People are working longer and harder than ever before, which is one of the reasons why cases of clinical anxiety are increasing throughout the Western world. And with more anxiety comes more cases of trichotillomania. It is therefore essential that people know the signs of the disorder — and that help is available.
While a doctor or specialist will provide a definitive diagnosis of the condition, self-diagnosis is relatively straightforward. The main symptom is a considerable urge to pull hair out. Most sufferers also report a sudden sense of relief immediately afterward.
According to the NHS, the most common causes of trichotillomania are anxiety and stress. People with undiagnosed or untreated mental health problems are at an increased risk of developing the disorder.
As hair loss progresses, anxiety and stress increase further — and the sufferer can soon spiral into a self-perpetuating cycle of self-harm. Most sufferers will need some form of medical intervention.
Treating Anxiety-Related Trichotillomania
Treatment of the condition usually involves counseling. However, serious cases sometimes require cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). As part of a CBT program, sufferers may be asked to keep a diary of “episodes” and look for triggers. Over time, people can recognize their own triggers and substitute hair pulling for another activity — such as squeezing a stress ball.
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