Trichotillomania (trick-o-til-o-MAY-nee-ah) is a disorder that causes people to pull out the hair from their scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, underarms, beard, chest, legs or other parts of the body, resulting in noticeable bald patches. Hair pulling varies greatly in its severity, location on the body and response to treatment. For some people, at some times, trichotillomania is mild and can be quelled with a bit of extra awareness and concentration. For others, at times the urge may be so strong that it makes thinking of anything else nearly impossible.
Trichotillomania (also referred to as TTM or “Trich”) is currently defined as an impulse control disorder but there are still questions about how it should be classified. It may seem to resemble a habit, an addiction, a tic disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Most recently, it is being conceptualized as part of a family of body focused repetitive behaviors” (BRFB’s) along with skin picking and nail biting.
The good news is that treatment and support are available through the Trichotillomania Learning Center. www.trich.org
Two ladies (see pictures below) came to me asking for permanent makeup. I explained that if I did permanent makeup, they might pick off the healing tattoo and the end result would not be good. I could see that their brows would grow and encouraged them to try. One woman chose to see a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and did very well. She had one set back due to stress. However, she now knows that she can do this and is back on track.
The other woman came to me every week and I only removed the hairs that bothered her. She could see the progress and stayed away from the new growth. Occasionally due to stress she has had a set back. She got rid of some of the stress and also recently decided to see a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and feels very good about her continued progress.
It is very gratifying to me to help others restore their appearance and self esteem.