It is not entirely clear what causes Trichotillomania but it is thought to stem from one of the following; 

  • a way of dealing with stress or anxiety
  • a chemical imbalance in the brain, similar to OCD 
  • changes in hormone levels during puberty
  • a type of self-harm to seek relief from emotional distress
  • an addiction

most effective way to treat this condition is with CBT. Here at No Panic, we use many different recovery services that might help, including one-to-one mentoring and group recovery, both done over the telephone. We also have an email recovery program for those that do not like using a telephone. 

All our courses use layperson CBT (cognitive/behaviour therapy) and anxiety management as the basis for recovery, as well as teaching the principals of general mental well-being and the practicalities of goal-setting. Whilst no therapy guarantees success, this method has at the present time the highest success rate.

Recovery can be like a jigsaw puzzle. There are many pieces needed to complete the picture and they cannot all be put in place at the same time. It has to be done piece by piece, but eventually with a bit of determination and hard work the picture starts to become clearer. It is all about changing a lot of bad habits and putting new ones in place.

Here are a few tips that can be tried to help ease the compulsion as a first step:

  • practise deep breathing until the urge to pull goes away, we have an animation on our website to help do this: No Panic Breathing Animation
  • form a ball with the left fist and tighten the muscles in that arm then release. Do the same exercise with the right fist. Continue to alternate fists until the urge passes
  • do some kind of physical exercise, even running up and down the stairs or dancing like no one is watching, this will burn off excess anxiety
  • take a relaxing bath 
  • repeat out loud a positive affirmation until the urge passes

Talking is very important, whether it be with friends and family, therapists and doctors, or with charities like No Panic. Keeping things bottled up always makes them worse, it is important to share worries/thoughts instead of bottling them up inside. Trichotillomania should not be a taboo subject. 

How can No Panic help?
No Panic specialises in self-help recovery and our services include:
Providing people with the skills they need to manage their condition and work towards recovery.
Our aim is to give you all of the necessary advice, tools and support that you will need to recover and carry out this journey. No Panic Recovery Programs

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