Phenomenology and Epidemiology of Trichotillomania

Samuel R. Chamberlain

in The Oxford Handbook of Impulse Control Disorders

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195389715
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Phenomenology and Epidemiology of Trichotillomania

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  • Clinical Psychology



Trichotillomania is a psychiatric disorder characterized by recurrent hair pulling, leading to hair loss and functional impairment. This chapter reviews the phenomenology and epidemiology of trichotillomania, and considers its relationship with putative obsessive-compulsive spectrum conditions and other body-focused repetitive behaviors. Salient animal models of the disorder, along with findings in human patients using neuroimaging and cognitive probes, are summarized. A brain-based model of trichotillomania is formulated, focusing on affect dysregulation, addiction, and impulse dyscontrol. Finally, the chapter flags cardinal questions for the attention of future clinical and research scrutiny.

Keywords: impulsivity; compulsivity; habit; obsessive-compulsive; cognition

Article.  6171 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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