Habit Reversal Behavior Treatment

Treatment Summary: Trichotillomania is a control disorder in which the patient literally pulls his/her hair out. The etiology is unknown. However, chemical imbalances triggered by stress are theorized to be the cause for this behavior - depression and anxiety may be comorbid. Therefore, in addition to treating Trichotillomania treatment for depression and anxiety symptoms may be in order too. The failure to resist urges and impulses to pull ones hair out is the focus of any treatment program. The treatment proposed by this article is habit reversal behavioral therapy. Additionally, tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., clomipramine) used for treating obsessive control disorders has proven effective. Prognosis for recovery with treatment is good for children. But, the same cannot be said for adults due to the chronic nature of the disorder by this stage in the life cycle.

  • Reference: Walther, M., Ricketts, E., Conelea, C., & Woods, D. (2010). Recent Advances in theUnderstanding and Treatment of Trichotillomania. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 24(1), 46-64. Retrieved from Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection Database: b798c232add6%40sessionmgr110 &bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3Qtb Gl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=pbh&AN=48155241
  • Submitter: N/A

Behavioral Therapy and Medication

Treatment Summary: Medications like numbing cream and Aripiprazole have been found to help stop an individual from pulling out his/her hair. Other research shows that behavioral therapy can help too, like changing up an individual's routine. For example, one study mentioned the girl could not be in a room by herself. Other treatment methods mentioned were EMDR, ERP, psychoanalysis, hypnosis, CBT, and habit reversal.

  • Reference: Ak, M., & Gulsun, M. (2010). Aripiprazole in the Treatment of Trichotillomania: A Case Report. Klinik Psikofarmakoloji Bulteni, 20(2), 176-178. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Jefferys, D., & Burrows, G. (2008). Reversal of trichotillomania with aripiprazole. Depression & Anxiety (1091-4269), 25(6), E37-E40. doi:10.1002/da.20395 Marcks, B. A., Wetterneck, C. T., & Woods, D. W. (2006). Investigating Healthcare Providers' Knowledge of Trichotillomania and its Treatment. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 35(1), 19-27. doi:10.1080/16506070510010657
  • Submitter: Victoria Rutter-Reese
Virtual Advisor