disorder-we-treat

Trichotillomania

Treatment at Our Center

What To Expect.

Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT)

Individuals will be engaged in an intensive outpatient program using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Our clinic also offers weekly outpatient therapy for individuals with Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling Disorder). CBT is recommended for the treatment of Trichotillomania.

Demographics

  • Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling Disorder) is estimated to affect between 1 to 3% of the general population. Unfortunately, it is often an underdiagnosed and mistreated disorder.
  • Although trichotillomania can start at any age, the mean age of onset is between 11 and 13 years old.
  • Appears to occur more often in women than men.

What Is Trichotillomania?

Trichotillomania is characterized by the repeated pulling out of one’s own hair. Hair pulling may occur from any region of the body in which hair grows. The most common sites for pulling are the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows. The least common sites for pulling are axillary, facial, pubic, and peri-rectal regions. Individuals who pull can report an urge prior to, or when attempting to resist, pulling. They often also report pleasure, relief or gratification after pulling. An individual may pull hair from single or multiple sites. The pulling site(s) may change over time. Individuals can use their hands or instruments to extract hair.

Many people describe not being aware of their pulling behavior while it occurs. This style of pulling has been termed "automatic pulling". This can happen when a person is engaged in tasks or engrossed in thought, such as while watching television, talking on the phone, reading or lying in bed.

Another style of pulling is "focused pulling." This is often associated with thoughts of pulling or a compulsion to pull that may be in response to a negative emotional state, physical sensations or an intense urge.

Diagnostic Criteria

DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for 312.39 Trichotillomania

  • Recurrent pulling out of one's hair, resulting in hair loss.
  • Repeated attempts to decrease or stop hair pulling.
  • The hair pulling causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
  • The hair pulling or hair loss is not attributable to another medical condition (e.g., a dermatological condition).
  • The hair pulling is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder (e.g., attempts to improve a perceived defect or flaw in appearance in body dysmorphic disorder).

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