More threads by lauriecolson

In psychiatry, hair has an unconscious symbolic meaning and has the quality of a transitional object that can represent the mother. Similar to the mother, the hair may be the recipient of an entire spectrum of feelings that may include rage and destruction.
i found this on the internet and thought it was interesting in regard to my problem. i don't know if i have trichotillomania, or ocd, or a grooming disorder like what is found in animals! i run my hands constantly through my hair and rub at the follicles. i don't have sores, or pull my hair. i've done this to a minor degree since a teen, but in the last year, and increasingly i do it almost constantly. it is driving me crazy! and my daughter makes fun of me and thinks i'm disgusting, she's a teen and i can understand her reaction. anyways, i also suffer from borderline and associated comorbid conditions, this seems so unfair. does all of this crap have to strike at once? i told my psychiatrist about it, and she says that picking my scalp is the least of my problems and not to worry about it. i don't think she understands how pervasive it has become. i take risperodol 2mg. but don't think this helps at all. any advice or similar experiences?
trichotillomania or ocd or transitional object manipulation?

Well, I don't know about the medication part of it and I've never really done anything with my hair except get really bad haircuts, but I did find this article about breaking habits:

Tips for breaking bad habits

I think you should bring it up with your doctor again and let her know just how pervasive it is and that it is really bothering you. Maybe she's thinking that it's something that can wait to be dealt with later?

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
trichotillomania or ocd or transitional object manipulation?

The "symbol of mother" theory sounds like something from psychoanalytic theory or perhaps Jungian theory -- I think that's overanalyzing a compulsive behavior, actually.

I find that it's not uncommon in my OCD clients to exhibit behaviors like this. Sometimes, they are diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome as a secondary diagnosis, although again I wonder about the accuracy of that at times. I tend to see it as one more repetitive compulsive behavior ("ritual") whose function or goal is an attempt to lower anxiety. Your psychiatrist, assuming s/he sees it in similar terms, may simply be saying that it's not the central problem but a symptom of underlying anxiety or something similar -- if so, it makes sense to focus on what is driving the behavior rather than the symptom.

thanks, that articule was good. in one of dr. baxter's ocd links i foud that there is an anxiety clinic here in columbus at osu. i might check that out, osu gerenally accepts the medicaid card which is nice.


trichotillomania or ocd or transitional object manipulation?

Do check out what's offered at OSU, hon. It can only benefit you to get some treatment for your anxiety, and you'll really thank yourself for doing so. :eek:)
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