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Trichotillomania & Body Picking Disorders

Trichotillomania and body picking disorders are more common than you think.  (TTM), or “trich” (pronounced “trick”) as it is commonly known, is an impulse control disorder characterized by the repeated urge to pull out scalp hair, eyelashes, facial hair, eyebrows or other facial or body hair, sometimes resulting in noticeable bald patches.

Trichotillomania is classified in the DSM-IV as an impulse control disorder, but there are still questions about how it should be classified. It may seem, at times, to resemble a habit, an addiction, a tic disorder or an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

TTM seems to strike most frequently in the pre- or early adolescent years. The typical first-time hair puller is 12 years old, although TTM has affected people as young as one and as old as seventy.

Onset of TTM usually occurs between 9-11 years old. It can be triggered by simple sensory events such as itchy eyelashes, or seeing an eyelash or hair bulb. Pulling usually occurs while reading, writing, working on the computer, talking on the phone, taking tests, watching tv or falling asleep.
Pulling is not always conscience.

Signs & Symptoms Of Trichotillomania :

  • wearing hats, kerchiefs or wigs
  • increase in a girls makeup
  • excessive fiddling with hair
  • preoccupation and anxiety
  • academic decline
  • avoidance of windy conditions
  • avoidance of situations that would expose hair or scars
  • changes in social behavior patterns

Body Picking & Hair Pulling

People with Chronic Skin Picking (CSP) repetitively touch, scratch, rub, pick at or dig inot their skin, often in an attempt to remove small irregularities or perceived imperfections.  This behavior is a type of body-focused repetitive behaviors which also include hair pulling, biting the insides of the cheeks, and severe nail biting.

Trichotillomania and body picking counseling at LifeWorks can help! Our programming for trichotillomania and body picking disorders includes talk therapy, behavioral modification, family therapy, yoga therapy and mindfulness and meditation.

Recovery is within reach!!

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