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Treatment Of Trichotillomania

Question:

My fianc?e has been suffering from Trichotillomania for about 14 years and we are not have any luck at all with treatment. It’s tough finding anyone who is even familiar with it at this point, I feel like we’re teaching the doctors. She is currently taking Neurontin, Buspar, Celexa, Klonopin, Lithium. PLEASE can you help……any suggestion would be appreciated.

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Answer:

For those that don’t know, Trichotillomania is an impulse disorder wherein afflicted persons obsessively twiddle, tug and yank on their hair, sometimes creating quite pronounced bald spots.

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p> The thing about medicines is that they tend to act generally on the entire body or brain. They can help lift the floor of someone’s mood, take the edge off of anxiety feelings, dampen a schizophrenic’s voices and even lower the degree of forceful compulsion experienced by persons with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, but they sometimes have difficulty containing particular impulses. You’ve gone the medical route and hopefully that has helped somewhat even if it hasn’t stopped the hair-twisting cold. My suggestion is to add cognitive-behavioral therapy to the treatment mix. You’ll need to find a cognitive-behavioral therapist (probably a Clinical Psychologist), and hopefully one who has experience treating impulse-control disorders and obsessionality, if not Trichotillomania itself. You may want to interview a few Psychologists as to their behavioral training before deciding on one to work with – your fianc?e will almost certainly not get better with standard sorts of counseling. The cognitive behavioral therapy itself is results oriented, practical and relatively short-term (3-9 months in duration), geared towards first measuring the problem behavior and then intervening to teach the patient stratagies and tools to help lessen the frequency of impulsive behavior.

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