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Ask Carol Kryder LMFT Your Own Question
Carol Kryder LMFT
Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience:  APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
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My son is 9 years old. He has a twin sister and another brother

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My son is 9 years old. He has a twin sister and another brother who is 15 months younger. He was "Baby B" born breech full term with an afgar number of 6. He was diagnosed with ADDHD and some sensory issues when he was in kindergarten, he is now in 3rd grade. He is on medatate cd 40 mg in the a.m. and 10mg at 2 p.m. daily. When he was a baby he would bang his head side to side in his carseat (hard) then he would fall asleep. This changed to rubbing a crayon above his upper lip or other items in kindergarten and 1st grade to banging his head on a pillow before he would go to sleep in 2nd and 3rd grade. Now, he has started pulling his hair out. This started 3 weeks ago during a stressful, standardized test. He came home w a bald spot on his head and told me he pulled strand by strand during the test. I took him to the pediatrician. She said possibly OCD.His hair is growing back but the other night he pulled his eyelashes out and his hair on his legs. What do I do to help him?

Your son is suffering from severe anxiety and the hair-pulling behavior is called tricotillomania. He needs to be evaluated by a child psychologist and possibly a psychiatrist for medication. Children with anxiety usually do well on an SSRI medication.

If money is an issue for you (although you should be able to find a doctor who charges between $250-$350 for a consult) start with the child psychologist who has experience with cognitive-behavioral therapy.

This is a highly treatable condition, so please call today. He doesn't need to suffer like this.

I hope this has been helpful. Please let me know if you have questions. I wish you well.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for your response, I am trying to get him in with someone next week. Until then, any recomendations for modifying this behavior?

Yes, try to get him to substitute the hair pulling for some other behavior. He needs to feel some discomfort due to the release of endorphins when he feels the pain of hair pulling. I suggest you have him put a rubber band on his wrist and snap it when he feels the urge to pull hair. Some people use ice cubes against the skin, others will do an exercise, such as jumping jacks or push ups. The idea is to substitute the negative behavior with something positive or at least harmless.

Good luck.

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