Posted by: glitterseason | June 30, 2012

Tips for health care professionals working with Trichotillomania

I thought I would write some ‘Top Tips for working with Trichotillomania (TTM) ‘ to help clinicians and health care workers when supporting a service user/TTM sufferer:

  1. Do your research – read the wikipedia page to start with!
  2. Know that if the person has told you about their TTM, they must trust you! Do not react with disgust or shock. Instead ask them how it felt to tell you and reassure them you will listen and be non-judgemental.
  3. Keep in mind the individual will be ashamed and/or embarrassed.
  4. Don’t ask them to show you their bald patches as this is embarrassing. (Unless they offer to show you!)
  5. Reassure them that it is a common problem, lots of people do it and it’s not their fault. Remind them it may even be a genetic problem.
  6. Encourage them to talk about their anxiety & coping mechanisms.
  7. Gather them some information or encourage them to read about TTM on the internet. (Knowledge is power!)

Hope this helps!

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Responses

  1. These are really great suggestions! I’d like to share that with the first psychologist I saw took it personally when after a period of pulling just 2 or 3 hairs, I ‘fell off the wagon’ and was pulling out handfuls of hair. She was quite vocal about her disappointment in me – which didn’t help. It just made me feel more ashamed of myself and just made me want to pull out more. So I’d like to add patience to this list, and just keep up with the encouragement. You want the sufferer to trust you as they don’t need further alienation.


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