Trichotillomania is a repeated, prolonged urge to pull hair. Generally, it begins in the teenage years and can stay for a lifetime. This chronic compulsive hair pulling causes major physical and emotional distress mostly causing sufferers to socially isolate themselves due to the fear of being judged.
The symptoms of eyebrows picking, eyelashes picking, skin picking, nail-biting, hair thinning, hair loss, and itchy scalp. Although there is no cure for this ailment, it can be managed successfully. To deal with this disorder, behavioral therapy by a professional body-focused repetitive behavior physician could be a great way. In this article, we will talk about the ways you can use to manage trichotillomania on your own.
Identify the trends in your pulling behavior
The very first step towards the effective treatment of trichotillomania is increasing awareness. Recognizing pulling behavior involves tracking the pattern of hair-pulling. One of the good ways to keep track is through having a hair-pulling journal to record the following things for each hair pulling event:
· The location where hair pulling happens
· The time when pulling event happens
· How long does this pulling episode last?
· What do you feel when you begin?
· What causes you to stop hair pulling?
· What were your feelings, when you are done?
Keep the records for over a week and review them to find out patterns.
A trigger is any external or internal signal that happens just before hair pulling. External cues may include situations, places, or people and internal cues can be physiological sensations, thoughts, or emotional conditions. Mostly there is a pattern not just in pulling trends but also in the triggers.
Some triggers can be easily identified while others may be vague. For instance, stress and anxiety are well-known triggers for individuals who fight with hair pulling. Everyone experiences differently, some pull hair to relieve stress and anxiety then feel relax after the hair-pulling episode. Others may pull to divert attention from stress and anxiety.
You are not required to know the reason for hair pulling to deal with the situation. Here the goal is to know the trigger so that you can reorient yourself to respond to these triggers healthily.