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Anon. asked...

Trichotillomania

I have been suffering from trichotillomania for the last 10 years. It has gradually increased with time. Initially I used to pull out one or two hairs from my eyelashes but now I pull them until my full eyes have gone bald. It is very embarrassing for me. I can't go out to meet people. I am becoming depressed and my anger is increasing. Anger is increasing up to the level of suicidal attempts. I just pull out my eyelashes and when they are gone a little bit of my eyebrows and not any other area. I don't know what to do and whom to approach. I really want to come out of this and want to do great in my studies and office work. Seeking a positive reply from you. Thank you

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The answer

Thank you for question about managing trichotillomania. This condition is very distressing for you because you are experiencing a range of emotions from embarrassment and anger, to possible depression and anxiety if you are contemplating suicide.

Trichotillomania is an impulse- control disorder and is a psychological condition which can be difficult to manage because there is a ‘compulsion’ or an ‘addiction’ to pull the hair out from the head, eyebrows and eyelashes.

It is very important that you make an appointment to see your general practitioner because you are experiencing this level of distress. Your general practitioner will guide you towards finding psychological coaching and emotional support for managing this condition. This may include cognitive behavior therapy, psychotherapy and guiding you towards a support group for trichotillomania.

Your general practitioner may commence medications to deal with any underlying depression or anxiety, but there are no medications that specifically work on managing trichotillomania. The successful management of trichotillomania will require you to be persistent and vigilant at managing your compulsion to pull your hair out. To do this, you will need to gain emotional support from support organisations.

If you are contemplating suicide due to this challenging psychological condition, then you need to take urgent action to talk to friends, family and your general practitioner. Please attend Accident and Emergency if your thoughts of suicide are increasing in frequency and severity.

We hope that the following information about trichotillomania and the support groups that exist for this condition are helpful.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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