What I Have Learned About The World From Nine Years Of Pulling My Hair (Trichotillomania: A Series)

I suffer from a rather unknown mental illness called “trichotillomania” – what does that mean? Well, I am unable to control certain urges and pull out my own hair. This podcast is an attempt to ask some fundamental questions that have been bothering me:
Why do I think people are disgusted by me? Why do I desperately try to hide my pulling? Why do I hate it when people tell me I can learn how to control my pulling? Why do I hope that there is some fundamental biological cause for my pulling?
This podcast draws on various topics from anthropology and sociology, but at the same time tries to unpack them in ways that not just academics can understand.

This podcast is the final product from my class Public Anthropology at the American University in Cairo, submitted in December 2019.

Interested in knowing more?

  1. Regeser López, Steven; and Peter J. J. Guarnaccia. “Cultural Psychopathology: Uncovering the Social World of Mental Illness.” Annual Review of Psychology 51 (2000): 571-598.
  2. Van Scoy, Holly. “Compulsive Hair Pulling: Understanding and Treating Trichotillomania.” Psych Central, May 17, 2016. Accessed October 12, 2019. Available at: https://psychcentral.com/lib/compulsive-hair-pulling-understanding-and-treating-trichotillomania/
  3. A great YouTube channel on Trichotillomania: https://www.youtube.com/user/beckie0

Music sourced from CCMixter, and OpenSource Platform.


  1. Durham, Deborah. “Disgust and the Anthropological Imagination.” Ethnos 76(2)(2011): 131-156.
  2. Feldman, David D.; and Christian S. Crandall. “Dimensions of Mental Illness Stigma: What About Mental Illness Causes Social Rejection?” Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 26(2) (2007): 137-154.
  3. Kelley, Andrea D. “’They Would Think That I Was A Freak or Something’: Impression Management in Trichotillomania, A Hair-Pulling Disorder.” Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the University of Delaware in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Sociology, 2015.
  4. Walther, Michael R.; Ricketts, Emily J.; Conelea, Christina A.; and Douglas W. Woods. “Recent Advances in the Understanding and Treatment of Trichotillomania.” Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy 24(1) (2010): 46-64.

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