Trichotillomania

Ever heard of the condition? No; I hadn’t either till Jamie was diagnosed with it….

Trichotillomania is an Impulse Control Disorder. Jamie was completely oblivious to the fact he was even doing it. The disorder can be triggered by multiple things; Jamie’s was being bullied. Jamie pulled out his own hair. Strands became clumps. Clumps became patches and they were becoming more noticeable. It didn’t stop there, any hair on his body would be pulled; Eyebrows, eyelashes, leg hair etc.

Jamie was taken to the doctors where he was referred to Priory Hospital and CAMHS. He attended Habit Reversal Treatment sessions and learnt about other things to keep his mind and hands occupied like stress balls etc.

This condition doesn’t have a cure and it can lay dormant for years before resurfacing again. Once Jamie stopped pulling his hair out, it dawned on him how much hair he had lost. Even though his head was shaved multiple times, as it grew back, the patches stayed the same. Hairless. This was because the hair follicles had been so badly damaged that the strands found it hard to grow. As his eyebrows slowly grew back they didn’t become fully formed. Jamie has two eyebrows but only half of each.

This condition may make the person paranoid, anxious, depressed and confused about why it happened to them. It affected Jamie’s confidence so much that even now, 10 years later, he still wears a hat every single day without fail. He has hair around the sides and the back but the front is nearly bald. Jamie is relieved that he is over the condition and hopes it doesn’t return in the future but only time will tell.

There is lots of support available online and please do go to the doctors because they support the person concerned and their family.

*Jamies name has been changed*

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