Trichotillomania, also known as trichotillomania or trichotillomania, is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder in which a person has an obsessive or intense desire to pull their hair repeatedly, either from the scalp or eyebrows. Or from anywhere in the body, leading to hair loss or functional impairment, according to a report published by the Boldsky website, which is concerned with health affairs.
Causes of hair pulling
The exact cause of TTM is still unknown, but stress and anxiety are major causes of the condition. Stressful situations and chronic anxiety prompt people to pull out their hair to get rid of or deal with negative emotions. This behavior leads to obsession or can become a habit in patients who pull their hair repeatedly whenever they feel stressed.
Stress and anxiety can be caused by genetic and functional abnormalities in neurotransmitters in the brain or in brain formation and disorders associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder as follows:
• Malformation of the brain: A study has shown that reduced cerebellar volume and enlargement of the right inferior frontal gyrus (the part of the brain responsible for perception, attention, imagination, and speech) can be some of the problems with brain structures that may lead to TTM.
• Genetic defect: The results of a study on TTM refer to three generations of families. The results indicate that TTM is associated with rare variations in the SLITRK1 gene, which leads to obsessive-compulsive disorder in individuals, followed by TTM. Mutations in the Hoxb8 and Sapap3 genes may also cause TTM-like behaviours. But the genetics of TTM is a complex topic that needs further research.
• gray matter changes: in the brain in patients with TTM dealt another study structural changes of gray matter. The researchers say that patients with TTM are often diagnosed with increased gray matter density in the left striatum and multiple cortical regions.
• An imbalance in the brain’s neurotransmitters: Some studies say that changes in neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin and GABA, can also lead to trichotillomania, as they greatly control a person’s psychological state, and changes in them may lead to problems such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. or phobias or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which in turn can lead to TTM.
• Other causes: These include boredom, negative feelings, symptoms of depression, use of illegal drugs or use of tobacco products. Experts believe that hair-pulling disorder may be the result of a combination of all or some of the above-mentioned causes.
Symptoms of hair-pulling mania
• The intense desire to pull hair from the scalp mainly.
• Sometimes pulling hair unconsciously and realizing it later after seeing hair on the floor, table or desk.
• An urgent need to pluck the hair after touching it.
• Tension when trying to resist pulling hair.
• Pull hair continuously for an hour or two.
• Sometimes, hair that has fallen out after plucking is swallowed.
• Feeling relieved or accomplished after hair pulling, immediately followed by a feeling of embarrassment.
Some of the risk factors for developing TTM include:
• Age: TTM usually begins at the age of 10-13 years. But experts say there is no age limit for TTM because it may also start at age four or after your 30s.
• Gender: Most sufferers of trichotillomania are female compared to males.
• Family history: It affects more people with a family history of obsessive-compulsive disorder or TTM.
• Stress: Severe stressful conditions can lead to trichotillomania, even in those who do not have any genetic or functional defect.
If left untreated for a longer period of time, hair-pulling disorder can cause complications such as:
• Permanent hair loss.
• Trichobezoar disease, a condition characterized by a mass of hair in the digestive tract that leads to severe stomach problems.
• Skin damage caused by excessive hair pulling.
• Problems related to appearance.
Experts say seeking a diagnosis of the condition is uncommon because people with TTM often think that a doctor may not be able to understand their disorder. Other causes may include shyness, lack of awareness, or fear of professional reactions.
TTM is diagnosed primarily by looking at signs such as hair loss. The doctor may begin to ask questions to understand whether the condition is genetic or linked to OCD or other factors such as the use of illegal drugs.
Doctors also note certain behaviors such as frequent nail biting or skin biting to diagnose the condition.
If your physical symptoms and behaviors confirm hair pulling, your doctor may need to order an x-ray of your nerves.
Methods of treatment
Some TTM treatment methods include:
• Medications: These include medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to treat stress, anxiety and negative feelings.
• Training: Training includes teaching patients how to control their urge to pull hair.
• Controlling Triggers: Teaching patients how to keep their hands away from their heads to prevent triggering the urge to pull hair is involved.
Trichotillomania can be completely cured, if diagnosed and treated early, and if the patient can understand well, with the guidance of a medical expert, the stressor or causes of anxiety and teach them how to deal with it