Perhaps more easily understood as compulsive hair-pulling, trichotillomania is a relatively uncommon repetitive behavior in which patients pull out hair from various places on their body. Apart from the potential physical complications, it’s a disorder which can very easily lead to being socially ostracized, especially for a teen. Trichotillomania also causes its patients anxiety, shame and embarrassment.
It’s also treatable. Sovereign Health offers treatment for trichotillomania along with any underlying conditions which may be feeding it at Rancho San Diego, our residential trichotillomania treatment centers for adolescents aged 12 to 17.
Trichotillomania exists in the same family of compulsive disorders including kleptomania and problem gambling. It occurs more often in females than in males, and generally appears between the ages of nine and 13. Infants also occasionally show signs of hair pulling disorder, but in their cases it’s usually much more minor and goes away on its own.
In adolescents and adults, the condition is chronic. Trichotillomania’s behaviors can disappear for a period of time and then return throughout life. Patients with this disorder don’t always pull hair from their scalp; they will also pull hair from their extremities, eyebrows and eyelashes. This repetitive behavior eventually creates bald patches; in a teen, this can lead to intense social problems with their peers.