Trichotillomania or Compulsive Hair Pulling

Hypnotherapy and Hypnobalancing™ in Berlin
Psychotherapy in Berlin - Specialization: Fears and Anxiety Disorders

Trichotillomania or Compulsive Hair Pulling


Trichotillomania or compulsive hair pulling is an irresistible urge to pull out hair from the own scalp, eyebrows or other areas of the body. Sites of hair pulling may include any region of the body in which hair may grow, the most common sites being the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes. Stressful circumstances frequently increase hair pulling behavior, but increased hair pulling also occurs in states of relaxation and distraction.

Trichotillomania is an underestimated disorder in terms of its complexity, the number of people who actually have it, and its powerfully negative impact on people’s lives.

For some people, trichotillomania may be mild and generally manageable. For others, the urge to pull hair is overwhelming and can be accompanied by considerable distress. Hair pulling is a complex problem and has a great number of inputs, each of which, in turn, can be further influenced by a wide variety of factors.

For some clients, there is little or no awareness of their pulling.

Another group of patients reports an extremely pleasant or soothing feeling when pulling hair. The pulling itself is for them an immediately fascinating experience and can function almost like a drug for some. Time seems to stand still for them when they are engaged in this activity of pulling hair ﹣ and other problems temporarily vanish into the background. Others may go on to ritualize or play with the hair after they have pulled it out. And there are those who report feeling no particular pleasure at all.

Finally, there are those whose pulling is done deliberately, and which seems closer to classic Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or Body Dysmorphic Disorder. They feel driven to pull hairs that are imperfect or wrong in some special way. By pulling out these hairs, they believe that they are fixing the way their hair looks, eliminating hairs that do not seem to belong and improving its appearance.

All these different groups have in common that the person feels upset because of what they have done, and the fact that they were unable to stop themselves. They don’t feel in control go themselves. Trichotillomania can have a significant impact on the quality of life. Trichotillomania can cause feelings of guilt, shame, isolation or embarrassment, which can affect the social life, the performance at school or work.

There is no absolute cause for obsessive hair pulling. Psychological and behavioral theories suggest that hair pulling may be a way of relieving stress or anxiety. In some cases, trichotillomania may be a form of self-harm, where people deliberately injure themselves as a way of seeking temporary relief from emotional distress.






Some treatment options have helped many people reduce their hair pulling or stop entirely. One of those treatments combines elements of different therapies like hypnotherapy, Hypnobalancing, and others.

NOACK Praxis für Angsttherapie Berlin
Specialized treatment for anxiety disorders with hypnotherapy
Budapester Straße 39
10787 Berlin
Tel. 030 – 864 213 69

Information about Hypnotherapy in Berlin.

I am specialized to help people with fears and anxiety disorders.


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