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Trichotillomania Treatment in Adults

By Brendon G. Burwell

Trichotillomania in adults can be frustrating. The hair loss alone is stressful enough as it is. The way things have gone along an adult's life after suffering from this condition for so long can seem inescapable, as any hope for a cure is usually met with pessimism, since it's been suffered for so long so far. But the fact is that trichotillomania in adults is just as treatable, even curable, as it is with younger people. Adults with this condition may feel that there just isn't any hope, due to the fact that any and all previous attempts to treat this condition, has been with the use of now out-dated therapies.[]

True enough, such brands of therapy have been conjured up long before we had the education in this condition that we do today, but trichotillomania in adults has become a past memory for a vast many. It used to be (and even presently this still persists to some degree) that "trich" was treated just the same way as an obsessive compulsive disorder ("OCD"). Utilizing the same drugs to treat OCD, these were used to treat trichotilllomania in adults and in children, using antidepressant drugs with serotonergic properties (such as with Cloropramine, also called Anafranil).

This is mainly done by focusing on the person's childhood experiences and/or any unresolved issues or conflicts that had initially been experienced during the early developmental stages of the individual's life. Treating trichotillomania with behavioral therapy, such as with habit reversal training, teaches the individual to monitor their hair pulling behavior and begin to replace it with healthier habits. It is with this type of therapy that the most successes occur. Some alternative means of treating trichotillomania can include hypnosis and also biofeedback therapy.Pulling out eyelashes is a form of Trichotillomania. This disorder sees the sufferer compulsively hair pulling or plucking hair from the body and head. The urge for pulling eyelashes or any bodily hair can begin at any time and is normally a symptom of anxiety and stress. As a result of this condition, the sufferer is left with no eyelashes or bald patches.Doctors will primarily prescribe drugs such as Prozac and Zoloft as treatment for Trichotillomania. These Seratonin reuptake inhibitors have been proven to be effective in treating the possible cause of pulling out eyelashes that is a Seratonin difficiency.

For a trichotillomania treatment to be effective there is a need for perseverance. There is no magic pill to take care of this problem as a cure, as the condition doesn't stem from a biochemical cause. There are medications that are geared to alter behavioral patterns, but this only creates a temporary fix (if even a working one at all) for the situation, only creating an effect while you continue to take them. This only seems to post pone the situation, not improve it. Needless to say, this isn't the most desirable course of trichotillomania treatment.Other means of trichotillomania treatment involve different types of psychological methods, which for the most part, actually work quite well... though according to each of these specific methods, they tend to work better for some than others. Still, since this condition has its roots not in biochemistry, but psychologically, manifesting as emotionally triggered behavioral responses, it is with the use of psychological methods of trichotillomania treatment that we can properly attack this problem at its source.

The foremost danger for these patients is the addiction of pulling own hair in such an extent that it becomes chronic leading to bald spots. Scientists claim that in almost 10% cases, the patients indulge in pulling own hair and eating it. This pathological disorder is called Trichophagia and it eventually causes bezoar or hairball after the ingestion. Individuals suffering from it make use of several pullers like their own fingers, pins, tweezers and much more for pulling own hair. Hence, to cure hair pulling disorder, heavy medical intervention is necessary to avoid several appalling consequences. Several people believe that pulling own hair is done consciously by the patients. However, doctors believe that most of these urges are fulfilled unconsciously.

The onset of the symptoms is between the range of ages from nine to fourteen. Reports claim that more than 75-95% patients suffering from hair pulling disorder are females. The primary symptoms might lead to several other secondary symptoms like depression or panic attacks. The main root cause of pulling hair disorder is still unclear. However, many people believe that it is a genetic disorder. There are several other people who believe that trichotillomania is a learned behavior thereby refuting its genetic basis.

While SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) provide generally mixed results on their own, researchers usually recommend using these in conjunction with neuroleptic drugs (antipsychotics) in very low doses as a medical means of trichotillomania therapy. Due to the low success rates of medications as a stand alone form of therapy, these are usually combined with behavioral therapy. Psychoanalysis tends to focus on childhood experiences and unresolved conflicts or issues during early developmental stages of the person's life.

This is one of the first methods of trichotillomania treatment: to discover the triggers for your hair pulling. For many this could be stress, and for others it might simply be boredom. There is also evidence that diet may have an effect. Keep a journal and write down what you were doing, thinking or feeling before you started to pull. While this is related to knowing your triggers, this also means learning how to deal with them. Relaxation is a great way to take your mind of pulling and to learn to accept yourself how you are. This could be done through hypnosis, meditation, soothing music - try as many ways as possible to find out what works for you.You might think that this doesn't count as a cure, but the truth is there is no miracle trichotillomania treatment or cure. No matter what you read, the best thing you can do for yourself is to stop looking for a miracle cure and to spend time working on yourself instead. It takes time, but through talking to others online and in real life, you will realise that trich doesn't make you strange - it is just a part of you that doesn't have to define you.There is no cure for trich, and the best trichotillomania treatment means learning what works best for you and accepting it. This doesn't mean giving in, but it means getting the support you need to live your life however you want to live it.

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