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Old 05-03-2005, 01:59 PM   #1
Trilby
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Trichotillomania

I'm starting this Thread because I am sick of having my name under, "What does a Hernia feel like?" and because I want to know if anyone out there knows anything about this disorder. It's chronic hair-pulling. Anyone have any experience with someone who does this, or does anyone here struggle with it? My neice, who is 13, is doing this to herself and we have tried SSRI's and other meds that are supposed to reduce OCD behavior and she does quit for awhile and then when stressed she starts at it again.
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Old 05-04-2005, 10:57 AM   #2
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Get thee to a behavioral specialist. Meds are half the job ... the seemingly goofy strategies that will keep her from pulling her hair out (and moving onto things like cutting) are the other half.
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Old 05-06-2005, 04:10 PM   #3
stellamerteuil
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Trichotillomania, like cutting, is one of those disorders that is very hard to treat if the patient isn't willing to change. It's part meds, part behavioral therapy. Contrary to what sufferers say, they DO have a choice in the matter of pulling out their hair, it's just extremely hard to break the habit. I suggest a serious therapy regime from a therapist who is trained in behavioral therapy. Your neice will also have to be willing to work very hard at helping herself. It's a tough battle, but it is possible to win.
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Old 05-09-2005, 09:35 PM   #4
staceyv
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get her to a hairdresser- she needs cornrows.
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Old 05-09-2005, 11:13 PM   #5
wolf
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That's brilliant.

No, I mean it.

I'm not making fun of you.
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:22 AM   #6
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When I used to bite my nails my mum threatened me with that stuff you paint on nails that tastes like SHIT. She didn't need to carry out the threat, the thought of it was enough. Treat it as misbehaviour rather than a disorder. It puts it in perspective for her, and presents her with a simple choice rather than bottling her up with inauspicious medication and making her think she has a 'problem'.
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Old 05-11-2005, 12:03 PM   #7
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Wow, I'm surprised to see this subject here--you guys cover it all!

I've had this disorder since I was a teenager, and at one point in my early twenties I had almost no hair on one side of my head. I've learned a lot online, and it's not as uncommon as most people think. Of course I've been to therapists and shrinks about it, some more helpful than others. As you mentioned it's a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and meds that target OCD can be very helpful (Prozac worked the best for me, but it depends on the individual). Behavior modification is also extremely important, but the worst part of that is finding a decent therapist. I'm almost "cured" of the problem at this point, but do on occasion findmyself tugging at my hair--usually when I'm stressed out or bored. Yes, it is VERY hard to break the habit. I feel bad for the 13 year old--if she's lost some hair I'm sure she's getting teased at school. Hopefully you guys will find something that works for her. Good luck, and don't give up!
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Old 05-11-2005, 06:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staceyv
get her to a hairdresser- she needs cornrows.
Tough one for a girl. Boys, you can cut or shave it and not look strange but for a girl I guess cornrows would be the closest. That might lead to some social coolness that would help with anxiety too.

aside- Welcome to the Cellar, Stellamerteuil.
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