Tricotillomania: Pathopsychology theories and treatment possibilities

Netta Shoenfeld, Oded Rosenberg, Moshe Kotler, Pinhas N. Dannon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The phenomenon of hair pulling has been recognized for centuries, yet the true prevalence of trichotillomania (TTM) is largely unknown and the topic has been sparsely studied. TTM is classified as an impulse-control disorder despite much debate about its etiology. In this review we summarize the different hypotheses, including impulse-control disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, behavioral problems and addiction, and the appropriate treatment methods. The combination of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and antipsychotic medications are shown to be most effective. Treatment with anti-addiction drugs seems relevant. Further research is needed to increase our knowledge regarding the etiology of TTM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Addiction
  • Impulse control
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Treatment outcome
  • Trichotillomania


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