Trichotillomania, commonly known as hair-pulling condition, is a mental disease in which persons experience uncontrollable cravings to take out hair from their scalp, brows, or other parts of their bodies. This procedure frequently creates patchy bald areas on the head, as well as feelings of guilt, humiliation, and extreme emotional suffering, especially in people who are attempting to conceal their illness. People who suffer from trichotillomania frequently remove hair off their scalp with their fingers, tweezers, or brushes.They can like pulling out their hair and wiping it across their faces. Hair pulling can cause patchy baldness or the loss of eyelashes and eyebrows. Trichotillomania is more common in women than in males, and it generally begins in adolescence.
The specific aetiology of trichotillomania, which is classed as an impulse control disease, is unknown. Individuals with trichotillomania cannot resist the temptation to do something even if it is detrimental to themselves or others. Trichotillomania, like many other complex illnesses, may be caused by a mix of hereditary and environmental causes. The abnormal release of natural brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine may potentially contribute to the development of trichotillomania. Depression, anxiety, and poor self-esteem are all common symptoms of trichotillomania.
The uncontrollable need to remove hair from the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes is the most common sign of trichotillomania, but it can affect any portion of the body with hair. The majority of persons with trichotillomania pluck their hair in solitude and try to hide their disease from others. Additional trichotillomania symptoms include:
- Hair loss in patches or bald places
- Eyebrows or eyelashes that are thin or absent
- Hair that is constantly tugged, pulled, or twisted
- Taking part in other self-destructive behaviours
Psychotherapy is the most common treatment for trichotillomania. To assist manage the impulse to take out hair, cognitive behavioural therapy can be combined with habit reversal training. Cognitive behavioural therapy enables a person to recognise and replace unhealthy, negative attitudes and habits with healthy, good ones. Antidepressants are one type of medication that can be used to treat trichotillomania. Individuals who are seeking to stop the behaviours linked with trichotillomania may benefit from joining a support group.
Dr. Rameez Shaikh (MBBS, MD, MIPS) is a consultant Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist in Nagpur and works at Mind & Mood Clinic. He believes that faith-based treatment, encompassing spiritual, physical, and mental health, will provide you with the long-lasting knowledge and tool to find happiness and wholeness again. In his spare time, he’s an aspiring singer and writer.