hugYesterday, I spoke with the mother of a young girl that started to aggressively pull her hair out after being treated for Lyme’s Disease. She also became very anxious at the same time. That was 8 months ago. Since that time, she had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital twice and has been put on several different medication combinations in an effort to help her control her mood and behavior.

This young girl is eleven years old.

Her mom found us after being told about amino acid therapy from their physician in California. She was referred to a provider in Seattle, Washington, who then referred her to us. When I spoke to this young girl’s mother, she was only on two medications for neurotransmitter control and they were in the middle of tapering her off one of them.

This mother was obviously distraught; she had watched her bright, vibrant and out-going daughter transform almost overnight into a fearful, anxious and withdrawal girl who was afraid to be in her own house and who constantly pulled out her hair, eyelashes and eyebrows. She asked me questions for half an hour on how amino acid therapy worked, whether she could take amino acids with medications (you can) and the time frame it usually takes to see a change in symptoms (usually 1-3 months).

We have worked with hundreds of children with trichotillomania. As heartbreaking as it can be for a parent to see a child suffer with these sometimes insatiable urges to pull, the joy and relief they experience once their child is free from these urges can almost seem miraculous.

Before we hung up, this mother confided in me that all she wanted was to have her little girl back again. Based on my experience with working with children with trichotillomania, I have high expectations that she will get her wish before her daughter takes off for summer break.