Prevalence, gender correlates, and co-morbidity of trichotillomania

Psychiatry Res. 2020 Jun:288:112948. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.112948. Epub 2020 Apr 18.


Trichotillomania is a mental health condition characterized by repetitive pulling out of one's hair, often leading to functional impairment and/or distress. A convenience sampling of 10,169 adults, aged 18-69 years, representative of the general US population, completed a survey to establish occurrence of trichotillomania, other mental health concerns, and impact of the illness. 175 (1.7%) identified as having current trichotillomania. Rates of trichotillomania did not differ significantly based on gender (1.8% of males and 1.7% of females). The mean age of onset for trichotillomania was 17.7 years. The mean age of onset differed significantly for males (mean 19.0 years) versus females (mean 14.8 years (p = 0.020). The average amount of distress reported due to trichotillomania was relatively high, and 79% of people with trichotillomania had one or more mental health comorbidities, the most common being anxiety/depressive disorders, OCD, PTSD, and ADHD. This study suggests trichotillomania is relatively common in the general population and typically characterized by moderate-high distress and high rates of comorbidity.

Keywords: Comorbidity; Gender; Prevalence; Trichotillomania.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Trichotillomania / diagnosis
  • Trichotillomania / epidemiology*
  • Trichotillomania / psychology*
  • Young Adult