts or longer periods (i.e., hours) of time. It is typically conducted alone as many feel embarrassed about their difficulties.
What causes someone to suffer trichotillomania?
Trichotillomania can be a strategy that the sufferers adopt to deal with stress and anxiety in their lives. Typically individuals report some short term relief from their distress following the hair removal ritual. Trichotillomania may co-occur alongside mood difficulties (i.e., depression) and other body based repeated behaviours such as nail biting.
The trained psychotherapists at Bayside Psychotherapy will work hard to forge a positive therapeutic relationship where you can work together with your clinician in a collaborative way to understand more about your difficulties with trichotillomania. Current evidence indicates that a combination of behaviour and relaxation strategies can be helpful in reducing the symptoms and severity of trichotillomania however there is a need for further research into effective treatments for this condition.
How long will treatment to overcome Compulsive Hair Pulling take?
Treatment response time varies significantly and tends to relate to the quality of the therapeutic relationship and the clients readiness for change and commitment to change. Naturally if you have struggled with trichotillomania for some time, it may take some time to fully address these difficulties. Some people find listening to hypnosis recordings in between sessions helpful such as the Stop hair pulling hypnosis MP3 download.
Call us today on (03) 9557 9113 or use our contact form to find out if we can help you overcome the temptation to pull your hair. Your call is completely confidential, and there’s absolutely no obligation.
Treatment is conducted confidentially via secure video conferencing. You can book using our online booking form to get started.
Note: This information is informative only and is not to be used for diagnosis or substitution of appropriate assessment and/or treatment by a registered practitioner. Information on this page and our entire site should not be construed as implying that our therapists are specialists in treating any condition whatsoever. While some of our therapists may have experience working with people suffering from a specific condition, not all of our therapists do. We do not guarantee any particular level of performance, cure or management of symptoms. Each case is unique and responds differently with collaboration between client and therapist being crucial. Always seek appropriate assessment from a qualified professional such as a GP, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist or social worker especially if you are acutely distressed.
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