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Hi, I have a question about the ways people deal with stressful situations. When I feel stressed out I usually take a few deep breaths and have a cup of tee to relax. But I believe that my best friend has a very hard time coping with stress. She tries to keep it a secret, but I know that she gets this impulse to pull hair strands whenever she is stressed. I have noticed this behavior when we study together for our exams. I don't think that she is aware of the problem. Do you have some idea why she is acting this way? Also I was wondering if you have some advice on how I could help my friend.

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Hi, hair pulling is a psychological condition that in professional circles goes by the name trichotillomania. It is a kind of compulsive-obsessive disorder. Your friend probably can not help herself. The hair pulling is probably caused by the mistakes in the chemical processes in your friend's brain. She gets the feeling that hair pulling will offer her some kind of stress relief. There are many people with similar problem. Hair pulling is a medical condition that demands professional help. The best thing you can do is to talk to your friend. You are probably right when you say that she is not aware of the problem. Maybe if you point out that she is acting in an unconventional way she will realize her problem. You should try to convince her to see a psychiatrist. With the help of a professional therapist and some kind of medication I am sure that your friend will be able to overcome her condition.
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