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Help For Hair Pulling (Trichotillomania)

By Debra Kissen

Help For Hair Pulling (Trichotillomania)

When struggling with trichotillomania, it is helpful to create a “Trichotillomania Survival Kit”.  Find diffferent objects that are satisfying for your hands.  What is most important about these objects is that if you are holding on to them, it is physically impossible to pull out your hair ( or pick your skin).  This is called a “competing response” to hair pulling.  When you are playing with these “fidget toys”, don’t expect the urge to pull to be satiated.  It may help a bit but in that moment, nothing is going to feel as good as actually pulling.  Ofcourse, in the long term, pulling is causing you frustration and pain but in the short term, nothing feels as satisfying.  So, the goal is to create as many speed bumps as possible, to slow you down, so can can CHOOSE to NOT PULL and tolerate the discomfort for a bit, and experience enhanced life satisfaction and freedom from trichotillomania.

Here are a few Trichotillomania Fighting Mantras my wonderful clients have come up with:

  1. I am stronger than my Trichotillomania
  2. The urge to pull will soon pass, if I engage in a competing behavior for atleast 5 minutes
  3. The less I pull, the more the urge to pull will shrink
  4. The more I pull, the greater the urge to pull will grow
  5. I deserve my hair back
  6. Create your own trichotillomania fighting mantra __________________________________

Dr. Debra Kissen is CEO of Light On Anxiety CBT Treatment Center. Dr. Kissen specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)...

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