Do you have sudden, irresistible urges to pull out your hair from your eyebrows, scalp, eyelids or anywhere else? You may be suffering from Trichotillomania. It is a type of impulse control disorder.
It is a disorder that is more common in females than males. About one to two percent of adults are dealing with this chronic condition. It can affect people of any ages, but the onset is usually after puberty. It is not continuous, but it comes and goes. It may stay for a few weeks, months or years.
The intensity of it depends from individual to individual. It may be manageable or very overwhelming.
Some people pull out handfuls of hair, which can cause patchy bald spots that lead to distress. They might also just pull out a single strand at a time. Most of these people will put the hair in their mouth after.
They might be aware of it or they might be doing it absent-mindedly. It gives them brief satisfaction when they have pulled out the hair. People with this disorder do their best to hide it. This may be because they feel embarrassed, ashamed of their disorder. They even try to hide it from others, which makes it harder for them to get help.
It may be caused due to genetic factors, having other disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety or depression. It may be caused by stress in the individual's life. No one is sure exactly what causes trichotillomania.
If you want to know whether you have it, then here are just a few of the symptoms.
It is a recurrent pulling out hair that leads to visible hair loss. You will feel tension before and satisfaction after you pull out the hair. You have tried to stop but nothing has worked. The distress caused by it is affecting your social and occupational life. There are rituals involved in your hair-pulling like pulling the hair out in a very specific way. You play with the hair that you have pulled out such as chewing or biting it.
If you think you are suffering from it, then it would be best to go to a doctor. The treatments include therapy or medication, and a psychiatrist would best able to help you determine what you need. Remember that it is not just a bad habit, it is a mental disorder and getting help is necessary.