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Anxiety and Stress Disorders (Children)

Information About Trichotillomania

04/03/2007

Question:

My eight year old daughter has begun pulling out her eyelashes and eyebrows. She has had a history of behavior proplems, irriational fears, tantrums, difficulty eating, bedwetting. Ect....... She has never been easy. Her doctor has diagnosed her with an axiety disorder and recommends medication and then behavior modification. Her father on the other had has began taking her to a chiropractor who beleive her anxiety and related problems a restriction of blood flow. Her father does not want her to take meds. I am very confused. She has only been on celexa for 5 days now. Her father beleives she is showing adverse affects of the drugs already. I do not.

Answer:

Your physician probably diagnosed trichotillomania, which is a type of anxiety disorder with symptoms of hair, eyebrow and eyelash pulling. I concur with your physician recommendations. Medications used are serotonin reuptake inhibitors like “Celexa” which take anywhere from 8-12 weeks to work so your daughter is very early in her treatment course. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and seek reassurance concerning your treatment decisions. While admitting that you child has a problem is never easy, it is better to deal with these problems now than later.

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Response by:

Floyd R Sallee, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati