From a teen in the U.S. For about 6 or so years now, I have been pulling out my eyelashes and eyebrows. There’s a ton of gaps and bald spots and it’s really embarrassing. Is this a mental thing?

A: Yes. What you are describing is trichotillomania. This is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Even though you know you are hurting yourself; even though the bald spots are embarrassing, the impulse to do it is so strong that you can’t stop yourself from doing it. When you do, you do get at least a temporary period of relief.

Cognitive-behavior therapy is one treatment that has been found to be effective.

I hope you will get yourself into treatment right away. Unless treated, the hair loss can become permanent. Do search the web for more information about the disorder. Then find a therapist who specializes in treatment of impulse control disorders.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie