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Re: obsessive picking at hair

Re: obsessive picking at hair

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Posted by May on December 10, 2000 at 03:26:59:

In Reply to: Re: obsessive picking at hair posted by diane on November 04, 2000 at 10:34:53:

: : My 14 year old daughter has a very obsessive behavior of picking and breaking off her hair. Has anyone ever heard of this and how can we help her, she is breaking off her hair so that it is only 1 1/2 inches long on top, she cannot stop. It is also hurting her in school because all she can concentrate on is pulling at her hair,

: : does she pull it out? because if she does she might have a rare disorder. its called something like tricotheomania..or something like that..i cant remember the exact name..but...its a rare chemical imbalance that forces people to pull their hair out. its a realease for them, where as when we pull ours out we'd say "ouch!" they say "aahhh" you know what i mean? it is treatable though. if thats what she's doing, you should take her to the doctor.

I too suffer from this debilitating problem that your daughter has and I too started when I was 14 years old (over 20 years ago now). My parents didn't understand what it was and since I had long hair, I could hide it fairly easily. However, as the years went by and my hair style changed, it became harder to hide. I am now in behavioral modification therapy and taking a drug called Luvox. It is wonderful!!! I think that if they had this drug out 20 years ago, I wouldn't even need to be in therapy to break the "habit" of pulling out my hair. So please, get your daughter help from a psychiatrist who can prescribe this drug. Very few peds or gen docs know about this problem and you will end up wasting your time and embarrasing your daughter by shuflling her from doc to doc to tell the story.

Some doctor's consider this an obbsesive/Compulsive Disorder since most people say "ouch" when the hair is pulled and we say "aw". However, more research is being done and they think that it may be a skin disease rather than a psychiatric one. Good news!

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