What is Hair Pulling Disease?

Trichotillomania, is a medical condition better known as hair pulling disease. Symptoms of Trichotillomania (often misspelled as Tricholomania) include an irresistible and impulsive urge to pull out body hair. People with this disorder pull hair out of their eyelashes, eyebrows, scalp or other areas of the body. Sometimes they unconsciously pull hair out and place it in their mouth. Although they are harming themselves most feel helpless to stop it.

Some sufferers have described a common pattern that can be explained in two steps:

1. Immediately before hair pulling begins they feel intense tension or stress.

2. After hair pulling they feel an immediate sense of pleasure and relief.

The cycle is often repeated and the behavior may become addictive likely due to the sense of pleasure experienced.

No one knows for certain the exact cause of hair pulling disease but it is believed the condition involves both brain chemicals (called neurotransmitters that can control impulses) and/or behavioral factors.

Although hair-pulling disease (or Trichotillomania) hasn’t received a lot of exposure it’s obviously a condition of concern for those who suffer with it. An Internet search for the word “Trichotillomania” reveals over a half million listings on the subject so there must be a lot of people with the problem.

Sufferers of hair pulling disease are understandably embarrassed and usually don’t willingly reveal the problem to anyone. Their reluctance to talk about it makes it more difficult for them to get the help they need. When they do seek help it’s in the form of therapy, dermatology and medication or a combination with varying degrees of success. Others have found success with an alternative therapy that focuses on the cause and not the effect by reconditioning the nervous system to eliminate the thoughts and compulsions.

Regardless of its’ cause Trichotillomania or the hair pulling disease is a documented medical condition and its’ sufferers should not be ashamed or afraid to seek help.



Source by Frances Robinson

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