Trichotillomania is a word that most people have no idea what it means, and have no idea even how to pronounce it. But for thousands of people who have this condition, the behavior can have devastating effects in their life. Trichotillomania (TTM or Trich) is a disorder in which the person is compulsively pulling their hair. This can occur anywhere on the body. Some of the most common areas pulled are the eyelashes, eyebrows, and the scalp. Over the years it has been called a condition, an addiction, a habit, or an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Lately therapists are catagorizing it as a “body focused repetitive behavior”. No one knows what really causes Trich. It can occur at any age, although most of the time it starts in grade school. It appears that stress, anxiety, and feeling out of control can cause Trich to occur. It is also thought that the pulling reduces stress and can be soothing at the time, although the hair loss results in more stress and anxiety. Children who have Trich soon begin to feel afraid of what others will think, and fear being found out. They look for ways to cover the areas without hair with hats, scarves, glasses, wigs and long sleeves. As the problem worsens they begin to feel guilt, shame, and of course different than the other kids, at a time when the child just wants to fit in. I have had clients that range from 8 years of age to clients in their 50’s (who were pulling since childhood). In each case traumatic or stressful events precipitated the pulling. I have found hypnosis to be extremely powerful in reducing and completely stopping the pulling. If you or someone you know has this problem that is controlling your life, consider hypnosis, it can be a life changing experience.
Archive for Trichotillamania Hair Plucking
Children are very easy to hypnotize, as they are in unintentional hypnosis until about eight years old. Then they start to develop their conscious mind and they begin to add logic and reasoning to what is happening around them. Even after the age of eight or nine they continue to go in and out of hypnosis easily until their teenage years. If the child is in a stressful situation or home life they will stay in unintentional hypnosis even longer. Before they develop their conscious mind what they hear, see or react to is true for them. They have no way to protect themselves emotionally. Many children will begin to exhibit unwanted habits and behaviors to help them deal with stress. This could include nail biting, hair pulling, nightmares, bed wetting, weight problems, low self esteem, and exaggerated fears and anxieties. Hypnosis can help with these problems and much more including attention and behavioral difficulties. Children are a joy to work with and the results can be extremely powerful for them and those around them.