Your doctor will perform a thorough evaluation to determine if you have trichotillomania. This may include:
- Examining how much hair loss you have
- Discussing your hair loss with you and possibly having you fill out a questionnaire
- Eliminating other possible causes of hair pulling or hair loss through testing determined by your doctor
To be diagnosed with trichotillomania, you must meet criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association. This manual is used by mental health providers to diagnose mental conditions and by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.
DSM criteria for the diagnosis of trichotillomania include the following:
Feb. 13, 2014
- You repeatedly pull out your hair, resulting in noticeable hair loss.
- You repeatedly try to stop pulling out your hair or try to do it less often.
- Pulling out your hair causes you significant distress or problems at work, school or in social situations.
- Your hair loss isn't due to another medical or skin condition or the symptom of another mental disorder.
- Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Aug. 27, 2013.
- Highlights of changes from DSM-IV-TR to DSM-5. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.dsm5.org/Documents/changes%20from%20dsm-iv-tr%20to%20dsm-5.pdf. Accessed Aug. 27, 2013.
- Woods DW. Treating trichotillomania across the lifespan. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2013;52:223.
- Wong JW, et al. Primary psychiatric conditions: Dermatitis artefacta, trichotillomania and neurotic excoriations. Indian Journal of Dermatology. 2013;58:44.
- Gude D, et al. Comprehending trichotillomania. International Journal of Trichology. 2012;4:100.
- Gupta S, et al. Habit reversal training for trichotillomania. International Journal of Trichology. 2012;4:39.
- Morris SH, et al. Habit reversal training in trichotillomania: Guide for the clinician. Expert Reviewers: Neurotherapeutics. http://www.expert-reviews.com. Accessed Aug. 27, 2013.
- Whiteside SP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 2, 2013.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 4, 2013.
- Kaplan A. Update on trichotillomania. Psychiatric Times. http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/apa2012/update-trichotillomania. Accessed Oct. 4, 2013.
- Dean O, et al. N-acetylcysteine in psychiatry: Current therapeutic evidence and potential mechanisms of action. Journal of Psychiatry and Neurosciences. 2011;36:78.