Old  June 28th, 2006, 9:59am     #1
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Hair pulling problem
My 5 year old has a problem with pulling her hair out. She used to do it when she was really little too. She would pull out her hair and roll it into a little ball and hold it in her hand while she sucked her thumb. She had no hair until she was a little over 2 years old and started pulling out barbie's hair or another dolls hair. Well now over the past few months she's started pulling out her own hair again and has a few bald spots on the back of her head. I don't know what to do. I told her to pull out one of her dolls hair or pull hair off of the hair brush. She's starting kindergarten in a few months and I don't want her going to school with bald spots. I talked to the doctor when she first started doing it and she said it's something she'd grow out of. I wouldn't care so much if she wasn't doing it to her own hair. I don't know what to do.

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  Old  June 28th, 2006, 10:16am     #2
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Trichotillomania. It has been studied that trichotillomania is related to OCD. I would suggest a visit to your pediatrician (again) so you can put together a plan for your daughter while she's still young.

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  Old  June 28th, 2006, 10:47am     #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melonhed
Trichotillomania. It has been studied that trichotillomania is related to OCD. I would suggest a visit to your pediatrician (again) so you can put together a plan for your daughter while she's still young.
Thanks

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  Old  June 28th, 2006, 2:39pm     #4
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I did that when I was little too. I think it was due to stress and anxiety in my case. I don't do it anymore, but I do have other vices.
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  Old  June 28th, 2006, 4:53pm     #5
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You might find this article helpful: http://www.trich.org/articles/view_default.asp?aid=16

It says, in part, "[There are] some notable differences in hair pulling between children and adults. Dr. Susan Swedo, an NIMH researcher, believes that early childhood hair pulling (i.e. onset occurring before age 5) may not represent the same clinical disorder as hair pulling that begins during and beyond adolescence. She suggests that many cases of childhood onset hair pulling may be outgrown. Therefore, for preschoolers, this is worth keeping in mind when considering parental or professional intervention.

"There is no evidence that hair pulling [in young children] is symptomatic of a "deep-seated" problem.

"Although little has been written about treatment outcome for childhood trichotillomania, the work at our clinic suggests that the prognosis is quite good....As stated earlier, a low profile, "wait and see" approach may suffice for pre-schoolers."


So ... don't panic, don't rush her to a shrink. Chances are that your pediatrician is 100% right and she will outgrow it, but you can try the exercises suggested in the article, just to be sure.

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  Old  June 28th, 2006, 4:54pm     #6
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Definitly... if your family doctor won't help.. take her to a good child psychiatrist to be evaluated.
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  Old  June 28th, 2006, 5:29pm     #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annulla
You might find this article helpful: http://www.trich.org/articles/view_default.asp?aid=16

It says, in part, "[There are] some notable differences in hair pulling between children and adults. Dr. Susan Swedo, an NIMH researcher, believes that early childhood hair pulling (i.e. onset occurring before age 5) may not represent the same clinical disorder as hair pulling that begins during and beyond adolescence. She suggests that many cases of childhood onset hair pulling may be outgrown. Therefore, for preschoolers, this is worth keeping in mind when considering parental or professional intervention.

"There is no evidence that hair pulling [in young children] is symptomatic of a "deep-seated" problem.

"Although little has been written about treatment outcome for childhood trichotillomania, the work at our clinic suggests that the prognosis is quite good....As stated earlier, a low profile, "wait and see" approach may suffice for pre-schoolers."


So ... don't panic, don't rush her to a shrink. Chances are that your pediatrician is 100% right and she will outgrow it, but you can try the exercises suggested in the article, just to be sure.
She does it because she said she needs a fuzzy (that's what she calls the hair when she rolls it into a ball) to hold in her hand while she's sucking her thumb. I try not to get mad and tell her to find a barbie and pull the hair out of that.

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  Old  June 28th, 2006, 6:04pm     #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightMoon
She does it because she said she needs a fuzzy (that's what she calls the hair when she rolls it into a ball) to hold in her hand while she's sucking her thumb. I try not to get mad and tell her to find a barbie and pull the hair out of that.
Maybe instead you could work on the thumb-sucking issue and hope the hair-pulling resolves itself?
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  Old  June 28th, 2006, 6:21pm     #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venus_de_milo
Maybe instead you could work on the thumb-sucking issue and hope the hair-pulling resolves itself?
I've tried to get her to stop sucking her thumb. I've ran out of ideas on how to do it.

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  Old  June 29th, 2006, 12:29am     #10
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They make stuff you cna put on her finger to make it taste bad so she won't suck on it.
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  Old  June 29th, 2006, 7:37am     #11
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My DD & I BOTH did this at approximately the same ages, 8-13. I pulled mine out on both sides right above my ears, she pulled hers out on the crown of her head. Luckily we both just outgrew it with no outside help. The toughest phase is when it starts to grow back in, it's itchy & it just seems easier to pull it out yet again. In my case it was a self-comforting thing, I also sucked my thumb & bit my nails. I stopped the thumb at 6, the hair at 13 & the nails at 23!

Every child is different of course, but I remember when my Mom chastised me I just did it more, same with my DD, even when I shared my own experience with her...

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  Old  June 29th, 2006, 9:20am     #12
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I, too, sucked my finger and would have to have something to hold in my hand. Instead of pulling my hair, I used to pull apart my blankie. I grew out of sucking my finger at about 5, but I continued twisting around the yarn in knitted blankets until I was much older.

I wonder if you could give her something for her to hold instead her hair while she is getting ready to sleep?

I didn't realize so many people did this. I wonder why?
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