The Hidden Epidemic Of Compulsive Hair Pulling By Sara Talpos #MentalHealth #MentalIllness #psychology #psychiatry #science #neuroscience

Daedalus Magazine

What You Don’t Know About Ashly (As/Is, BuzzFeed)

“This video deals with sensitive content relating to a mental disorder and body-focused repetitive behavior. Viewer discretion is advised.” (As/Is, BuzzFeed)

Whether hair pulling, skin picking or cheek biting, body-focused repetitive behaviours blight many people’s lives. How can science help us understand and treat these distressing conditions better?

Christina Pearson was 14 years old when she started pulling out her hair, creating bald patches on her head. She was taken to a psychiatrist, but in 1970 there was no name for her disorder, and certainly no treatment.

The doctor issued a psychiatric discharge that removed Pearson from high school. In that moment, she felt relief. Going to high school meant that somebody might pull off her hat and reveal that her head was mostly bare – a possibility she found “so frightening that anything was better than that”.

In the ensuing…

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