How Stress Relief Helped my Sister’s Stress Problems

I’m sorry, but tricho. . .what?” – was the only thing that I was able to say when the dermatologist said that her diagnosis of my sister’s case was trich o tillo ma n ia . Hearing medical terms would induce nosebleed and confusion to me, so all that I did manage was to give her a totally blank stare. After explaining what the situation was all about and after doing my own research, I’ve found out that tricho tillo ma n ia (pronounced: trik-oh-till-oh-may-nee-ah) is a condition of a psychological nature which compels individuals to pull out their own hair without the use of stress relief method.

stress problems

The dermatologist said that it may be triggered by depression or stress. Due to social implications, the disorder is often unreported and it is difficult to accurately predict its incidence. What medical statistics would rather show is that this condition is very high in women than in men. Data reveals that the lifetime occurrence is estimated to be between 0.6% (overall) and may be as high as 1.5% in males to 3.4% in females.

Though our family was glad that we have been able to pinpoint the nature of my sister’s predicament, still, we are very much worried for the amount of my sister’s hair loss was increasing day by day, and a small portion of her scalp was already thinning. What’s more difficult was that, at times, she’s even unconscious when she’s already pulling her hair. Since the dermatologist said that this psychological condition is stress-induced, our family helped my sister to fight against stress and to handle stressful situations. My sister is my only sibling and I love her very much, so I really showed her my support and I tried my best to make her feel better despite the fact of her thinning hair.

stress reliefOur family was so intent on helping her to overcome this compulsive behavior that we tried every way that we could possibly think of just to make her overcome her stress problems. We tried group therapy sessions, calming exercises, painting lessons and we even bought a puppy (because they said that pets can help you to let go of your stress). But what really helped her a lot are the soothing stress relief sounds that we made her listen to. It’s crucial for her to keep relaxed and stress-free so we saved it in her mp3 for her to possibly listen to it anywhere, whenever she’s stressed-out and just want to instantly relax. The sound therapy gave her all the stress relief techniques that she needed to know in order for her to relax and have peace of mind.

After a week of listening to stress relief sounds, my sister was more cheerful and positive than she was before. We also noticed that she’s less anxious and less tense. She also stated that she slept more peacefully at night and we noticed she was less grumpy upon waking up in the mornings!

It has already been a year since my sister was first diagnosed of trich o tillo ma n ia , but anyone who would see her now, without knowing what happened last year, wouldn’t think that she had suffered through that stress related psychological condition. She has battled with her stress problems and has positively conquered it. Today, she has become a jolly person and she smiles and laughs a lot. Hearing her laughter has been the music to our family– the sound of relaxation which confirms that gone are those days of hair pulling, depression and a stress-filled atmosphere .

The 2 Week Diet
About the author

Mae Davies

BA, MA Psychology (and Conflict Resolution), University of Cambridge (2007). With a decade of trial and error in psychology and 33 years of navigating my own complex (that's one word for it!) relationships with family, friends, co-workers and men, I hope I have some useful knowledge and skills to share with my readers about making sense of relationships and trying to become a better person every day.