Overview

Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh), also called hair-pulling disorder, is a mental disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body, despite trying to stop.

Hair pulling from the scalp often leaves patchy bald spots, which causes significant distress and can interfere with social or work functioning. People with trichotillomania may go to great lengths to disguise the loss of hair.

For some people, trichotillomania may be mild and generally manageable. For others, the compulsive urge to pull hair is overwhelming. Some treatment options have helped many people reduce their hair pulling or stop entirely.

Nov. 17, 2016
References
  1. 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.org. Accessed Oct. 3, 2016.
  2. Trichotillomania. National Organization for Rare Disorders. http://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/trichotillomania/. Accessed Sept. 30, 2016.
  3. Trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder). Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric-disorders/obsessive-compulsive-and-related-disorders/trichotillomania. Accessed Sept. 30, 2016.
  4. Iorizzo M, et al. Current and future treatments of alopecia areata and trichotillomania in children. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy. 2016;17:1767.
  5. Grant JE, et al. Trichotillomania. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2016;173:868.
  6. Woods DW, et al. Diagnosis, evaluation, and management of trichotillomania. Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 2014;37:301.
  7. Rothbart R, et al. Pharmacotherapy for trichotillomania. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD007662.pub2/full. Accessed Oct. 3, 2016.
  8. Whiteside SP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 1, 2016.