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anyone have a child with trichotillomania? (hair pulling)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

my son has been pulling since he was in third grade (8) and he is now 12.  He didn't pull much in 4th grade, but other than that, he has.  He does it more when anxious (he sees a therapist, a church pastor, and the psychiatrist), and also when content (when reading, which he LOVES). 

 

Just wondering what you have done to help them cope with it, help them stop (is that possible?), etc. 

 

My son has been diagnosed with ADHD when he was 6, anxiety when he was 11 (although I know he had it for a long long time before the official diagnosis), and the trich when he was 8.

 

Thanks in advance for support and encouragement. 

 

Lisa :)

post #2 of 8

Have been there!  My son first had trichotillomania at age 4.  We started with a "probable" ADHD diagnoses at 4, positive diagnoses (at the time) of ADHD, anxiety and NVLD with unspecified tic disorder at age 7, with a possible Tourettes being on the look-out.  Last year, at age 11, he had an ASD diagnoses, Asperger's type. 

 

We have had about 2 years without the hair pulling in particular, although we also have issues with skin picking more recently.  The main things that helped were cognitive-behavioral therapy for the anxiety, and as of September last year, medication.  It might not be for everyone, but in our case the hair pulling, skin picking and nail biting went within less than 2 weeks, and not struggling with anxiety has made a huge difference in the overall quality of life for our son,  He's been able to make real and strong friendships over this year and his grades are better, too.  And, he's just plain happier :).  Anyway, not to say it's for everyone, but it helped a lot for our son.
 

post #3 of 8

Hi there. I just came across your post while reading some more on trich. My 12 year old daughter has trich. She started pulling eye lashes at 5 and it has progressed to eye brows and hair on her head. It has been a very difficult road for her. Last year, she was wearing a wig to school, because she was completely bald on the top of her head. She is very sweet and smart. They have put her into advanced classes at school. This year her psychiatrist heard about a Yale study on trich. The study showed that the kids taking a supplement N-Acetylcysteine  1200mg greatly reduced the urge to pull. My daughter has been on this and 100mg Zoloft for other OCD habits and it does truly help. It has allowed her to stop wearing a wig and feel more confident. Who would thought a supplement that you can get on Amazon or any health food store could help this much?.  She still has bad days with pulling, but there are a lot more good days. I would highly recommend that you look up the Yale study on trich. Good Luck- Jessica

post #4 of 8

Hi there. I just came across your post while reading some more on trich. My 12 year old daughter has trich. She started pulling eye lashes at 5 and it has progressed to eye brows and hair on her head. It has been a very difficult road for her. Last year, she was wearing a wig to school, because she was completely bald on the top of her head. She is very sweet and smart. They have put her into advanced classes at school. This year her psychiatrist heard about a Yale study on trich. The study showed that the kids taking a supplement N-Acetylcysteine  1200mg greatly reduced the urge to pull. My daughter has been on this and 100mg Zoloft for other OCD habits and it does truly help. It has allowed her to stop wearing a wig and feel more confident. Who would thought a supplement that you can get on Amazon or any health food store could help this much?.  She still has bad days with pulling, but there are a lot more good days. I would highly recommend that you look up the Yale study on trich. Good Luck- Jessica

post #5 of 8

My daughter was diagnosed with a Tic when she was 6, and her neurologist said the hair pulling was just part of the anxiety that went with it. He said the tic has a possible Tourettes outcome as well.  But then its been 5 years, and other than the original tic, which we never see anymore since she has been on medication for it since she was 6, no other tourette signs have appeared. However, the pulling has. Its increased 10 fold. And we live in Germany as civilian contractors, so we have no access to the type of help she needs. I keep hearing a lot about the NAC and how more often than not, it works.  But without a doctor's go ahead I am so hesitant to use it. I actually spoke with a woman who was involved in conducting the study at Yale with the children, and their findings concluded that the NAC wasn't as successful in children as it was in adults. And that the Behavioral therapy was more substantial to helping the issue. So now I am really torn.  With my daughter more than anything we've seen cycles she goes through. Yes, stress really incites it, but she is just as capable of pulling while watching TV or reading or anything she loves doing. We have found just having things on hand to keep her hands busy is the best thing. We document the instances of pulling and what was happening when she started and when she noticed and we keep her hands busy. She also wears gloves at night.

post #6 of 8
N-acytl cysteine is safe and has been shown to be effective in trichotillomania http://www.pullfreeatlast.com/trichotillomania-facts/n-acetylcysteine-trichotillomania.html and http://www.trich.org/dnld/NACarticle_InTouch55_rev.pdf I've seen studies even in kids. It's a safe supplement.
post #7 of 8

We suspect our DD has it. She's 10. We just discovered a very noticeable bald spot on the top of her head. At first she denied it but than she admitted that she's pulling her hair out. She says she does it before falling asleep but it's hard to get any info out of her and she refuses to talk about it.

We really don't know what to do. No problems at school or socially. No other diagnosed condition. She refuses to go talk to someone and I really don't know what to do next.

post #8 of 8
My 17 year old daughter has been pulling her hair out since she was 10. She was able to curtail it for a while, but recently she has been really pulling and doesn't seem to be worried about it. I truly don't know what to do. At her age I can't force her to stop, and she doesn't seem to think there is anything wrong with it and her boyfriend seems to agree. This just breaks my heart. Help??
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