What is it?

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). Having pulled out hair from any area of the body, the tension and anxiety that those who live with 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

This fact sheet gives a detailed overview,  as well as a look at some of the evidence based approaches to treating trichotillomania.
Download Free

Recommended resources

Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a self help book based on cognitive behavioural therapy. It includes information on how to beat your rituals and deal with obsessional thinking. It has been highly rated by a number of individuals with OCD who have used it to overcome their symptoms. You can purchase a copy in the Anxiety UK online shop here.

Understanding Anxiety Booklet is a guide that aims to provide you with a greater understanding of anxiety. You can purchase this from the Anxiety UK shop here.