Research into treatments for TTM has grown steadily over the past decade. Although no one treatment has been found to be effective for everyone, a number of treatment options have shown promise for some.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
In cognitive behavioral therapy, people learn a structured method of keeping track of the symptoms and associated behaviors, increasing awareness of pulling, substituting incompatible behaviors and several other techniques aimed at reversing the “habit” of pulling.
Habit Reversal (HR) is based on the premise that people are often not aware each time a repetitive behavior such as hair pulling occurs, and that repetitive behaviors often follow a feeling of discomfort which is only relieved by engaging in the behavior itself. HR works to increase awareness of one's behaviors, and to provide relief with strategies that replace the unwanted behavior with a less bothersome behavior.
A number of medications have shown promise in reducing the severity of trichotillamania symptoms, depression and any obsessive compulsive symptoms the child may be experiencing. Most of these fall under the category of selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The effectiveness of these drugs for hair pulling ranges considerably. Researchers are studying the possible benefits of combining drugs with cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Support Groups have proved helpful for some people.