Trichotillomania or what most people commonly refer to as pathological hair pulling is a psychological disorder. People that have this illness are overcome by the desire to constantly pull out their hair. The strange thing about this disorder is that people are usually either not aware that they have it and may often disregard it as just a bad habit of some sort.
While most people that have trichotillomania pull out the hair from their scalp, there are also some that try to pull out the hair from their eyebrows, eyelashes and beards. There are also some people that tend to consume the hair that they pull out. This disorder is called trichophagia, and this can lead to serious problems involving the gastrointestinal tract.
People that have trichotillomania usually develop it during their adolescent stage. Those that have it find it very challenging and will struggle dealing with it either continuously or intermittently all through their adult life.
What causes trichotillomania?
Doctors and experts have come out and openly admit that they have not pinpointed what actually causes a person to have trichotillomania. There are some quarters that state that hair pulling is their method of alleviating anxiety while others claim that this is their way of dealing with negative emotions.
However, doctors are well aware of particular elements that can raise the risk of getting trichotillomania.
1) A person’s genetic history
A person that has a close relative that has trichotillomania has a higher chance of developing the condition himself or herself.
2) Childhood trauma:
Research shows that person that has gone through trauma during childhood may be likely to develop trichotillomania.
Doctors are also striving to pinpoint variations in brain function or chemistry that could potentially result in the development of trichotillomania.
What are the treatments of trichotillomania?
Specific relaxation techniques have been known to help people that have trichotillomania. Unfortunately, a lot of people that have the condition do not at all look for treatment for it.
As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of people that have the condition but are unaware they have it as they may just look at it as one bad habit. Doctors also do not usually diagnose trichotillomania, which means that data involving trichotillomania and its possible treatments are very scarce.
However, there is research that implies that particular behavioral therapies and medications may help people that have the condition.