Trichotillomania

/Trichotillomania

Ways to Help Kids Overcome Trichotillomania

If you are the parent of a child suffering from trichotillomania, you might feel confused, embarrassed or even scared.  It seems like such a bizarre bodily disorder, but truthfully, this may not be the case. A possible reaction to stressful circumstances, Trichotillomania (trick-o-til-o-MAY-nee-ah) is a disorder that causes people to want to pull out their own hair.  The following are a few tips that might help you manage your child’s Trichotillomania. Be More Aware First and foremost, it is important to understand as a parent that trichotillomania is not as uncommon as you might think.  Time magazine reports that trichotillomania currently affects about two million Americans.  The stressful adolescence phase is a common time for symptoms to start showing, where a majority start at age 12.  It is also important to understand that the act of pulling out hair can feel good to your child and bring them instant gratification.  Unconditional love and support is needed to help your child through this tough time. Communicate Openly If you find talking about the condition with your child or young adult difficult, you might want to try talking with support groups with kids near their age.  If you cannot find a support group in your area, be sure to check online for support forums. Celebrity Role Models If a child knows that successful celebrities such as Charlize Theron, Megan Fox and Olivia Munn also suffer from trichotillomania, it might help them not feel so alone.  Even the likes of Justin Timberlake and Leonardo di Caprio have stated that they have OCD, which can cause trichotillomania as a symptom.  The point is that this disorder can happen to even the best of us, but it is in no [...]

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The Urge to Pull: Trichotillomania

Most people agree that having hair pulled out is a very unpleasant feeling. For someone with trichotillomania, though, pulling hair out feels good -- and may help the person deal with stress and anxiety. Trichotillomania is one of the more unusual hair loss diseases. What causes this hair loss disorder, and can it be cured? What Is Trichotillomania? Trichotillomania (TTM) is a disorder that causes a person to have an overwhelming urge to pull out their own hair. Symptoms of trichotillomania include: noticeable hair loss increased tension right before pulling out hair, or when trying to resist pulling pleasure or relief when hair is pulled As long as hair pulling is not caused by another health issue, and it causes the puller enough problems to interfere with daily life, it can be classified as trichotillomania. TTM is closely related to obsessive-compulsive disorder. The International OCD Foundation sheds light on the difference between the two: OCD sufferers have repetitive behaviors that distract from bad feelings but do not bring pleasure. TTM sufferers get pleasure or relief from pulling hair. Scientists do not know the cause of TTM. Symptoms of TTM increase when the body encounters stress. Interestingly, this stress can be either negative stress (e.g., money problems) or positive stress (e.g., planning a trip). The brain does not differentiate between the signals, so both types of stress can increase the desire to pull hair. What Are Complications of TTM? On an emotional level, the sufferer may experience tremendous stress and shame because of their behavior. This can prevent them from going to work, engaging in social activities or pursuing higher education. Physically speaking, one of the worst complications occurs when a person eats the hair they pull. Strands of hair can build up in the intestines and cause painful, even life-threatening blockages, which may require surgery. Can Trichotillomania be Cured? There are several treatments for TTM. Different methods may work for some and not [...]

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It’s Trich Awareness Month!!!

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