Need help breaking free from addiction?
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Who Answers?

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


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.

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

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

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists


Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 Who Answers? 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.


Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand