Sometimes you may see some with a bald patch or missing part of their eyebrows. The urge to give a “second look” at what may seem an unusual sight is pretty strong.
You may be seeing someone who is battling Trichotillomania.
What is this disorder which you in all probability never heard of?
The term trichotillomania was coined by a French dermatologist by the name of Francois Henri Hallopeau in 1885. It basically involves a compulsive urge to pull ones hair out. Often one hair at a time.
According to the DSM-IV it is an impulse control disorder and the peak ages of onset is between 9 and thirteen. It is classified by the Office of Rare Diseases as a rare disease.
There are many suspected contributing factors to the onset of this disorder including stress and/or low self-esteem and a fear of socializing.
The side effects of “Trich” can be serious as the hair loss can cause skin damage and in rare instances the consumed hair can form a matted hairball in the digestive tract and cause severe hair loss, vomiting, and intestinal obstruction and in very rare cases can ultimately be fatal.
If hair loss from Trichotillomania is discovered in younger children it is often self-correcting, however in adults it can be more problematic and re occurring and is considered a difficult disease to treat. However, usually Therapy plays a crucial role in successful treatment of this hair loss condition.
Many people dealing with this condition use various head covers or wide head bands to “cover up” and try and hide their hair loss. If however you happen to see someone who looks like they may have this socially awkward problem don’t stare as it does not help the person who is battling to overcome this disorder.
(Sources include Wikipedia, Mayo Clinic, WebMd.com)