Have you ever known somebody that suffers from compulsive hair pulling? Perhaps you have known someone or maybe you have even suffered from it yourself. The truth is, this disorder is far more prevalent than most people think it is. People pull their hair compulsively for all kinds of reasons.
Sometimes it is due to a medical problem and sometimes it is a psychological issue. Still other people do it because it is their only coping mechanism after some type of severe physical or emotional trauma that they have suffered. The most important thing to remember is that people that do it feels such a strong need to do it that they simply can’t refrain from pulling their own hair. Instead, it is important to get qualified therapy in order to help them overcome this problem.
Reasons People Pull Their Hair Compulsively
While it is true that it may be due to a medical problem, at least to a certain extent, the overwhelming majority of individuals that pull their hair in this fashion do it because of some type of mental or emotional issue that they are going through. It could be a psychological problem that stems from early childhood or it could be due to something that happened to them later in life.
Many times, it is something that happens when a person is struggling to feel accepted and they feel out of control. They start pulling their hair because this is one thing that they can control. It is similar to an eating disorder or cutting oneself, only instead the hair is being pulled.
What Can Be Done
Fortunately, anybody that suffers from this disorder does not have to suffer through it alone. The obvious first step is to get professional help. The place where a lot of people run into roadblocks is because they feel shame because they pull their hair, therefore they do not want anyone to know. This means that they usually do it in secret until the problem becomes so bad that people start to notice that they are essentially going bald. Once it gets to this point, it is vitally important that the individual in question gets the necessary help because it will be virtually impossible for them to stop without it.
Things To Look For
If you think someone that is close to you might be doing this, there are a few things that you can look out for. Many times, a certain behavior such as isolating oneself coupled with feelings of worthlessness can tip you off that something is going on, especially if the individual starts wearing some type of cover on their head all the time. If you do notice that it appears they are losing their hair, it is definitely time to act but direct confrontation may do more harm than good.
The most important thing to remember is that hair pulling can manifest itself for a number of reasons. The best thing you can do is provide emotional support and help them into a treatment program. It may be difficult to accomplish, but it is worth it.