Many people with hair pulling disorder usually associate their undesirable behavior with anxiety and depression. A study was conducted with 900 participants having hair pulling disorder and the results revealed that 80% of the respondents associate trichotillomania with anxiety. Some of the participants in this study also reported that when their anxiety becomes severe their behavior of hair pulling becomes worse. So, you should also think about the reason for your trichotillomania and if it is anxiety, you can treat it with professional help.
Researchers and scientists are not sure about the reason for impulse control disorders like trichotillomania. However, it is considered that the imbalances of the chemicals in some parts of the brain probably are the reasons behind such disorders. So the stress can also be the reason for the hair pulling behavior. There can also be some genetic components involved as sometimes trichotillomania runs in families.
Structural or Functional Brain problems
It is suggested by some professionals and experts that trichotillomania is caused by functional or structural abnormalities of the brain. The study was conducted on people with trichotillomania showed that some individuals with this condition have slight changes in some specific part of the brain like in their cerebellum, putamen, and cortical regions.
There are some parts of the brain that greatly determine the extent of the susceptibility of a person towards developing habitual behaviors. The same areas of the brain tell about the ability of a person to overpower undesirable behaviors. Some researchers suggest that this disorder may be caused by imbalances in brain chemical production.
A study conducted in 2002 revealed a connection between trichotillomania and the individuals who experienced childhood trauma, or emotional neglect. This study shows that the people who suffer from trichotillomania were having higher levels of childhood trauma. Another study performed over the people having trichotillomania condition revealed that around 75 % of the studied individual has experienced a traumatic event. Further, 19% of them also qualified for a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder diagnosis.
A study proved that some people are susceptible to develop trichotillomania genetically. It means that some people have a genetic makeup that makes them more vulnerable to have trichotillomania. This study is supported by the latest research where professionals from the Duke Center for Human Genetics proved that a small number of cases with trichotillomania were developed by the gene mutation. Scientists refer to this specific gene as SLITKR1. This study involved 44 families that were tested. All families have one or more members diagnosed with trichotillomania.
To treat this order, one type of therapy has been proved to be effective i.e. the habit reversal training. The Habit reversal training help people with trichotillomania replace their undesirable acts with some other habit that doesn’t cause harm. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy also helps people suffering from hair pulling condition. If you or anyone you know is going through hair pulling disorder, you better seek help from a professional.