Trichotillomania is a type of body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) in which individuals repeatedly pull out their own hair, often to the point of noticeable hair loss. (The condition is also known as hair-pulling disorder.) Trichotillomania is thought to affect up to 5% of people, though rates may be higher, as many people with BFRBs do not seek help for their treatable conditions due to shame and stigma.1While hair pulling is a self-soothing, self-regulating behavior (as is the case for other BFRBs), the results of the behavior often cause significant distress and/or impairment to the individual.
People with trichotillomania may consciously or unconsciously engage in hair pulling, which is often done in a ritualistic manner (e.g., searching for a specific kind of hair strand to pull and manually manipulating it once pulled).Trichotillomania often co-occurs with other BFRBs (like skin picking and lip chewing) and with conditions like depression, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).23 Trichotillomania should not be confused for hair removal done for cosmetic reasons or for hair pulling done as a symmetry ritual among some individuals with OCD.Answer the questions below to see if you may be showing signs of hair-pulling disorder.
Share your results with a licensed clinician and/or mental health professional. Regardless of your score, talk to your doctor if you are engaging in hair-pulling and/or other BFRBs, no matter the severity of the behavior(s).This self-test, drafted by ADDitude editors, is based on criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).Read more on additudemag.com