Trichotillomania Specialist

Advanced Mental Health Care Inc.

Psychiatrists & Psychologists located in Palm Beach, FL & Royal Palm Beach, FL

Also called hair-pulling disorder, trichotillomania is a mental disorder that causes an irresistible urge to pull out your hair. If you’ve been experiencing this urge and don’t know where to turn, contact the expert team at Advanced Mental Health Care. They provide individualized treatment plans to patients in the Greater Palm Beach, Florida, area. Call today or book an appointment online.

Trichotillomania Q & A

What is trichotillomania?

Trichotillomania is a disorder characterized by the urge to pull your hair from your scalp, eyebrows, or other parts of your body. It can result in embarrassing bald spots, cause significant stress, and interfere with your life. People with the hair-pulling disorder often try to stop but can't. Symptoms of trichotillomania include:

  • Repeatedly pulling your hair out
  • Sense of tension before pulling
  • Pleasure or relief when hair is pulled
  • Noticeable hair loss
  • Biting, chewing, or eating pulled out hair

For some people, the action is focused, meaning they intentionally pull out their hair to relieve stress or because they have developed a ritual of pulling it out. For others, it’s something they do without even thinking about it.

What causes trichotillomania?

Hair-pulling disorder is complex and without a clear cause. It’s most likely a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Researchers believe family history, age, other disorders such as depression, and stress may all contribute.

Trichotillomania is typically connected to either negative emotions or positive feelings. Patients with this disorder feel a sense of satisfaction when they pull out their hair. Others do it as a way of dealing with negative emotions like anxiety, tension, boredom, or loneliness.

Hair-pulling disorder can cause significant complications in your life, including:

  • Emotional distress
  • Social or work problems
  • Skin and hair damage
  • Hairballs

Trichotillomania usually develops in young people between 10 and 13 years old who have a family history of the disease.

How is hair-pulling disorder treated?

Your physician at Advanced Mental Health Care takes your medical history and discusses your symptoms with you. Once your doctor determines you have trichotillomania, you’ll begin treatment, including:

  • Habit reversal training: helps you recognize situations where you’re likely to be tempted and helps you to substitute those behaviors

  • Cognitive therapy: examines your beliefs in relation to hair-pulling to find correlations and solve distorted beliefs
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy: helps you to accept your urges, but keeps you from acting on them

If you have hair-pulling disorder, treatment is available. Contact Advanced Mental Health Care today so they can start a treatment plan to help you manage your symptoms.