Trichotillomania (TTM) may affect as many as 4% of the population with the highest incidence in childhood and adolescence. It can continue well into adulthood.
Formerly considered an impulse control disorder (in DSM-IV), TTM is categorized in DSM-5 as an obsessive-compulsive and related disorder.1
Diagnostic criteria include:
• Recurrent pulling out of hair, resulting in hair loss
• Repeated attempts to stop such behavior
• "Clinically significant” distress or impairment
• Not a result of a medical issue
• Not explained by other mental disorders
There are no FDA-approved medications for TTM, making treatment elusive—but the disorder can be effectively treated with behavioral and pharmacological therapies.
Advance through the slideshow for "classic" and more current studies on the topic with links to respective research.
Recommended reading: "Impulse Control Disorders: Clinical Characteristics and Pharmacological Management," by Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, and Suck Won Kim, MD.
For a PDF of this slideshow, please click here.
Dr Grant is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago School of Medicine in Chicago. He reports that he has received research grants from the National Center for Responsible Gaming, the NIMH, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Roche, and Forest Pharmaceuticals; as Editor in Chief for the Journal of Gambling Studies, he receives yearly compensation from Springer Publishing; and he has received royalties from Oxford University Press, American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc, Norton Press, and McGraw-Hill.
For more on this topic, see Trichotillomania, Skin Picking, and Other Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors, by Jon E. Grant, Dan J. Stein, Douglas W. Woods, and Nancy J. Keuthen (APPI, 2012), on which this slideshow was based.
1. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.