- What is it?
- DIY self diagnosis
- How we can help
- Trichotillomania – Barbara’s Story
- Want to know more?
- Personal experiences
The main feature of trichotillomania is the recurrent pulling out of the individual’s own hair which results in noticeable hair loss. Sites of hair puling may include any region of the body in which hair may grow, the most common sites being the scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes. Stressful circumstances frequently increase hair pulling behaviour, but increased hair puling also occurs in states of relaxation and distraction (e.g. reading a book or watching television).
In order to get a diagnosis of trichotillomania you will need to display the following symptoms:
- Reccurrent pulling out of one’s hair resulting in noticable hair loss
- An increasing sense of tension immediately before pulling out the hair or when attempting to resist the behaviour
- Pleasure, gratification or relief when pulling out the hair
Having pulled out hair from any area of the body, the tension and anxiety that sufferers of trichotillomania experience is relieved.
DIY self diagnosis
If you can answer YES to most of the questions it is likely that you are affected by trichotillomania.
- Have you pulled at your hair/nails/eyelashes because of experiencing feelings of anxiety?
- Have you found that the anxiety you experience is relieved by pulling out your hair/picking your skin or nails?
Anxiety UK strongly advises that people seek further information and guidance from their GP who will be able to make a formal diagnosis.
Trichotillomania Fact Sheet
To find out more information about trichotillomania, click here to download a copy of our fact sheet.
How we can help
Anxiety UK is a user-led charity with more than forty years experience in supporting those living with anxiety. By becoming a member of Anxiety UK, you will have access to a range of benefits, including:
- Access to reduced cost therapy within two weeks of submitting your therapy request
- Access to our helpline (available Monday-Friday, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm) staffed by volunteers with personal experience of anxiety
- Receipt of four issues of Anxious Times, our quarterly members” magazine
- Access to the members only section of our website, featuring regular support surgeries facilitated by anxiety experts
- Access to specialist helplines, including the psychiatric pharmacy helpline and the psychology information helpline
And many, many other benefits that will help you manage your anxiety long term. To become a member of Anxiety UK click here or ring 08444 775 774 today.
Trichotillomania – Barbara’s Story
Want to know more?
The Anxiety UK site has information on a range of resources to provide more detailed information and help.
Anxiety UK Publications
Anxiety UK publishes a fact sheet and tapes dealing with trichotillomania available from the Anxiety UK online shop
“The hair pulling problem: A complete guide to trichotillomania”, by Dr Fred Penzel
This is a guide to the syndrome, filled with reassuring advice for patients and their families. Endorsed by the Trichotillomania Learning Center, the handbook includes all the information a patient or relative needs to understand the illness and to cope with it.
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Do you suffer from trichotillomania and want to share your experience with other people? Post your personal experience in the comments box below where it will be sent to our moderator for approval. Many people find this part of the site very useful when trying to understand their disorder so your comments really do make a difference. Please note, all comments submitted to the Anxiety UK website may be used by Anxiety UK for (but not limited to) publicity and promotional material.
If you would like to make contact with others who are living with similar experiences, you can do so via the Anxiety UK pen pals scheme which is a service available to all Anxiety UK members (in both electronic and hard copy format).
I have pulled my hair out since I was little.
I left myself bald through having trichotillomania and I suffered ridicule all through school because of it. My anxiety and phobias have literally taken over most of my life, however after 30 years I am now getting help. It was only recently that my family found out – previously they simply thought that I had alopecia. Now the truth is out though I feel much more positive.