Trichotillomania is a complex mental health condition. It often starts during childhood or adolescence. Its can result in hair loss and scars, depression, and anxiety.
It is essential to have open and honest communication with your therapist and any other professionals who are helping treat your symptoms. They may make uncomfortable or distressing recommendations, but it is essential to stick with them.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Trichotillomania is a treatable mental health condition. Talking to a family doctor or mental health professional is the first step.
The main treatment for trichotillomania is cognitive behavioral therapy. It includes habit reversal training and stimulus control techniques. It also helps people understand why they pull their hair. Being honest with your therapist about what triggers the behavior is essential.
Other trichotillomania therapy includes mindfulness and acceptance, and commitment therapy. These are similar to CBT but focus on noticing thoughts and feelings, including unpleasant ones, without self-judgment.
It’s also essential to practice good coping skills. If you have a relapse, discussing it with your therapist is essential. Then create a new plan to deal with the urges. You can also try relaxation exercises like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and autogenic training. If you’re uncomfortable discussing your relapse with someone, consider joining a support group. It can be a great way to discover how other people deal with trichotillomania.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT is a psychological intervention that relies on empirical evidence and incorporates mindfulness and behavioral change techniques. Specifically, it helps you to increase your psychological flexibility by learning critical strategies like cognitive defusion (learning how to separate thoughts and feelings from a sense of self) and acceptance (allowing painful feelings and unhelpful thoughts to exist without fighting them).
In addition, therapists in the ACT community encourage clients to identify their values and set meaningful goals. They teach them to commit to acting in service of those values – even if the goal is challenging or uncomfortable.
ACT helps you to see that you can take steps toward the life you want, despite your struggles with trichotillomania. This can help you to replace negative coping skills like hair pulling with more helpful behaviors, such as engaging in healthy relationships or taking control of your finances. By the way, reducing daily stress levels also has been shown to reduce trichotillomania symptoms.
If you or someone you know is struggling with trichotillomania, seeking help is essential. The earlier treatment starts, the greater chance for symptom relief.
Trichotillomania is a disorder involving repetitive behavior focused on the body (BFRB). It is characterized by compulsively pulling hair from one’s head for non-cosmetic reasons. It often co-occurs with other mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, and addictions.
To diagnose TTM, your doctor will ask about your medical history and examine the affected areas. Then, they’ll use the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria to determine whether you meet all the symptoms necessary for diagnosis.
Remember that it can be challenging for individuals with TTM to stick with their therapy plan. Communication and support from loved ones make the journey easier.
As the primary treatment for trichotillomania, medication is essential in most therapy plans. Medication is typically used to treat underlying anxiety disorders and other conditions that may contribute to trichotillomania, such as depression and a history of substance use.
Patients often report high levels of distress and embarrassment due to their hair-pulling behaviors, which can have severe social and occupational consequences. Some people chew or swallow their hair, leading to dental and digestive problems.
A therapist can help identify negative thoughts and feelings associated with hair-pulling behavior and teach skills to replace the pulling behavior. For example, therapists can help you learn to use person-first language, which empowers you to take control of your behavior instead of feeling powerless over it. Changing how you speak to yourself can also reduce internal and external stigma related to your condition. Keeping appointments with your therapist and following the treatment plan is critical to seeing progress.
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