Overcome trichotillomania (hair pulling) in Falmouth, Truro and Cornwall
What is trichotillomania?
Trichotillomania or hair pulling is an anxiety related problem where the individual pulls at, or pulls out hair. This is commonly eyelashes, eyebrows or the hair on their head. For men this may also be their beard.
Trichotillomania can often lead to the removal of all eyelashes or eyebrows, or both. In addition, it can also lead to bald patches or severe baldness for those that pull the hair on their heads.
What causes trichotillomania/hair pulling?
Trichotillomania is a symptom of anxiety and the action of pulling out the hair provides a momentary release from the anxiety. Individuals with hair pulling think in an obsessive and compulsive way. This means that they constantly think the same thing over and over - namely the thing that they are anxious about. Each time they think about the event, issue or experience they create anxiety. Because they don't like the feeling of being anxious, they will do something to get themselves away from that feeling - this is where the hair pulling comes in. Pulling their hair is a compulsive distraction from the obsessive and anxious thoughts. Unfortunately, because the obsessing continues the moment of distraction passes, anxiety builds again and the cycle can repeat.
In addition, shortly following pulling their hair they may then feel guilty and bad about having pulled more hair out and this creates another unhelpful thinking cycle which in turn can promote more pulling.
Where does anxiety start?
We create anxiety in any situation that we don't feel confident in or don't believe we can cope in. This can be due to low self-esteem, social anxiety, a feeling of being powerless and unhelpful thinking styles. When self-esteem is low, we don't have belief in ourselves, this means that we can feel powerless in situations and believe we do not have the ability to survive them. In addition, if we don't have a high opinion of ourselves we will worry what others may think of us; what we are wearing, what we have said, etc. These feelings can then be blown up and maintained by unhelpful thinking styles, meaning that a lot of anxiety is generated.
Can you stop trichotillomania/hair pulling?
Yes, by learning and understanding how anxiety is generated through different thinking styes and unstable psychological foundation stones. When this is understood it is much easier to unravel it and challenge the thinking, aswell as learn how to tolerate uncomfortable feelings or situations. Improving self esteem and a sense of being powerful is also key.
Megan had severe trichotillomania from the age of 7 years old. By the age of 9, Megan had pulled out all her eyelashes, eyebrows and hair. She constantly wore a scarf to hide her lack of hair and gave up swimming and dancing due to her social anxiety. As a last resort Megan's parents came to see Ali Scobbie and within 8 weeks Megan had stopped pulling. Ali Scobbie took Megan through The Thrive Programme to overcome trichotillomania. She is now a healthy, happy teenager.
Below is what Megan wrote as soon as she finished the programme with me.
Get in touch for a free initial consultation
If you would like to find out more about how I can help you, or you would just like to discuss your symptoms with me to get some advise, please get in touch. I offer a free, no obligation, confidential initial consultation.
Tel: 07730 777752
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