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Please Help Me Stop The Insanity Before I Am Bald - Kelly

Question:

I have been pulling my hair out since i was 12 years old and i am know 40. Every time i think it is going to stop and my hair starts to grow back it start all over again. I think it is even getting worse. I have also started digging at my scalp. I am sorry to hear there are not any medications to help control this. I was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder when I was 21, does this have anything to do with it? I get so frustrated with myself.

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Answer:

Yes, it is possible that hair pulling is related to OCD. It could also be related to Impulse Control Disorders. Some people are helped by anti depressant medications. I do not know if you have tried it but it might be worth the effort. It is probably a good idea to speak to a psychiatrist and to get a consultation with a psychologist.

If your situation is similar to that of many other people with trichotillomania then there are several things that you can try in addition to getting professional help.

People tend to start hair pulling when they are stressed or under pressure, feeling anxious and depressed. Therefore, it is a good idea to make certain you do the following things because they may help:

1. Get plenty of sleep.
2. Exercise is helpful in overcoming or reducing anxiety and stress.
3. Meditation and yoga are great ways to reduce tension and stress.
4. Eating a healthy and well balanced diet is important for all people.
5. Be aware of when you are feeling stressed, tired or anxious because those are the times when you are most likely to pull your hair.

A personal friend of mine found a helpful way for herself to reduce her hair pulling and, in fact, she no longer has bald spots:  She has a dog, read some articles about psychiatric service dogs, found a dog trainer who would work with her and her dog and here is what happened:The dog was trained to stop her when her hair pulling started. In her case, she was often unaware of what she was doing. The dog was trained to nudger her arm when she reached for her hair. That "woke her up" to the fact that she was starting to pull and allowed her to stop herself.

If interested, do a an Internet search of Psychiatric Service Dogs in your community.

Best of Luck

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