LIFE

12 Unusual Mental Illnesses You’ve Never Heard Of

Do you vomit when you go to Paris? Compulsively tear out your pubic hair? Maybe you think your hand is trying to kill you or that you’re rotting from the inside out. If so, chances are you’re suffering from one of these weird and not-so-wonderful rare mental illnesses.

Trichotillomania

trichotillomania hair loss Trichotillomania (TTM) is an impulse control disorder which causes sufferers to compulsively pull out the hair from their scalp, eyelashes, face and pubic region. The compulsive nature of the affliction is comparable to sufferers of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. As with OCD, TTM is explained to be a compulsive disorder where the ritual of pulling out hair somehow brings comfort to those afflicted. Some patients with trichotillomania may also suffer from trichophagia, whereupon they consume the hair they pull out. This can lead to hair balls which can cause fatal damage to the intestines.

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The peak age for the onset of this illness is between 9 and 13, though it may also be triggered later by anxiety, post-traumatic stress or depression. Though many describe the sensation as having an itch you’re not supposed to scratch with the pulling out of hair leading to pleasant feelings of relief, others don’t even realise they are pulling out their hair. Whilst many young children grow out of the disorder, adult sufferers may be treated with Habit Reversal Therapy, behavioral therapy and/or anti-depressants.

☛ More Hair: Hideous Haircuts and Terrible Trims


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