Treatment for Trichotillomania

Do You or Someone You Love Need Trichotillomania Treatment?

If you or your loved one has been struggling with trichotillomania, you may understand how difficult and overwhelming it can feel to live life on a daily basis.  Facing the urges to hair-pull can be difficult to resist when you are encountering stressors that you may be unable to cope with.  The ways in which your life can be altered by this mental illness are numerous, and for this reason, it is crucial that you seek the help and support from a trichotillomania treatment center for guidance in your healing and recovery journey.  Trichotillomania can negatively impact various aspects of your life, including physically, emotionally, and socially, especially over prolonged periods of time and if left untreated.  You can take the first and most important step towards healing and recovery from trichotillomania by recognizing the severity of this disorder.  Often, a person with trichotillomania may also be dealing with other co-occurring mental disorders or illness that can be effectively addressed if professional help is sought. Having professional treatment during this time can promote healing and offer guidance so that the effects of trichotillomania are minimized.

Treatment Plan for Trichotillomania

To create an effective plan for overcoming trichotillomania, it is important to network and utilize available resources for treatment.  By establishing a skilled team of specialists, you will have a comprehensive foundation to your recovery and healing journey.  This team will consist of loved ones, a therapist, a trichotillomania rehabilitation program, and a support group. These four components will contribute tremendously to your ability to heal from trichotillomania.

  • Loved ones – Loved ones will play a significant part in the healing process and cannot be undervalued. They will provide support and help when therapy and treatment becomes challenging.
  • Professional psychologist – A professional psychologist can help produce a custom-made trichotillomania treatment program. They will also aid in the admission to a trichotillomania facility.
  • Trichotillomania psychotherapy facility – A trichotillomania psychotherapy program will help increase the odds for successfully dealing with trichotillomania. They will use various treatment strategies to tackle any other co-occurring addictions.
  • Support group – A support group can provide accountability and guidance which is important. They will provide assistance when facing the trials of stopping therapy and taking medications. They will be important in assisting to continue abstinence.

Treatment Levels for Trichotillomania

Treatment for trichotillomania is typically based on a person’s age.  Because the effects of trichotillomania are not immediately threatening or fatal to an individual or their surroundings, a less acute level of care is usually recommended for treatment.   The following are common levels of care for trichotillomania treatment, in order of acuity:

  • Outpatient Treatment Care – This type of care offers some form of structured therapy in a less informal setting. It places fewer limits on the person but still implements both group and personal therapies.
  • Treatment with Support Groups – This type of treatment is important as the members help alleviate the trials of relapsing. The group can supply much needed care and compassion on the road to recovery.

Types of Pharmacological Therapy for Trichotillomania Treatment

Medication may be used as part of a treatment program, including a type of antidepressant medication called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).  These medications may be useful in helping to curb very intense urges for hair-picking.  Research has also shown that treatment with clomipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant, has helped improve symptoms of trichotillomania.  As some medications may actually increase hair pulling, it is always recommended to discuss medication options with your treatment team.

Types of Therapy for Trichotillomania Treatment

Psychotherapy may be the most effective resource and tool for treating trichotillomania.  A trichotillomania treatment center will incorporate a variety of psychotherapy techniques to promote healing from trichotillomania.  The following are the main types of psychotherapies that may be used for the treatment of trichotillomania:

  • Habit Reversal Training (HRT) – A method of therapy that teaches relaxation as a way to reduce some of the tension associated with the hair-pulling urges.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – This level of treatment works toward changing maladaptive thinking patterns so the patient can modify their behavior in a positive way. This also allows negative coping skills to be replaced with positive coping skills.
  • Supportive Programs – These are programs like family therapy, group therapy, support groups, etc. These types of supportive programs are beneficial for both the family and the person suffering from trichotillomania.

If you are seeking to overcome trichotillomania, you can take the first step towards this goal by recognizing your problem and reaching out for help.  With the numerous resources available for overcoming trichotillomania, you can get your life back on track and learn healthy ways to cope with stressful circumstances instead of hair pulling or picking.  A trichotillomania treatment center can be invaluable to helping you get started on the right track of recovery.  Consider taking the first step towards healing today and access the resources available on Addiction Hope to get started on your recovery journey.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 15th, 2013
Published on, Substance Abuse Assistance

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