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Old 04-05-2005, 12:38 PM
AuntieKLE's Avatar
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trichotilomania

Hi,

Due to a traumatic experience 2 yrs ago, my DD (11) started pulling her hair. This all started a yr ago. First it was her eyelashes, then her eyebrows, then the hair on her arms and legs. Then when the weather got colder and she had to wear long sleeves and pants she started pulling the hair on her head. It was hard to notice at first until the hair on her head started to go.

In January, the school "Baker Acted" her to a mental health clinic and scared her again. We were forced to get an appt. with them and my DD had the chance to be locked up for 72 hrs. Luckily, after waiting all day to see a Doctor, he recommended counseling and she was free to leave.

I contacted another Doctor away from the clinic and was able to see her in 3 weeks. The clinics appt wasn't until 6 wks later. (Which I cancelled).

After hearing our story, the Psychiatrist put DD on Luvox and told us to see a therapist. We saw the therapist a few days later and it took 2 visits to explain the nightmare we'd been through.

The therapist says that my DD suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which has caused the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which is Trichotilomania. She suggested that DD wear big garden gloves (to prevent pulling) and pop bubblewrap (by putting all her worries into the bubbles for 15 minutes each day). DD also wears a spandex cap under her bucket hat at all times (to prevent her from getting to her head). As the hair grows in it is really itchy.

She has good days and bad. She says she loves her hair but with not much there it's hard to believe. I'm worried that after a few more times of pulling that it won't grow back. It's allready coming in a different color. She had beautiful red hair and now it's coming in darker.

Right now she feels like she is the only one with this problem. The school isn't much help as they think she is doing this to be popular, but they do let her wear a hat to hide it. Her class is full of mean kids that love picking on her. I keep telling her that it is not the quantity but the quality of friends. She has friends away from school.

I was wondering if she could receive emails from others, especially kids that have or are going through this?

Thanks for letting me share this story.

Never a dull moment at my house.
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Old 04-05-2005, 07:04 PM
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Bless her heart and yours too. I hope that you can get her in contact with a child with this problem. I believe I have a slight issue with it myself and I too have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My compulsion seems to come and go at about the same level (very slight) each time. I am in my late 40's now and have suffered with this since high school. I absolutely cannot believe that the school would have the audacity to say she was doing this for attention! Grrr. You would think they would have advanced beyond blaming the child/victim by 2005.

Please give your daughter an extra squeeze the next time you hug her and tell her if you want that it is from someone she doesn't know but who does know a tiny bit about how she feels.
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Old 04-08-2005, 08:46 AM
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My mother did this to the front and back top of her head. She did it many years before that with tweezers on her legs. She had a bald spot on the back of her head. She was/is very obsessive/compulsive. I don't know if or how often she does the hair pulling now, because I don't see her very often. She is schizophrenic, and has to be on medication all of the time. If she gets away with not taking a pill or getting rid of her pills, she has to go into the hospital until she gets back on them. This isn't exactly helpful info., I guess, but I do think you should keep up with figuring out what medication will help, or what changes to make to help. One thing that I know will help her to go in the right direction healthwise with this is Vitamin B12.
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Old 04-08-2005, 11:08 AM
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My sister used to do this (not sure if she still does or not) and you're right - eventually the roots of the hair will be killed and the hair will not grow back. My sister only pulled the hair on the very top of her head - and now there is no hair on the very top. She wears it in a very creative way so as to cover it up. She also pulls out her eyebrows and eyelashes and constantly picks at bumps on her face. I know it is an obsessive, compulsive disorder. My brother is also very obs/compulsive but he does not pull his hair. My sister is on anti-depressants. Please try to keep your daughter from pulling her hair out because it will kill the roots.
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Old 04-08-2005, 11:24 AM
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HI hun I know what you go through here my son and dd both suffer from PTSD my son bites on him self and trys to earse his skin at times he bites his nails so bad that there is only skin left there they have put him on prozac to see if it would help him he has realy bad outburst at times ..my daughter on the other hand she would get mad and pull at her hair she would take both hand and grab her hair and start yaking it out or she would throw her self in to the wall or doors she was on meds for but they say with here being EMD that they are not to sure how the meds was working she has the body of a 14 year old but the mind of a 4 year old if you would like I could get her to email your daughter or even my son or I my self would be willing to email your daughter as I am a Youth Leader in our church her is my email addy

[ Edited ]

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Old 04-08-2005, 12:30 PM
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THANK YOU

To all that have responded. It's nice to know that we are not alone while going through this.

Here's an update about DD:

We went to see her Psych Dr yesterday. The DR says that DD is "getting there" but still needs help, so the med was increased again. She is now taking 100mg of Luvox.

Since taking the meds, DD seems to only pull when upset. Last week we were visiting relatives in AL. DD's hair was just starting to grow out (about 1" all over) when DD decided she wanted us to adopt a stray dog in the neighborhood. After we told her "NO" DD is now missing a section on the back of her head. I think that is one reason the meds were increased.

I'm just trying to get DD through this school year. She is in 5th grade and this is her last year at this elementary school. After what the school did to her, some days she wants to go to school and some days not. She does not feel safe at school anymore. I keep telling DD that next year will be better with more friends, more classes at middle school (6th through 8th grade).

I keep hoping that we can get this all over with before school starts in August.

Thanks again,

Kathy
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Old 04-08-2005, 06:59 PM
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Have the psychiatrists or therapists suggested to work through her traumatic experience? With therapy addressing the issue and her meds, it should hopefully resolve the compulsive behavior or reduce dramatically.....
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Last edited by Jeannie; 04-08-2005 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 04-08-2005, 11:33 PM
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My DS did this last year (4th grade). He had a bald spot at the top and people would ask me if he had cancer. His was due to stress/nervousness. The counselor we had him see recommended a replacment habit to do instead. He did eventually stop and we were lucky that it grew back as he has very thick hair. I will still sometimes catch him twirling it and pulling but not to the degree of patches. This is more with it longer so I will then have it cut short. I know with girl it is harder to have the real short hair.
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