Currently for the past year in a half I have noticed that I am pulling out certain hairs. It started out as pulling out the damaged, extra wiry hairs, but it has also lead to other hairs being pulled. I normally find myself doing this on the top of my scalp and behind my left ear. But I can’t seem to stop myself from doing it. I could be reading a book and pulling out little hairs, or I could be eating. But my family members just think its an OCD, but I’m wondering is it Trichotillomania ?Trichotillomania?
Trichotillomania (TTM) is a hair-pulling compulsion that is similar to the compulsions seen in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Studies suggest that there is considerable overlap between the two disorders. Some researchers have even suggested that TTM be classified as a type of OCD.
Though there are similarities between the two, there are differences. For instance, people with TTM report having an irresistible urge to pull out their hair whereas people with OCD engage in particular behaviors because of their obsessive thoughts.
Also, OCD symptoms tend to progress over time whereas people with TTM usually only engage in hair pulling behavior and don’t typically progress to other types of rituals or behaviors.
What’s most important is treating your symptoms sooner rather than later. Ask your parents to assist you in seeking help. It’s always important to seek professional help, especially when you feel that you can’t help yourself. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle