Trichotillomania is a very difficult word to say and it is also very difficult for the person who has this disease.
People who have it call it just “T”or “trich.”
For the lay person it is referred to as compulsive hair pulling. This irresistible urge to pull out their hair is usually from their scalp, eyelashes, and/or eyebrows. The exact cause of “T” is not known but it is may be related to abnormalities in brain pathways.
It is medically classified as an Impulse Control Disorder.
Depression and anxiety may occur and a secondary result may be low self esteem. It is not unusual for a individual to also have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or a skin picking disorder.
EFT for Trichotillomania
Treatments available are Habit Reversal Training and a variety of antidepressant medications. There are also OCD centers where individual and group therapy are offered. “T” typically occurs in early childhood and usually is self-limiting with interventions not required.
In the adult, though, it is generally more long term.
Back in 2002 I received a phone call from a potential client. She asked me if I knew what Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) was and if it could help with her compulsion to pull her hair. When I opened the door to my office there in front of me was a women who was completely bald, not even any fuzz.
Though it was August she had on heavy leather gloves that she was wearing to prevent her pulling at her scalp.
She bought with her pictures of herself that had been taken a few years prior when she had beautiful, long, flowing, light blond hair. The comparison was unbelievable. I had no idea as to why she had suddenly started to become a compulsive hair puller.
During the history I discovered that she had been diagnosed with OCD. This was obvious to me but I was only interested in the hair pulling behavior, her psychologist could handle the rest.
I proceeded to teach her EFT and we began to tap.
We tapped for about an hour and she made another appointment for the following week. I must confess now to the reader that she was the first client I had where I used EFT. I knew only how to do it and not what to expect but I was blown away at the results.
During the second session while tapping she started talking about a traumatic incident that had happen to her as a child. We tapped on the incident to alley her anxiety about it and when she left we rescheduled another appointment.
When she came the third time I casually said to her, “how are you doing?” Her answer was the following, “I used to pull my hair out about a hundred times a day but now I am only doing it two to three times a day.”
EFT… then and Now
And remember at the time I did not know what I was doing with EFT. Looking back it was obvious that the childhood incident which had been in the back of her mind for years must have been triggered by something a few years ago which started the hair pulling.
Now the medical society may not agree with me but…
Two months ago I gave a Introduction to EFT to a small group of individuals who belonged to a “T” support group at “Lucinda’s” in Cheshire. Yesterday I received a phone call from a hair stylist informing me that a client of hers who had been at the class had just informed her that she had not pulled her hair since the class. When and if she had a urge she just tapped and the urge went away.
Hooray for Emotional Freedom Techniques!!!
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