“I started following my program and I’m pulling MORE – what’s going on?!”
The urge to pull that is so prevalent in trichotillomania is caused (in most people) by an imbalance in neurotransmitter function. To correct this imbalance, we have found a combination of amino acid supplements that provide the body the exact nutrients it needs to be remarkably effective. In fact, we have been able to help over 86% of the people that come to us with trich completely eliminate the urge to pull.
For most people, the positive changes happen relatively quickly. They go from having the urge to pull their hair out to having absolutely no urge to pull at all in a relatively short time frame. However, this doesn’t mean that it is always a smooth road to becoming trich-free. In a very small number of people, symptoms actually increase when we start or adjust daily amino acid dosing. (We see this most often in dealing with people with depression or increased appetite, but we have seen it in a handful of cases of people with trich as well.)
Most of the time, this happens in the first week or two of using amino acids. This is often described as a “gets worse before it gets better” type of reaction. What’s happening here is that as a person approaches the dose needed for them to experience a relief of symptoms their neurotransmitter levels go through a phase that makes them more aware of the urge to pull, thus increasing the overall “need” to pull. In order to get this person urge-free as quickly as possible, we need to increase the daily amino acid dose, which is completely counter-intuitive, especially for someone that wants to pull more. When amino acid dosing is properly increased however, the increase in symptoms will often resolve completely within 1-2 days.
Obviously, it can be very difficult from a client’s perspective to increase the dose of something they think is making them worse. However, from a clinical perspective, having this type of reaction is a sure-sign that the person will become completely symptom free if they can hold on and make the recommended changes. Luckily, it only takes 1-2 days to prove that this is the proper approach once the amino acid dosing is increased.
If you begin taking amino acids as directed and you experience any increase in symptoms, contact us immediately so we can get you through this phase as quickly as possible. Take heart that every single client that we have had that experienced this type of reaction had a complete elimination of the urge to pull within a week of increasing their amino acid dosing as directed – every single one.