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How can you cope with a hair-pulling disorder?

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Quick Answer

Hair pulling disorder, known medically as trichotillomania, is often an incredibly embarrassing and distressing condition for its sufferers. The use of psychotherapeutic approaches may help sufferers either stop or dramatically reduce their hair pulling.

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Full Answer

According to Mayo Clinic, habit reversal training is the main form of treatment for patients suffering from trichotillomania. The aim of this therapy is to identify any situations in which the suffer is likely to start hair pulling, then devise strategies to avoid the behavior. Occasionally it may be appropriate to include elements of cognitive behavioral therapy into the treatment, especially if the patient is suffering with distorted beliefs and thoughts connected to his hair pulling.

In addition to psychotherapy, many people with trichotillomania seek support within a group for people suffering from the condition. The Trichotillomania Learning Center explains that due to the nature of the condition, sufferers often feel alone and isolated as a consequence of their hair pulling. Joining a support group allows patients to share experiences and provides emotional support to aid recovery. Furthermore, a support group may be of benefit to the parents and loved ones of sufferers who may themselves experience feelings of frustration, guilt and pain related to the disorder.

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