Trichotillomania Research Paper

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Trichotillomania was coined in the 19th century as a disorder that is characterized by pulling out one’s own hair leading to apparent hair loss. The recurrent hair pulling is accompanied by emotional distress, and leads to a sense of pleasure and relief after the hair has been pulled out. Target areas include the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, facial hair, and pubic hair. The places of excessive pulling is also reported to increase along with age. According to the Trichotillomania Learning Center (n.d.), trichotillomania is classified as an obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder and a type of body-focused repetitive behavior. It has also been reported that sufferers of this disorder might have developed these tendencies to deal with anxiety and cope with repetitive intrusive thoughts from psychological trauma. Trichotillomania can also sometimes cross over into another disorder,…show more content…
The research article studies the correlation between hair pulling, skin picking, and emotionally distressing experiences, concluding that trauma may be a factor in the development of the two disorders. It is my experience of knowing sufferers of both disorders that has driven me to select this area of research. Some sufferers pick and pull until they bleed, spend hours in front of the mirror looking for flaws and digging them out, and for some, constantly touching and feeling for particular hairs to be chosen for pulling--such as those that are coarse, brittle, and kinky (Stein, Christenson, & Hollander, 1999). It is interesting that evidence has shown that traumatic life events can trigger the onset of the compulsions to cope with unwanted thoughts related to the trauma as seen in the negative correlation of presence and intensity of post-traumatic stress disorder and the compulsions. This can suggest that by identifying and analysing these events, health professionals can gain a better understanding of how
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