Trichotillomania Affects Millions of Women
Trichotillomania affects millions of women around the world every year. In the USA alone, it is estimated that there are about 10 million sufferers. What is trichotillomania? It’s a common disorder in which the person has the uncontrollable urge to pull out body hair—sometimes on their legs or face such as eyebrows. But most experience the urge to pull the hair on their head. Perhaps you know someone who has been diagnosed with trichotillomania. What can you do to help?
Start with Awareness
Quite a few celebrities have been diagnosed with this compulsive hair pulling disorder. Some of the famous actresses who have been open about their hair-pulling problem include Olivia Munn, Kirsten Stewart and Meagan Fox.
This impulse to pull hair can disrupt a person’s social life. It can make them withdrawn or reclusive to the point that they start to feel alone on a scary journey. “Trichsters receive such severe backlash,” says Rebecca, who admitted her problem on the Internet, garnering a lot of support from others who were also going through the same thing.
Trichotillomania often begins in childhood or adolescence, but its symptoms can appear at any time in life. Boys and girls seem to be equally affected in childhood, but among adults, it appears to be more common among women.
Actress Olivia Munn has been open about suffering from Trichotillomania. In an interview for Self magazine, she speaks of the stress that brought on hair pulling. "I had it growing up, having had a little bit of a tumultuous upbringing, moving around a lot with a mixed family with five kids." She remarked that the stress of being an actress has, at times, brought that anxiety back. "I just didn't want to let anybody down," she said.
Be a True Friend
The first thing you can do is just to be there for your friend. Maybe they are also going through a traumatic period in their life. It is empowering for the person to feel that she is making her own decision and has a meaningful support system. Rather than “finding a solution” for them, encourage your friend to do her some own research. This will lead to her own realization of how “normal” she is. That, in itself, is a great comfort.
Be a Listening Ear
Don’t try to fix their problem by telling them what to do. Even if you don’t have all the answers, that’s okay. Make your reaction one that is filled with love and patience. Be there to boost their self-esteem. Focus on their good qualities and praise their other positive attributes. Most of all, accept them as they are and love them anyway.
Trichotillomania is a serious condition and if you are suffering from it or know someone who is, be sure to seek professional help if you haven't done so already. At Primp Hair Salon we offer real women’s hair loss solutions for women suffering from female hair loss and thinning hair. To schedule a free, private consultation, call us at 952-475-0941 or to contact us via email.