Breaking the Cycle: Overcoming Trichotillomania and Regaining Control

Being a cycle breaker can be difficult, primarily if your family system doesn’t support your change. Your loved ones may think you’re selfish, disloyal, or ungrateful for questioning their way of life. Getting help from a therapist specializing in trichotillomania and dermatillomania can change your relationship with these harmful behaviors. A therapist can also help you identify what triggers them and replace body-focused repetitive behaviors with other healthy habits.

Get Support

Getting support from people who care about you and understand your condition is essential. Seek out online or in-person support groups. Consider seeking therapy from Some therapies that may help include cognitive behavioral therapy, habit reversal training, and acceptance and commitment therapy. Remind yourself that trichotillomania is not you. It is a compulsive behavior that does not define who you are. Think about the other qualities and traits that make up who you are.

For teens, it’s crucial to get treatment for trichotillomania as soon as possible. The longer the disorder goes untreated, the more difficult it will be to overcome. Getting the proper treatment can also reduce symptoms and prevent them from escalating.

Take Control of Your Mind

The thought-action connection is accurate, and controlling our thoughts can be a significant step toward overcoming trichotillomania. We are thought to think around 70,000 thoughts each day, which can have a powerful impact on our mood. Instead of trying to push away or ignore unwanted thoughts, Cycle focus on accepting them and directing them toward positive outcomes. Suppression can backfire and increase the intensity of unwelcome emotions. For instance, if you’re trying to refrain from sex, distract yourself with other activities such as exercise, watching TV, or calling friends. Reward yourself when you successfully exert self-control. You can even give yourself a pep talk by saying, “I’m in control of my mind right now.” You’ll be surprised by how much it helps.

Talk to a Psychiatrist

Whether you have a history of trichotillomania or are dealing with symptoms that seem to have come out of nowhere, it’s essential to talk to an experienced mental health professional. A psychiatrist can provide guidance, support, and specialized treatment options. cycle For many people, hair-pulling is a way to cope with negative emotions or experiences. Nevertheless, it can also cause embarrassment and shame. It may cause a desire to conceal the hair loss by donning cosmetics, wearing hats, or avoiding social situations. Your psychiatrist will be able to diagnose you and help you find ways to break the cycle. They may recommend therapy or medication. They will also teach you coping strategies to help you manage your symptoms. Have a friend or family member along for the best chance of remembering what your doctor says.

Practice Self-Care

Practicing self-care involves taking steps to improve your mental and physical health. It is essential to do this to combat the symptoms of trichotillomania and reduce the impact it has on your life. People with trichotillomania often feel a sense of tension or an urge to pull their hair, including on their scalp, eyebrows, and genitals. They may also engage in other behaviors associated with this behavior, such as rubbing, disposing, or saving the pulled hairs and even swallowing them. Several open-trial studies have shown that behavioral therapy (BT) techniques successfully reduce or stop trichotillomania. These include habit reversal training, awareness training, stimulus control, and harmful practices. 

Reach Out for Help

A therapist familiar with this condition can provide guidance, support, and specialized treatment options. It’s important to remember that your trichotillomania doesn’t define you but rather is an impulse control disorder that can be treated. It may take time, but finding a life without this disorder is possible. During habit reversal training, clinicians will work with you to determine when and why your compulsions occur. They’ll help you develop a “competing response”—an activity that will serve the same purpose but doesn’t lead to pulling. For example, you might use all-natural oils on your head to reduce itching and try stroking or rubbing instead of pulling. This technique helps distract the brain from the urge to remove hair.