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A&E's Obsessed Looks at Hair-Pulling OCD

A&E's Obsessed Looks at Hair-Pulling OCD

A friend of mine confessed not long ago that, in high school, she had trichotillomania, an obsessive compulsion to pull out hair on your head or body in order to manage anxiety. In her case, it was a small patch of hair on her head underneath her long hair where she hoped no one could see the bald patch she was creating.

This week, A&E's Obsessed follows Todd and his extreme trichotillomania. In addition to this problem, which gets in the way of his relationship with his wife and daughter, he's got a host of other issues: possible bipolar disorder and compulsive rituals involving counting, talking in segments, and writing on the walls of his "den" before he can even leave the house. Although he wants help, his case is so extreme that his cognitive-behavioral therapist ends up recommending that he go to a psychiatrist.

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Talldiva45 Talldiva45 6 years
Wow! I just learned something about myself thanks to you Colleeninator - I think I also have dermotillomania. I constantly pick on the skin around my fingers...I never knew.
Colleeninator Colleeninator 6 years
I'm rocking dermotillomania which seems to be paired with a very mild trichtillomania. Drives me and my husband absolutely insane and I'm trying SO hard to stop.
heatherhas heatherhas 6 years
I have a mild form of this, and my hairdresser actually called me out on this over a year ago. I mostly pull the hair on the right side of my head out. I do it subconsciously, but I have gotten a lot better about it more recently. Its actually pretty embarrassing that I can't stop running my fingers through my hair sometimes.
lola102 lola102 6 years
My sister has suffered from trich for about 10 years now, throughout her teenage and college years. She pulls out her eyelashes and eyebrows, and the only thing that ever worked for her was hypnotherapy. And she tried every kind of therapy and medication out there. I wish people were more aware of this disorder. She doesn't have anxiety anymore but now unconciously pulls out her eyelashes/brows and doesn't even realize it out of habit. It's a bummer but luckily most people don't notice and it's not so incredibly serious.
Pistil Pistil 6 years
Interesting... Sometimes I take a handful of my hair, examine the ends, and pull out the thickest, darkest looking ones individually, never to the point of having bald spots, though. I suspected it was a nervous habit.
alillee alillee 6 years
I have a friend who has this. She pulls out her eyelashes and eyebrows. She has tattooed eyebrows now because they just quit growing in. =[
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