Dealing with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is complicated and stressful, with many manifestations such as trichotillomania (pulling out your own hair) and ablutomania (you simply can’t stop washing your hands). OCD makes you feel scared and panicked, and gives you a horrible pang of doubt that pinches the inside of your stomach. It also makes you feel alone and misunderstood. But if you struggle with OCD, you’re not alone. It’s an indiscriminate affliction that plagues millions – brothers, sisters, parents, teachers, athletes and even celebrities, who face the same fear, panic and doubt.

In 2010, Megan Fox, in a candid interview with Allure, revealed that she suffers from OCD, joining the ranks of other A-listers with the disorder such as Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake and Leonardo DiCaprio.

“This is a sickness, I have an illness,” Fox told the magazine.

The Transformers star explained that her OCD manifest in a variety of forms, from an aversion to public restrooms to an inability to use silverware at a restaurant.

“Every time someone uses a bathroom and they flush, all the bacteria is shot into the air,” she said. “(Or) putting my mouth where a million other mouths have been, just knowing all the bacteria that you carry in your mouth? Ucch!”

Fox has the looks, fortune and celebrity status that most of us only achieve in our wildest daydreams – but OCD disorders like trichotillomania levels the playing field, reminding us that behind the movie posters and magazine covers, she’s only human.

“I could go days, weeks, without talking to another human being,” Fox told Allure, describing how the stress of her illness can make isolation appealing.

Today, though, the star is a mother, and the experience has forced her to face things she once thought impossible.

“When they come out they are covered in all kinds of stuff,” she said in an interview with in Touch, talking about childbirth. “I took (Noah) right on my chest and, from that moment, nothing he does freaks me out.”

Knowing the feelings of helplessness OCD can instill in even the most confident person, Fox made the decision that she “(did) not want to give him a complex.” With her characteristic determination and newfound strength, she managed to overcome what once felt as much a part of her as her skin.

OCD is a mountain – tall and jagged with its peak hidden in the clouds. It can be terrifying. It can seem insurmountable. It’s not. With treatment and hope, OCD can shrink from Everest to an anthill; and you can walk right over it.
If you are struggling with the disorder trichotillomania Van Scoy Hair Clinics specialize in hair restoration and offer several hair replacement options to fit your needs. To schedule a free consultation call (419) 289-6665 or contact us via email by clicking here.

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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 for others.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) interrupts and resets the mental processes that lead to hair pulling. Through CBT, the patient identifies the factors that lead to the desire to pull, then learns techniques that can redirect those urges. To be effective, CBT should be performed by a qualified psychologist.

Medication

There are several medications that have been helpful for TTM patients. Among the most effective are the antidepressant clomipramine and the amino acid N-acetyl cysteine. SSRIs like Prozac have had mixed results; a few patients have reported that they stopped pulling their hair completely, while others felt no effect whatsoever.

Support Groups

Because sufferers of trichotillomania deal with debilitating of shame, support groups can be very helpful. Hair pullers may find that being in a support group helps them to focus their energies on finding an effective strategy, rather than hiding their disorder and feeling embarrassed.

Alternative Therapies

Certain hair pullers have reported success with alternative therapies like biofeedback, hypnotism or a strict regimen of diet and exercise. These methods have not been studied by scientists, so their usefulness remains in question.
Who Suffers from Trichotillomania?

Trichotillomania often begins in childhood or adolescence, but TTM symptoms can onset at any time in life. Boys and girls seem to be equally affected in childhood, but among adults, TTM appears to be more common among women.

Actress Olivia Munn has been open about suffering from Trichotillomania. In an interview for Self magazine, she speaks of the stress that brought on hair pulling. “I had it growing up, having had a little bit of a tumultuous upbringing, moving around a lot with a mixed family with five kids.” She remarked that the stress of being an actress has, at times, brought that anxiety back. “I just didn’t want to let anybody down,” she said.

Trichotillomania can affect anyone at any age. VanScoy Hair Clinics specializes in hair replacement and hair loss solutions for those who suffer from Trichotillomania. We have many options to choose from. To learn more, call us at (419) 289-6665 or click here and make an appointment online.

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Ohio Hair Restoration and  Hair Loss Treatment Specialists

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 way unbeatable or life ending.

Keep Fidgety Fingers Occupied

Giving your child’s fingers something else to do might help them resist the urge to pull out their hair.  Some of these activities include, but are not limited to; typing, needle-work, playing piano, play dough or silly putty, cooking lessons or even watercolor painting.  Find any activity they enjoy that keeps their hands focused on something else.

Coordinate a De-Stress Time

Talk with your child to try and identify specific times throughout the day where they feel the urge to pull out hair.  Sometimes this can occur right before bedtime when they are alone and feel insecure.  Playing soothing music before bed or even relaxing activities such as kid-friendly yoga or a warm bath could seriously help.

Cover Up the Hands

Utilize the “out of sight, out of mind” idea to help prevent your child from pulling hair.  Let them dress up in cool gloves to keep their fingers from wandering to the scalp.

Makeup and Beauty Products

Since hair loss can affect self-esteem in a negative way, try to help your child focus on body image in a playful, fun way.  Let your child experiment with makeup a bit if they enjoy it.  The introduction of beauty products that enhance healthy hair may also be a step in the right direction.  Let your child see that you really do care that he or she has a healthy body image as well.

Hypnotherapy

Sometimes called trichnotherapy, this method has been proven to work on its patients due to the fact that the part of the brain that is affected by trichotillomania is also near the memory center.  A good therapist can help your child do brain exercises or work with certain memories that may help to heal the mind and the body.  Hypnotherapy works to aid in assessing you child’s life and specific circumstances to really get to the root of the problem.

It is possible to fully recover from trichotillomania, and with the right communication, help, and understanding, your child will be on their way to happiness, health, and a full head of hair.  If your child suffers from trichotillomania and needs a hair replacement option to help cover up hair pulling, we are here to help.  At Van Scoy Hair Clinics we offer many options to hair replacement. We invite you to a free consultation and you can make an appointment by calling (419) 289-6665 or clicking here!

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Author Research Links
http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1909704,00.html
http://www.healthofchildren.com/I-K/Impulse-Control-Disorders.html#ixzz41wFDfthx
http://www.ibtimes.com/olivia-munn-battles-trichotillomania-five-celebs-ocd-symptoms-734128
http://www.teenvogue.com/story/how-beauty-products-help-trichotillomania
http://www.trich.org/