Electroconvulsive therapy for trichotillomania in a bipolar patient

Leonardo F. Fontenelle, Samara Dos Santos-Ribeiro, Juliana Kalaf, Murat Yücel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalBulletin of the Menninger Clinic
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Consultation-liaison psychiatry
  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Self-injury
  • Trichotillomania

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