What is trichotillomania?
Trichotillomania is basically a compulsive control disorder during which people harm themselves when dealing with or experiencing stressful situations. The self-harm comes in the form of an irresistible urge to pull out own head hair. The act of pulling out hair actually relieves a person from anxiety and reduces levels of stress. This urge is so strong that although most the people suffering from trichotillomania know that it’s harmful, they nonetheless can’t stop themselves. The relief is simply too powerful and pleasurable. Interestingly, the habit of pulling out hair can be compared to the relaxation/relief state experienced during addictions. E.g. drinking or smoking. The power of the habit is usually so strong and luring that many claim it’s better and simpler to give in than fight it. Unfortunately, trichotillomania can have very negative effects on your body and lead to very serious complications and bad consequences. But what are they?
Possible trichotillomania complications
To begin with, trichotillomania almost always leads to hair loss and/or permanent baldness. The limit of the hair loss i.e. whether it is minor or substantial depends highly on the person and the intensity of the habit. Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the negatives. Trichotillomania complications can be very serious and affect your entire body and health. The most common complications and effects related to trichotillomania are as follows: various infections, inflammatory skin conditions, serious skin damage, permanent hair loss and baldness. So of course, it should be common sense to remember that if trichotillomania is not treated and cared for properly and instantly, it can lead to very serious embedded psychological/physical problems. For example, complete baldness is one extreme case scenario, another is consistent negative perception of one’s body & self-image which may lead to mental disorders, depressions etc.
Unfortunately, psychological trichotillomania complications can be very harmful and extremely difficult to treat properly. To take care of such complications you need to cure their source first. Trichotillomania treatment mainly relies on cognitive behavioural therapies which involve the habit reversing process. Generally, the idea behind this treatment is that damaging habits are to be replaced with other substitutions that won’t have any harm on your body. In other words, during anxious situations, a person may reach for a distracting game or stress ball to calm themselves down, instead of harming their body, consciously or subconsciously. The main con of this type of therapy is that it requires a lot of time and patience, from the patient as well as the doctor. There’s even high chances of probable failure, depending entirely on the determination and will of the patient. However, once that ‘good’ habit is established, a person with trichotillomania will be able to start thinking of reversing these harmful effects, and actually focus on restoration and improvement of the condition of the hair, thus finally generating a positive self-esteem.