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Can I Help My Friend Who Has Trichotillomania

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Hi there. My friend is pulling out her hair. She thinks that it is something called trichotollomania but isn’t sure. She also has some ticks where she makes a little guinea pig noise and twitches her neck. She is almost bald now and she is a really close friend of mine and I don’t know what to do.. I see how she struggles and it really hurts me because,I don’t want to be a bad friend but I don’t want her to get more upset than she already is by doing or saying something dumb..She is also slightly going into her depression again.. How can I make my friend feel loved and don’t make her feel alone? How can I help her with her problems? I don’t have those things so it’s really hard for me to help because I can’t relate to her. I hope you can come with some tips for me. (age 17, from Norway)

Can I Help My Friend Who Has Trichotillomania

Answered by on -


Your friend may have a psychological disorder, which is very real, but also very treatable. The issues you are mentioning, including Trichotillomania and Tic Disorder, can be related to anxiety but there can also be medical causes. The best way to help her is to speak to her about getting help from a professional. Don’t try to take this on yourself. She needs to speak to someone with the education and training required, such as her doctor and a mental health therapist.

If you are worried about bringing your concerns up to her directly, have you considered speaking with her parents or your school nurse or counselor about it? Let your friend know that you love her and care about her and will support her through this. That’s your only job as her friend. Thank you for writing in.

All the best,

Dr. Holly Counts

Can I Help My Friend Who Has Trichotillomania

Holly Counts, Psy.D.

Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.

APA Reference
Counts, H. (2018). Can I Help My Friend Who Has Trichotillomania. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 25, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.