I spoke with the mother of a young girl with trich yesterday. This young woman, we’ll call her Beth, had been working with us for 9 months to try and eliminate her urges to pull. She had seen success within a couple months of starting amino acid therapy, but the urges to pull came back after she had missed several doses of amino acids and we were working to get her rebalanced. This was understandably frustrating for them. It was frustrating for me as well, as the conversation we were having was because they had decided to stop amino acid therapy.
It can be difficult to see your loved ones suffer from a disorder like trichotillomania, especially when they have seen results and are struggling to maintain hope for recovery. It is also difficult to pay good money for supplements that aren’t providing 100% relief. Anybody can understand this. The hard part is moving as fast as possible toward the goal and doing the necessary testing along the way to make sure we get there as fast as possible. This is where we stumbled with Beth.
We can do testing to help rebalance neurotransmitter levels after only 7 days on a given dose of amino acids and it takes about 7-10 days to get results from the lab. Therefore, in theory a person could take a test every 3 weeks until their neurotransmitter levels were optimized. Beth took a test only every couple months, either because she had missed one or more doses of amino acids or because her parents wanted to wait for other reasons. This dramatically prolonged the time required to get Beth’s neurotransmitter levels corrected. This ultimately led to their decision to stop.
I’ve seen this happened before, but thankfully it doesn’t occur often. I regret not pushing Beth and her parents harder to run the tests much more often, as I know we can help her eliminate her urges to pull.
Some people see a dramatic decrease and elimination of their urges to pull within days or weeks of beginning amino acid therapy. Others, like Beth, take longer to get their neurotransmitter levels optimized. Those people that take a longer time need to be positioned properly at the onset to see this through to the end; I believe I failed to do this adequately in Beth’s case and hope to get another chance to help her in the future.