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Trichotillomania–A Search for Answers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 November 2014

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As defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), trichotillomania (TTM) is a complex syndrome of distressing, often uncontrolled, urge-driven hair pulling. Generally under-diagnosed, it is known to afflict approximately 1–2% of the population. Historically, the morbidity and psychosocial sequelae associated with this disorder have been seriously minimized. Clinical intervention remains a challenge with conflicting documentation of treatment efficacy and often-reported treatment relapse.

The dedication of an entire issue of CNS Spectrums to this disorder highlights the recent recognition of the clinical importance and scientific complexity of this condition. As guest editors of this issue, we welcome the opportunity to educate clinicians, clinical researchers, and basic scientists regarding current perspectives and challenges inherent in this disorder. It is our hope that these papers will encourage our professional audience to think critically about this condition, empirically study it, and work to improve the suffering of those afflicted with it. Furthermore, it should serve as a resource for hair pullers and their families, in conjunction with the soon-to-be-released American Psychiatric Association text, Trichotillomania: Current Developments.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1998

References

1.Stein, D, Christenson, GA, Hollander, E, eds. Trichotillomania: Current Developments. Washington, DC: APA Press; 1998.Google Scholar
2.Swedo, SE, Leonard, HL, Mittleman, BB, et al.Identification of children with pediatrir autoimmune neuropsychialric disorders associated with streplococcal infections by a marker associated with rheumatic fever. Am J Psychiatry. 1997;154:110112.Google ScholarPubMed
3.O'Sullivan, RL, Lipper, G, Lerner EA: The Neuro-immuno-cutaneous-endocrine network: relationship of mind and skin. Arch Dermatol. In press.Google Scholar
4.Lerner, J, Franklin, ME, Meadows, EA, Hembree, E, Foa, EB. Effectiveness of a cognitive behavioral treatment program for tricholillomania: an uncontrolled evaluation. Behav Ther. 1998;29:157171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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