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NORD is very grateful to Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD PhD MRCPsych, Clinical Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, England, for assistance in the preparation of this report.
Synonyms of Trichotillomania
- hair-pulling syndrome
- pathological hair-pulling
- No subdivisions found.
Trichotillomania is characterized by an overwhelming urge to repeatedly pull out one's own hair, resulting in repetitive hair pulling and noticeable patches of baldness. The hair on the scalp is most often affected. The eyelashes, eyebrows, and beard can also be affected. In some cases, affected individuals chew and/or swallow (ingest) the hair they have pulled out (trichophagy), which can result in gastrointestinal problems. Trichotillomania causes significant emotional distress and often impairs social functioning. The exact cause of the condition is not known. Trichotillomania was previously classified as an impulse control disorder but is now considered an obsessive-compulsive related disorder in the latest version of the psychiatric Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Version 5, American Psychiatric Association).
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