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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: I have trichotillomania for up to 15 years and can't stop

 Miss.creative - Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:07 pm

Dear Doctor

I have a problem which known as Trichotillomania. I began picking off my hair from its roots when I was 14. I did not stop since that time and I usually do it while I'm thinking, when I'm worried, stressed, sad and nervous sometimes. However, I think its becoming a habit as well. Now I'm 27 and I have a horrible hair, I have many and wide bald areas on my scalp which affect the look of my hair and makes me sad and shy from other girls. When I see other girls' hair, beautiful and normal, I feel so sad and upset, I feel like I'm young but with an old hair look.

I couldn't stop this bad habit until now. I'm trying and when the I stop it for a while (not more than two weeks) I start picking my hair off and leave the bald areas becoming worse and more obvious. I bought a wig and used it two times, but never again because I felt I'm faked.

I'm so sad for what's happening with me. I'm mature enough to understand that this is wrong and have to be stopped and it makes my hair ugly and avoid meeting people and spend long time with them.

I really need a help and support. What should I do? Is there any technique that might help me stop this? Do I need to see a psychiatric ? And is there any useful book which can help me through this.

Even I have many hobbies, friends, I'm social person, and studying at the mean time, I still can't stop it. To be honest, picking off my hair makes me feel better, it's like I'm steaming off my stress and anger by doing it

Thank you

 Dr.M.jagesh kamath - Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:28 am

User avatar Hello,trichitillomania also known as pyschogenic traction alopecia and charecterized by the person pulling the hairs of scalp,beard,or even the pubic hair.The hair would get fragmented at different levels leading to patchy alopecia with broken hairs.When enquired patient may refuse pulling hairs.
In a few the hair may be swallowed and is known as Trichophagia.The swallowed hair known as trichobezoar could obstruct the intestines.
The treatment would include antidepressants and behavioural therapy .BT is the preffered treatment.
All the best and wishing you speedy recovery.

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