Trichotillomania OCD, otherwise known as “trich” (pronounced “trick”) is a condition in which sufferers (usually teenagers and adults) experience uncontrollable hair pulling out, skin picking, and other such behavioral patterns that cause an incredible amount of stress and embarrassment to the sufferer. This condition is classified as a behavioral disorder because of the fact that the compulsions and behaviors associated with it are intensely persistent, even in the face of strong contrary emotions. As such, drug treatment for trichotillomania OCD typically involves neuroleptic (antipsychotic) drugs and antidepressants, as these drugs have proven effective in treating other psychological conditions. Unfortunately, these medications have not been proven very effective in the treatment of trichotillomania OCD. Moreover, the side effects of these medications can be quite unpleasant and can even result in the exacerbation of the condition rather than the cure.
Treating trichotillomania OCD naturally has become more popular in recent years as a growing number of people are realizing the harmful side effects of trichotillomania medications. Natural therapies that address the condition generally use behavioral and cognitive techniques in addition to medication in treating trichotillomania. These approaches have shown far greater success in treating trichotillomania OCD than either neuroleptics (antipsychotic drugs) or antidepressants. The reason for this is that medications for this condition generally only address the symptoms and not the underlying cause, thereby causing the condition to return when the medication is discontinued.
Using behavioral therapies is therefore an ideal solution for those who suffer from trichotillomania. One type of therapy used in treating this condition is called “behavioral substitution” or “behavioral replacement”. With this therapy, patients are taught proper techniques for controlling their compulsive behaviors and are then given substitute therapies such as relaxation techniques and creative activities to perform when they experience compulsive hair pulling. By using these methods, sufferers find it much easier to control their compulsive hair pulling behavior and are able to finally rid themselves of this condition for good.
However, medication is not always a necessary or even desired treatment for trichotillomania OCD. In fact, in many cases where conventional medications do not work, the use of behavioral therapies in conjunction with medications is often enough to completely cure the condition. In cases where trichotillomania cannot be treated with behavioral replacement or by simply avoiding certain stimuli (like food), there are other treatments that can be tried as well. For example, medication can be administered to prevent a relapse of the condition, or to minimize it in the first place.
Those who are dealing with a trichotillomania OCD condition may often resort to behavioral therapies and medications in an effort to stop the repetitive behaviors and compulsions that are a typical part of their condition. The most common behavioral therapy used in conjunction with trichotillomania OCD is known as Habit Reversal Training (HRT). This therapy aims to teach sufferers how to replace their OCD compulsions with healthier habits such as relaxation techniques, meditation, exercise, etc. Once a person has learned to replace their compulsive behaviors with healthier habits, they often find that their condition clears up on its own.
Another way to treat trichotillomania OCD is with the use of antidepressants. One of the most popular antidepressants prescribed for trichotillomania OCD is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These are generally prescribed to people who only suffer with mild forms of this condition. When taken, these antidepressants are able to essentially reverse the chemical imbalances in the brain which cause the symptoms of trichotillomania. However, because of the many side effects associated with these medications, these are usually only prescribed to those with very severe cases of this condition. SSRIs have also been found to increase overall anxiety levels which may make the condition even worse in some cases.
If medication isn’t successful, then behavioral therapy is usually the next option that patients turn to. The benefits of behavioral therapy are well documented and proven to be much more effective in the long run than other forms of treatment. Because trichotillomania is primarily a psychological disorder, the fact that it can be treated through psychological means is favorable for those suffering from this condition. Also, using behavioral therapy means that the patient will no longer have to experience the compulsive behavior that leads to the condition, thus making it easier to cope and treat.
With these two options, the chances of finding a cure for trichotillomania are much greater. Using behavioral therapy alone has shown great success in the past, while utilizing medication has shown an improvement for those who suffer from milder cases of the condition. Trichotillomania and can be treated, so get started today. Find out which method suits you best!