Do you have that habit of pulling a strand or so of your hair? It may be the hair on your head, the eyebrows, eye lashes or maybe other areas of the body. In some cases, we do it for vanity purposes, but there are some people who have this irresistible urge to pull their hair to the point that they develop bald spots and uneven hair growth across the body. This is called Trichotillomania, or the hair pulling disorder. Are these people insane? Or is it a condition that needs more understanding for the lay people?

What causes hair pulling disorder?

As of the moment, it is unclear what triggers or causes trichotillomania but similar to other complex conditions, this could be a result of environmental and genetic aspects. There could also be abnormalities in the way the brain manufactures serotonin and dopamine that could cause a person to pull his or her hair in an uncontrollable manner. One thing to understand about it is if one of your family members or relatives has one, you might have one as well. This condition happens mostly to adolescents and could become a chronic condition till they become adults.

Why pull the hairs?

There are two possible reasons. One is the negativity and stress in a person. They may be feeling some sort of anxiety attack, loneliness, frustration or anger and it triggers them to focus on their heir to relieve the pain, aggression or compounding emotions that they might be experiencing at that point. For some, it could be the opposite. Others pull the hair and they feel good doing it. It is like their brain is telling them to pull the hairs and the feel good hormones are being released, giving them a sense of pleasure when they pull their hair. In some occasions, it could be due to existing conditions like OCD, and depression. Other conditions like picking the skin and biting nails could be associated with this hair pulling disorder.

Alleviating the condition

Habit reversal therapy is a good way to prevent a person from pulling their hairs. First, the situation where hair pulling becomes prevalent is discovered and different methods are done to help the person focus on something else and prevent themselves from pulling hairs.