18 November 2008

How is trichotillomania diagnosed?

A diagnosis of trichotillomania is made according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

The name trichotillomania derives from the Greek words: tricho- (hair), till(en) (to pull), and mania.

A diagnosis of trichotillomania is made according to the following criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV):

  • Repeatedly pulling out of one's hair, resulting in noticeable hair loss
  • An increasing sense of tension immediately before pulling out the hair, or when attempting to resist the behaviour
  • Pleasure, gratification, or relief when pulling out the hair
  • The disturbance is not better accounted for by another mental disorder and is not due to a general medical condition (e.g. a dermatological condition)
  • The disturbance causes clinical distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

(November 2008)


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