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.

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