National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

It is possible that the main title of the report Trichotillomania is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • hair-pulling syndrome
  • TTM
  • pathological hair-pulling

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Trichotillomania is characterized by an overwhelming urge to repeatedly pull out one's own hair, resulting in repetitive hair pulling and noticeable patches of baldness. The hair on the scalp is most often affected. The eyelashes, eyebrows, and beard can also be affected. In some cases, affected individuals chew and/or swallow (ingest) the hair they have pulled out (trichophagy), which can result in gastrointestinal problems. Trichotillomania causes significant emotional distress and often impairs social functioning. The exact cause of the condition is not known. Trichotillomania was previously classified as an impulse control disorder but is now considered an obsessive-compulsive related disorder in the latest version of the psychiatric Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Version 5, American Psychiatric Association).


International OCD Foundation
PO Box 961029
Boston, MA 02196
Tel: (617)973-5801
Fax: (617)973-5803

National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health
Attn: Marion Mealing
9605 Medical Center Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
Tel: (240)403-1901
Fax: (240)403-1909

National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse
1211 Chestnut Street
Suite 1207
Philadelphia, PA 19107-6312
Tel: (215)751-1810
Fax: (215)636-6312
Tel: (800)553-4539

Mental Health America
2000 N. Beauregard Street, 6th Floor
Alexandria, VA 22314-2971
Tel: (703)684-7722
Fax: (703)684-5968
Tel: (800)969-6642
TDD: (800)433-5959

National Alliance on Mental Illness
3803 N. Fairfax Drive
Suite 100
Arlington, VA 22203-
Tel: (703)524-7600
Fax: (703)524-9094
Tel: (800)999-6264
TDD: (703)516-7227

NIH/National Institute of Mental Health
Health Science Writing, Press and Dissemination Branch
6001 Executive Boulevard
Room 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
Tel: (301)443-4513
Fax: (301)443-4279
Tel: (866)615-6464
TDD: (301)443-8431

Trichotillomania Learning Center
207 McPherson Street,
Suite H
Santa Cruz, CA 95060-5863
Tel: (831)457-1004
Fax: (831)426-4383

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

Locks of Love
234 Southern Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33405-3099
Tel: (561)833-7332
Fax: (561)833-7962
Tel: (888)896-1588
TDD: (561)833-7332

North American Hair Research Society
Dept. of Dermatology Medical Center Blvd.
Walke University School of Medicine
Winston-Salem, NC 27157
Tel: (336)776-2768
Fax: (336)776-7732

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated:  2/20/2014
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