Coping Strategies For Trichotillomania: From Therapy to Self-Care

Attempting to help a loved one overcome the symptoms of this disorder can be difficult. RefusingIt’s from passing judgment, offering counsel, or dictating how they ought to feel is crucial. Instead, please educate yourself on trichotillomania and make an effort to comprehend what it’s like for a person who suffers from it. Here are some ways to support a friend or family member with trichotillomania.

Talk to a Psychiatrist

Trichotillomania is a complex condition, but it can be treated. Treatment options include cognitive behavioral therapy, habit reversal training, and alternative sensory substitutes. Trichotillomania therapy can help you identify and process negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions that may lead to compulsive behavior. Some people with trichotillomania find relief by using distractions to replace their hair-pulling behaviors, such as playing with fidget toys or a stress ball, giving themselves a manicure, knitting or crocheting, or doing other crafts. Other options include:

  • They wore hats, scarves, or wigs to cover bald spots or used other tools to make it harder to pull, like braiding the hair.
  • I am tying it in a ponytail.
  • Putting it up in locs.

Some medications can be used to manage anxiety and depression, which often co-occur with trichotillomania.


Often, people with trichotillomania have other co-occurring mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. Healthy means of emotional expression and relaxation, like journaling or exercising, may help ease these symptoms and lessen the urge to pull hair. Exercise may also help reduce body-focused repetitive behaviors, such as skin picking. It is thought to lower anxiety and increase serotonin levels, which can reduce these behaviors.

A few other techniques for self-care are to meditate for three minutes each day, take five slow breaths, or listen to relaxing music. It can also be helpful to talk about trich with friends or family members, as hiding it can add to the shame associated with this condition. It can be challenging to open up about this, but those who have done so say it was a huge relief to find out they were not alone in their struggle.

Join a Support Group

Trichotillomania can cause scarring to the scalp, skin, and hair follicles, which may affect the ability of new hair to grow. People may also experience hair loss and patchy bald or uneven areas on the body. People with trichotillomania often feel a building tension or urge to pull their hair. They might notice that the behavior is more frequent or intense during certain times, like when they are stressed, tired, anxious, or bored. Getting support can help someone struggling with trichotillomania learn better ways to cope with their symptoms. Support groups are available both in person and online and can offer a space to discuss strategies for managing the disorder with others who struggle with it. Family members may find it beneficial to educate themselves about trichotillomania to prevent them from making critical remarks or remarks that could exacerbate the condition.

Try Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

If you find that your trichotillomania interferes with your daily life and causes distress, it may be helpful to talk to your doctor about getting CBT. It is a type of therapy that is often used to treat anxiety and depression. It can help you learn to identify your triggers and replace compulsions with less harmful habits. For example, you might try clenching your fists or doing something that occupies your hands when you feel the urge to pull. It’s essential to get a therapist who has experience treating people with trichotillomania. Your therapist will work closely with you to address your specific problems and goals for treatment. This type of therapy can help you regain control over your trichotillomania and live a happier, healthier life.

Try Self-Care

Trichotillomania can impact relationships, work, school, and other aspects of your life. People with trichotillomania often avoid certain situations because they are worried about others noticing their hair pulling. It can lead to isolation and feeling left out. Using positive affirmations can help boost your confidence and self-esteem. For example, you could say, “Every hair belongs on my head,” or “I’m strong and beautiful.” Keeping your hands busy can also help minimize compulsions.

Trichotillomania is a complex disorder, and recovery requires a combination of professional help and healthy coping strategies.

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