What is trichotillomania? | Cause, symptoms and treatment



Trichotillomania is a type of hair loss disorder in which a person likes to pull out their head hair, eyelashes and eyebrows. Insisting on plucking the hairs of these areas will not bring any results other than the appearance of bald patches and the patient’s discomfort. Sometimes patients with trichotillomania progress to such an extent that their face changes. Obsession with hair is actually a strong and uncontrollable desire that is mostly seen in women. This common disorder is a recurring mental disorder that, if not treated properly, will cause many physical and mental problems in the patient. Stay with us to learn more about the cause and treatment of this disease. What is trichotillomania? Trichotillomania is an obsessive-compulsive disease in which a person enjoys pulling hair from his skin and is unable to resist this action. In some cases, this disease worsens so much that it disrupts people’s social functioning and job. Most trichotillomania patients pull their head hair, some like to pull their eyelashes, eyebrows, beards and mustaches. This disease can be controllable or uncontrollable, even sometimes the person’s disease progresses so much that he tends to eat the plucked hair. This disorder is called trichophagia and causes serious damage to the digestive system. Trichotillomania sufferers mostly suffer from this disorder during puberty and adolescence between the ages of 9 and 13. According to recent research, about 2% of adults and adolescents are affected by this mental illness. Hair pulling has even been observed in infants. Of course, most of the time these behaviors disappear during growth. Fortunately, today there are effective solutions and treatment methods to solve this disorder, which we will mention in this article. Signs and Symptoms of Trichotillomania Trichotillomania is diagnosed by its symptoms, in fact there is no specific test to diagnose this disorder. In most cases, the doctor may refer him to a psychiatrist based on the clinical symptoms of the person. With the help of multiple sessions, the therapist determines whether the person has this obsessive disorder or not! Like any other disease, trichotillomania has symptoms and signs. Hair pulling can happen in many ways, some people pull their hair centrally to get rid of the urge to pull. Sometimes people may develop certain rituals for hair pulling. This disorder sometimes even becomes involuntary. That is, the patient pulls his hair while thinking, watching TV or reading, without being aware of it. In the following, we intend to fully familiarize you with these symptoms. The important and common symptoms of trichotillomania are one of the most important causes of this disease, which is constant hair pulling and plucking. This eventually leads to severe hair loss and local baldness. Hair pulling may be summed up in a variety of behaviors, for example, the patient may target a specific type of hair or like to pull hair in a specific way. Other symptoms of the disease include: resistance to cutting hair, the patient’s feeling of pleasure and relaxation when pulling hair, and an increase in his tension and anxiety before pulling hair or when he tries to pull hair. Other symptoms of this disease are significant hair loss and the appearance of bald areas on the scalp or other parts of the body. Biting, chewing, or eating pulled or pulled hair with the teeth (trichophagia, or hair eating). Playing with pulled hair and rubbing it on the face and lips are other common symptoms of trichotillomania. Lack of control over this psychological and unconscious behavior and unsuccessful efforts to stop it. Discomfort and various problems at work or school and any other social situation related to hair pulling. Sometimes pulling the hair of pets, dolls and clothes and blankets can be symptoms of this disease. Hiding this disorder from other people and doing it alone is another symptom of this disease. Itching or burning in the area where the hair was pulled out. Feeling the need for repetitive behaviors such as wrapping hair around one’s finger is another symptom of this disease. The most important causes of trichotillomania The main cause of trichotillomania has not yet been determined exactly. Research has shown that the function of the part of the brain that is responsible for controlling emotions and habits may change due to negative emotions such as anxiety, stress, tension, frustration, etc. In this case, the person tries to reduce his stress and fatigue with impulsive behaviors such as pulling hair. Usually, people pull their hair only when they have negative feelings. In general, the factors that increase the risk of hair pulling disorder in people include the following: Age: As mentioned, the initial symptoms of trichotillomania usually appear in early adolescence between the ages of 10 and 13. These symptoms may sometimes show themselves permanently or during anxiety in adulthood. Other mental illnesses: Patients with trichotillomania sometimes suffer from other mental illnesses such as nail biting, lip smacking, anxiety, depression, or obsessive compulsive disorder, which is considered a factor for aggravating the illness in a person. Stress: severe stress such as family problems, social problems, loneliness, being mistreated or the death of loved ones, etc. are all factors for the occurrence of trichotillomania. Genetic history: Trichotillomania in some people is the result of genetic history in first degree relatives. In other words, if the patient’s parents or siblings are suffering from this disorder, this issue also affects the person’s disease. Trauma related to childhood: According to the research and claims of the American National Organization for Rare Diseases, people who suffered social and emotional trauma in childhood are more prone to trichotillomania. Complications of Trichotillomania The first complication that occurs in this category of patients is distress and feelings of shame. Even sometimes these people turn to drugs and alcohol due to their condition. If this disease is not treated, it may cause many problems for the person in the society in terms of social functioning. Baldness and abnormal appearance may cause the patient’s depression and anxiety to become more acute, and finally his madness. Considering that some sufferers eat their hair while pulling it, this behavior may cause the formation of hairball inside the stomach and trichobezoar. The formation of hairballs in the stomach leads to severe