Trichotillomania is a compulsive disorder
by which hair on the head or face is twisted and/or pulled
by the person until it is damaged and breaks off leaving
patches of uneven hair growth, thin hair areas or baldness.
Women and children are much more likely to have this disease
then men and symptoms usually appear before the age of 17.
The NIH predicts that up to 4 percent of the American population
might be affected by this disease. Although little is known
about this disease, the cause is usually related to mental
stress and anguish.
According to the National Institute of Health, these symptoms
are usually seen in children:
- Constant tugging, pulling, or twisting of hair
- Increasing sense of tension is present before the hair
- Sense of relief, pleasure, or gratification is reported
after the hair pulling
- Hair pulling leads to an uneven appearance
- Bare patches or diffuse loss of hair
- Hair regrowth in the bare spots that feels like stubble
- Some individuals may develop a bowel obstruction if
they eat the hair they pull out
- Other self-injury behaviors may be present
- People suffering from this disorder often deny pulling
out their hair.
Since the cause is related to the mind and stress, this
disease is more effectively treated with anti-depressants
than with direct hair growth solutions.
"Early detection remains the best form of prevention
since it leads to early treatment. Decreasing stress in
the environment might be beneficial, as stress may increase
compulsive behavior." - Medline Plus