A recent review on the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in obsessive-compulsive–related disorders (OCRDs) identified reports of trichotillomania (TTM) in only three patients, but it did not describe the specific effect of ECT on hair-pulling behaviors. The authors present a case report of Mrs. A, a 77-year-old widowed housewife with a lifelong history of episodic TTM and bipolar disorder who was effectively treated with ECT. However, on each attempt to withdraw ECT, her condition deteriorated. Eventually, a decision was made to maintain ECT (one session every week), which resulted in no further relapse over the followup period. ECT shows some potential promise for reducing hair-pulling behaviors in the context of severe depression.
- Bipolar disorder
- Consultation-liaison psychiatry
- Electroconvulsive therapy