digestive damage and causes complications such as weight loss, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, intestinal obstruction and anemia. Social withdrawal is another side effect of not treating trichotillomania. Continuous pulling and plucking of hair in the long term causes all kinds of wounds and decreases hair growth and ultimately targets the person’s beauty. The American Psychological Association believes that trichotillomania is in the category of obsessive-compulsive disorders and as an impulse control disorder causes anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, inattention, and hyperactivity in people. Prevention methods of trichotillomania Currently, there is no proven method to prevent this disease, and only treatment in the early stages of the disease can be effective in eliminating or improving it. Since stress is one of the important and effective factors in the development of this disease; Therefore, people can prevent the symptoms of this disorder to a large extent by learning stress management methods. Unfortunately, most people with trichotillomania are unwilling to seek treatment and never seek treatment, which makes the disease worse. Also, some sufferers do not even know that their problem can be treated and diagnosed; So they hide it and pretend they don’t have a problem. According to this group of people, plucking hair is just a kind of bad habit that should be abandoned. But you should know that behavioral therapy approaches and special drugs can help these patients improve in the shortest possible time. Behavior therapy Behavior therapy and psychological treatments can greatly reduce the symptoms of trichotillomania in patients. Habit reversal is one type of behavioral therapy, also known as HRT. In this method, the most important treatment for trichotillomania is that instead of pulling hair, the person performs other alternative behaviors such as fisting the fingers. Another method of behavioral therapy is therapy based on acceptance and commitment. In this method, the patient must accept the factors that trigger the disease, such as stress, without pulling out the hair, and in this way cope with the desire to pull out the hair. In another type of behavioral therapy, which is known as cognitive behavioral therapy, the patient identifies and changes the beliefs that lead to trichotillomania with the help of his doctor. Drug treatments Currently, there is no specific drug that has been developed exclusively to treat obsessive hair pulling. But with the help of antidepressants, amino acetylcysteine ​​(NAC) supplements, typical antipsychotics (antipsychotic drugs) and other similar drugs prescribed by the doctor, this disease can be controlled and its symptoms can be improved. Note that the use of psychiatric drugs, without a doctor’s prescription, will most of the time lead to adverse and irreparable results; Therefore, to start the treatment process, it is recommended to visit the doctor first so that he can prescribe the right medicine based on your conditions and symptoms. What can we do for treatment? As you read in this article, trichotillomania is a type of obsessive hair pulling disorder that, if not taken care of, may cause complications such as baldness. Today, new treatment methods have been created to reduce the symptoms of this disease, each of which is effective to a large extent according to the patient’s condition. In the first step, the patient should see a psychiatrist or psychologist for examination and definitive diagnosis. In addition to treating this disease and reducing its symptoms, the doctor must also think of a solution to the problem of hair loss in areas such as the head, eyelashes and eyebrows. Usually, with the help of an experienced consultant or therapist, the most effective treatment method to restore the patient’s beauty is investigated. Most of the time, doctors use compensatory solutions such as hair mesotherapy, hair transplantation and eyebrow transplantation to solve the problem of baldness or thinning of their hair. You can benefit from the free consultation of the White House Clinic for your hair and eyebrow transplant with the best quality and price. Undoubtedly, performing beauty services under the supervision of skilled and experienced professionals is very important. 021-54503 (special line) 021-88870480 (direct line) 09122252731 (consultation and photo sending) When should trichotillomania patients see a doctor? When you cannot suppress the habit of pulling your hair easily, or you are ashamed, anxious, depressed, and distressed because of pulling your hair, and you feel uncomfortable, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible and discuss your problem with him. share Pay attention that trichotillomania is not just a bad habit, but it is a disorder and a mental illness that if no effort is made to improve it, it will bring irreparable consequences for the patient. In the following, we will briefly mention these complications. In trichotillomania disease, what are the necessary preparations when visiting a doctor? Before you visit your doctor, it is better to make a list of all the symptoms you have in this field so that the doctor can diagnose the disease process better and faster. Determine for yourself what factors make you worse and what is the main cause of hair pulling in you? Try to describe all the personal information of your life to the doctor. Is pulling hair effective in social relations? Yes, the percentage; Hair pulling aggravates other mental disorders, and on the other hand, due to creating an untidy appearance for the patient, it is highly influential in his social relations at work, school and other environments. When does hair pulling or plucking become more severe? This issue completely depends on the patient’s condition, but research has shown that anxiety, discomfort and stress are the main factors that aggravate this disease. What are the common treatments for trichotillomania? In most cases, after examining the symptoms of the patient, the doctor starts the treatment with the help of behavioral therapy and drug therapy. Can trichotillomania be treated without seeing a doctor? This disease is not only a bad behavior or a habit, and its treatment and recovery requires a lot of expertise and experience of the doctor, prescribing appropriate drugs and using special treatment methods such as: reverse education, recognition of treatment, acceptance and commitment to treatment, etc.

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