Why Do I Like Pulling My Hair And How To Stop It?

“Why do I like pulling my hair and how to stop it?” If you are wondering around with this then the simple answer is “it is not your fault; it is because you are probably suffering from a disorder called as Trichotillomania.” In this article we will talk about the condition known as Trichotillomania where the person affected is compulsive enough by self to pull out his or her hair. To know more about this and to find out the solutions for your problem kindly go through the article.

Why Do I Like Pulling My Hair And How To Stop It?

Why Do I Like Pulling My Hair or What is Trichotillomania?

As mentioned above; if you show a serious urge in pulling out hair then you must be suffering from the condition of Trichotillomania which is an impulse control disorder where one experiences a strong and uncontrollable urge to pull out his or her hair; especially from scalp, eyelashes and eyebrows. This can lead to hair loss and balding, and also social and functional impairment. This is also known by the names Trichotillosis or hair pulling disorder. It actually is a chronic mental and behavioural disorder which is difficult to treat. Exact cause is not well known, but depression and stress may trigger this condition where you might feel pulling hairs out.

Pulling out of hair can get relaxation, comfort and feel good; especially when one meets with anxiety, boredom, stress or avoidance. However, it must also be noted that even though pulling out of hair may bring some positive feelings in the initial time, it may be followed by disappointment, self- blame and despair later. Even infants may suffer from such a disorder; however the peak age of onset is nine years to thirteen years. Though this habit of pulling hair out may have started at a young age, by the time you know about it in real this often has become a strong habit or an addiction just like smoking.

If you feel it is only you who is feeling like pulling hair out, then for your information it must be mentioned that about 1 in 30 persons suffer from this condition. In United States it is noted that about 2.5 millions of people suffer from Trichotillomania where they have an irresistible urge to pull their hair out. Encouragement, support and love from known ones may help people suffering from such a disorder.

Symptoms of Trichotillomania

There may also be some other symptoms present along with pulling out hair if you suffer from Trichotillomania. You can know about your condition well from the following symptoms.

  • You must be in very much stress or may feel extremely tensed before pulling your hair
  • There may be distress in your professional, personal and social life because of hair pulling
  • You must be having bare patches in the places from where you have pulled out your hair
  • There must be satisfied feeling while pulling your hair out.
  • You might also be showing some typical behaviour like detecting the hair root, placing your hair in between the teeth etc.
  • Hair pulling may also be accompanied by chewing or eating of hair.
  • Depression and anxiety may also be present.

How to Stop Pulling Hair or What is the Treatment for Trichotillomania?

It is obvious you must be looking to know about ways to treat or manage your condition where you feel like pulling your hair out. So, here is what you will know about how to stop pulling out of hair in Trichotillomania.

It is true that many patient with such a disorder hide or deny about their condition where they feeling like pulling out their hair. In such cases, diagnosis would become difficult. However, if you admit that you feel like pulling you hair and tell about various other symptoms you experience or notice in you then diagnosis becomes easy. There are no specific tests for diagnosing Trichotillomania. So, if you are feeling like pulling your hair out then your doctor/ psychiatrist/Psychologist may look at various other symptoms in you, will interview you and confirm about your condition.

Now, coming to the treatments for your condition we must say that treating Trichotillomania is pretty difficult; however some psychotherapy treatments are available which will help you in managing the urge of pulling your hair out.

Psychotherapy can help you improve well and reduce the symptoms of hair pulling. A type of behaviour therapy known as HRT or Habit reversal training is recorded as the treatment procedure with highest success rate in treating Trichotillomania. Here you will be learning about how to recognise the impulse to pull hair and also will learn how to redirect the impulse. Apart from this, ACT or Acceptance and Commitment therapy is known to be helpful to stop pulling hair. However, it must be noted that Hypnosis or Biofeedback cognitive behavioural methods may increase the symptoms.

There are no medications for treating Trichotillomania, approved by the United States FDA or Food and Drug Administration. Many medications may also increase the symptoms of hair pulling. However, some medicines which are known to show some effect in treating this condition of hair pulling include a Tricyclic antidepressant known as Clomipramine, Naltrexone etc. However, as mentioned earlier, there are no approved medications for Trichotillomania; it is mostly not a preferred way to treat you pulling out of hair by medicines.

If you are suffering from this condition where you feel like pulling out your hair then it is always better to go for a proper diagnosis and follow the prescribed treatments from the doctor.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 28, 2019

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