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Question
Posted by: Scratcher | 2003/12/18

Repetitive Behaviour - Head 'Scratching'

Hi - I am a 27yr old Female. I have an extremely annoying habit - when I am concentrating/watching TV/ lying in bed before I fall asleep/sitting in front of my computer at work/ studying/reading - I unconsciously rub places on my head. I used to pull all of the hairs out in one spot on my head until it bled (over time) and then I didn't do that anymore and the hairs have since grown back in that spot. But now I have a new spot - it seems to be something about the 'pain' or discomfort that rubbing the spot gives - it actually hurts but for some reason I can't stop doing it! I think that the answer would be to wear gloves on my hands so that I can't feel the pricking anymore under my fingers and maybe won't want to do it anymore!! This is such a silly thing, I know - please help?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dear Scratcher,
Actually, if you'll check out the Archives of this Forum, you'll find we've discussed this a number of times, as it isn't awfully rare, and it rejoices in the splendid fancy name of Trichitillomania ! A psychologist can help you break bad habits like this, usually without much difficulty ; and wearing gloves isn't a bad idea. Similarly, one can work on giving your idle hands something different to do when you feel fidgety, like getting a set of Worry Beads or those Stress Balls, to have an alternative to fiddle with.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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