Aetiology Dynamic explanations

The current literature tends to ignore dynamic theory in favour of behavioural and biological models. However, dynamic formulations for trichotillomania have included disturbances in the mother-infant bond, early mother deprivation, hair acting as a transitional object, renouncement of adulthood, denial of femininity, attempts at masculinization, attempts to resolve the Oedipal conflict, symbolic castration, autoaggression, masochism, autoerotism, and hair pulling equating to a masturbatory equivalent/!1' Loss or perceived loss is frequently reported as being associated with the onset of trichotillomania. (3) Such losses have been due to injury, isolation, decreased attention, or loss of contact with friends, parents, or other family members. Mothers of patients with trichotillomania have been characterized as ambivalent, competitive, and mutually dependent on their daughters, and fathers characterized as passive and emotionally distant. (12)

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