The Mayo Clinic defines trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh), also called hair-pulling disorder, as a mental disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body, despite trying to stop. Hair pulling, scratching, and picking are all signs of repetitive behavioral conditions. Research indicates 1 to 2 in 50 people experience trichotillomania at some point or sometime in their lifetime. Behaviors typically are seen in late childhood to early puberty. Childhood cases occur equally in boys and girls. Unfortunately, as we age and a child becomes an adolescent the condition becomes much more common in women.
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Hair pulling varies greatly in its location on the body, severity, response to treatment, and complexity of the condition. Without treatment, trichotillomania tends to be a chronic condition that may come and go throughout your lifetime.
Although the severity of hair pulling varies across age and gender demographics, many people with trichotillomania have noticeable hair loss that can regrow if the condition is calmed or controlled. Severe pulling and scratching can result in permanent hair loss, skin scarring and/or infections.
Trich can also be related to our emotions:
· Negative emotions: For many people with trichotillomania, hair pulling is a way of dealing with negative or uncomfortable feelings, such as stress, anxiety, tension, boredom, loneliness, fatigue or frustration.
· Positive feelings. People with trichotillomania often find that pulling out hair feels satisfying and provides a measure of relief. As a result, they continue to pull their hair to maintain these positive feelings.