Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder), is an obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder characterized by a long term, irresistible urge to pull out one's hair. This occurs to the degree that significant hair loss can be seen.

Epidemiology

Prevalence is 1-2% in the general population. It affects significantly more females than males. There is a high comorbidity with OCD, excoriation disorder, body dysmorphia, and tics.

Criterion A
Criterion B
Criterion C
Criterion D
Criterion E
Criterion F
Specifiers

Specifiers

Specify if:

Severity Specifier

Specify if:

Except for clomipramine, which has shown some proven benefit in studies, SSRIs/SNRIs are generally ineffective for trichotillomania. Alternatively, antipsychotics such as those described above, may be beneficial as primary medications. Studies have also shown promising results for N-acetylcysteine and naltrexone. The main treatment for this condition is a specific type of CBT called habit reversal training.

Habit reversal therapy (HRT) (a form of cognitive behavioural therapy) is the first-line treatment.[1] HRT's premise is that the best way to shift a habit is to diagnose and retain the old cue and reward, and to try to change only the routine itself. Thus. HRT includes cognitive restructuring, awareness training, and behavioural analysis/identification of triggers, and developing competing responses.

Recommended Reading

Buy on Amazon

PsychDB is an Amazon Associate and earns from qualifying purchases. Thank you for supporting our site!

Trichotillomania Guidelines

Guideline Location Year PDF Website
American Psychiatric Association (APA) USA 2016 - Link