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Trichotillomania is sometimes referred to as 'trich' or TTM and describes the urge a person experiences to pull out their own hair. This can be hair from the scalp, eyebrows, eyes, pubic area or chest. As with many issues, it can range from minor to extreme. In minor cases, a person may feel compelled to pull out the occasional hair. However, in extreme cases, the behaviour can become all consuming and can result in noticeable and significant hair loss. Trichophagia is the term for eating hair and this can result in serious gastrointestinal problems

Quite frequently, the hair pulling is related to stress and it is very important to get treatment as soon as possible and before the behaviour becomes chronic.

Trichotillomania can be described as a habit, a compulsion an impulse control disorder or an obsessive compulsive disorder. Some therapists categorize trichotillomania within 'body-focused repetitive behaviors' (BRFBs) such as skin-picking and nail-biting. Some people find it very difficult to accept that they have a problem and will mask the results of hair-pulling with false eyelashes, wigs, hats and false eyebrows.

There is no medical treatment for trichotillomania. Once diagnosed, a GP will refer a patient to a hypnotherapist, psychologist or psychiatrist.

People can develop their own cues and associations that trigger the hair pulling and it is essential to develop awareness that prevents this automatic response. With some people, a heightened awareness and increased understanding of their own behaviour is all that is needed. Other people can experience significant relief from a range of techniques such as embedding an alternative response during trance-state.

Hypnotherapy is client-centred and accepts  each and every client as a responsible person who has within them, the resources and ability to change. Together, we can assess the development of the behaviour, define your motivations and using a combination of hypnosis and Habit Reversal Therapy, start to instigate change so that you successfully break free of this unhelpful habit.

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