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Dissociative episodes characterised by hair-pulling in a late adolescent woman
  1. Danielle Nicole Healey1,
  2. Jessica J Lee1,
  3. Elizabeth Getzoff Testa2 and
  4. Rishi Gautam3
  1. 1The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA
  2. 2Department of Psychology and Neuropsychology, Mt Washington Pediatric Hospital Inc, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  3. 3Department of Psychiatry, Sinai Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Danielle Nicole Healey; dhealey30{at}


A woman in late adolescence with a history of sickle cell disease, moyamoya disease, cerebrovascular accident, mild intellectual disability, post-traumatic stress disorder, functional seizures, generalised anxiety disorder and transient psychosis was referred for a psychiatry consultation. She presented with worsening episodes of dissociation characterised by compulsory hair-pulling. Limited research exists regarding patients engaging in activities of automated behaviour during episodes of dissociation. Thus, we aim to describe a case of a patient with episodes of hair-pulling during dissociative events to discuss the aetiology and treatment. We are describing the aetiology and treatment of a patient with episodes of hair-pulling during dissociative events.

  • Psychiatry
  • Anxiety disorders (including OCD and PTSD)
  • Child and adolescent psychiatry
  • Child and adolescent psychiatry (paediatrics)

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  • Contributors DNH, JJL, EGT and RG were responsible for drafting of the text, sourcing and editing of clinical images, investigation results, drawing original diagrams and algorithms, and critical revision for important intellectual content. DNH, JJL, EGT and RG gave final approval of the manuscript. Is the patient one of the authors of this manuscript? No.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.