Body picking and hair pulling (Trichotillomania) are more common than you may think. Typically tied to anxiety responses or general anxiety concerns, it can be a way to “self-soothe,” or to make the body feel calmer.
There are two primary types:
- Dermatillomania refers to repetitively touching, scratching, rubbing, picking or digging into their skin, often in an attempt to remove small irregularities or perceived imperfections. This behavior is a type of body-focused repetitive behavior that also includes biting the insides of the cheeks, and severe nail biting.
- Trichotillomania is the repeated urge to pull out scalp hair, eyelashes, facial hair, eyebrows or other facial or body hair, sometimes resulting in noticeable bald patches.
Our treatment for Trichotillomania and body picking disorders includes talk therapy, behavioral modification, family therapy, and effective alternative treatments such as yoga therapy and mindfulness and meditation. Counseling can help you develop awareness around your stress triggers and develop healthier coping habits.
Signs and Symptoms
- wearing hats, kerchiefs or wigs
- excessive fiddling with hair
- changing in social behavior patterns
- academic decline
- avoidance of windy conditions
- preoccupation and anxiety
- avoidance of situations that would expose hair or scars
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