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Trichotillomania is a mystery, but it is neither a Mania nor a Madness
Trichotillomania is a body focused repetitive behavior which compels some people to pull out their hair. We are here to help anyone with a body focused repetitive behavior. Perfectly naturally, many people with these conditions feel that they just can't stop but stopping IS possible and we are here for support and treatment. Trichotillomania can include pulling hair from scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, body hair or any combination. There are many different types of trichotillomania, including Sleep-Isolated Trichotillomania, which occurs during sleep and Trichophagia which includes eating the hair. As there are sometimes ritual behaviours associated with the hair pulling, such as rubbing hairs on lips or collecting hair roots, this was previously thought to be an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD. Trichotillomania affects between 1-3% of the population and is thought to affect more women than men.
Whether you are here for yourself or for someone else, you may be affected by someone who pulls hair, so do know that we are here to support you in this. You might say we are in this together.
Hair pulling may start at around age 11 years, although baby tric begins much earlier. Hair pulling has been known to also start later in life and can affect all ages. The effects of pulling can vary from un-noticeable to complete hair-loss, the disorder can also affect self-esteem and lifestyle.
Terminology and pronunciation ... although trichotillomania is correctly pronounced TRY-KO-TILLOMANIA, here we drop the mania and refer to it as tric. We call people with the disorder tricsters and the many people here who are long-term pull free, tricSTARS.
Trichotillomania is not mania or madness, but a prevalent body focused condition which can be overcome. It is almost certain that there is a genetic element to the condition, and we are still learning about this alongside you. Diet is thought to affect pulling and in our research we find that most people can modify their diet to reduce their hairpulling.
Some people with trichotillomania experience urges before pulling and these are often described as itching or pricking. Urges may also be thoughts, such as "this hair needs to come out" or images of hairs or hair roots.
There is much support available here for those who wish to become free from hair pulling. The resources available on the share section of the site, include our message boards, buddying, coaching and advice.
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