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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

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Trichotillomania is an impulse control disorder characterized by an overwhelming urge to repeatedly pull out one's own hair, resulting in 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.


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:  1/19/2011

Copyright  1990, 1995, 2001, 2011 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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