Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of Trichotillomania
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Trichotillomania is a hair-pulling disorder that affects millions of people. The people who meet the criteria for this diagnosis often find themselves missing patches of hair on various parts of the body. Although some do seek help from a doctor or therapist, many cases go undiagnosed or even unnoticed if the person chooses to hide their disorder. This is the case for those who feel ashamed or embarrassed by their compulsivity, and the ability to cover up perceived flaws may become second-nature. Very little research exists to provide answers as to causation; however, some data suggests that there are neurological abnormalities. Personal assessment reveals some similarities between individuals such as when and where pulling occurs, whether other disorders are comorbid, or what areas and textures are chosen for removal. Treatment options such as therapy and medication exist, however, they are not as well-informed as they could be due to the lack of research. Nonetheless, a number of people who suffer from this disorder are able to persist in a way that allows for follicle growth long-term. The purpose of this thesis is to address existing research and evaluate the primary findings that classify diagnosis and treatment methodology.