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
Can I Help My Friend Who Has Trichotillomania
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