Treatments and drugsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Research on treatment of trichotillomania is limited. Current approaches focus on:
- Psychotherapy. A form of psychotherapy called habit reversal training may be an effective treatment for trichotillomania. This type of therapy helps you learn how to recognize situations where you're likely to pull and how to substitute other behaviors instead, such as clenching your fists for a period to "freeze" the urge, or redirecting your hand from your hair to your ear. Sometimes elements of other therapies may be blended with habit reversal training. For instance, your care provider may use cognitive therapy to help you challenge and examine distorted beliefs you may have in relation to hair pulling. Another treatment, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), helps people learn to accept their hair-pulling urges while at the same time teaching them how to avoid acting on their impulses.
- Medications. Your doctor may also recommend that you take an antidepressant, such as clomipramine (Anafranil).
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