[Self-Test] Trichotillomania (Hair-Pulling Disorder) Symptoms
Take this self-test to see if you may be exhibiting symptoms of trichotillomania, an underrecognized condition that can affect children and adults.
Trichotillomania is a type of body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) in which individuals repeatedly pull out their own hair, often to the point of noticeable hair loss. (The condition is also known as hair-pulling disorder.) Trichotillomania is thought to affect up to 5% of people, though rates may be higher, as many people with BFRBs do not seek help for their treatable conditions due to shame and stigma.1
While hair pulling is a self-soothing, self-regulating behavior (as is the case for other BFRBs), the results of the behavior often cause significant distress and/or impairment to the individual. People with trichotillomania may consciously or unconsciously engage in hair pulling, which is often done in a ritualistic manner (e.g., searching for a specific kind of hair strand to pull and manually manipulating it once pulled).
Trichotillomania often co-occurs with other BFRBs (like skin picking and lip chewing) and with conditions like depression, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).2 3 Trichotillomania should not be confused for hair removal done for cosmetic reasons or for hair pulling done as a symmetry ritual among some individuals with OCD.
Answer the questions below to see if you may be showing signs of hair-pulling disorder. Share your results with a licensed clinician and/or mental health professional. Regardless of your score, talk to your doctor if you are engaging in hair-pulling and/or other BFRBs, no matter the severity of the behavior(s).
This self-test, drafted by ADDitude editors, is based on criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This self-test is designed to screen for the possibility of trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder), and it is intended for personal use only. This self-test is not intended as a diagnostic tool.
Can’t see the self-test questions above? Click here to open this test in a new window.
Trichotillomania and BFRBs: Next Steps
- Read: Overview of Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors — Types, Treatments & ADHD Links
- Read: Trichotillomania, Other BFRBs Reduced with Habit Replacement Training
- Watch: Nail Biting! Skin Picking! Hair Pulling! Understanding Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors with ADHD
View Article Sources
1 Madan, S. K., Davidson, J., & Gong, H. (2023). Addressing body-focused repetitive behaviors in the dermatology practice. Clinics in dermatology, S0738-081X(23)00031-7. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clindermatol.2023.03.004
3 Grant, J. E., & Chamberlain, S. R. (2022). Characteristics of 262 adults with skin picking disorder. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 117, 152338. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2022.152338