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Trichotillomania in sexual minority individuals.

BACKGROUND: Trichotillomania is a common psychiatric disorder, but little is known about whether or how it differs in people with minority sexual identities. We sought to understand whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, and other individuals differ from heterosexual individuals in terms of hair pulling and associated characteristics.

METHODS: A total of 207 participants age 18 to 64 with trichotillomania undertook clinical evaluations. Those who identified as sexual minorities were compared to those who identified as heterosexuals on clinical measures, comorbidities, impulsivity, and stress responses.

RESULTS: Overall, 33 participants (15.9%) identified as sexual minorities. These individuals showed significantly higher levels of attentional impulsivity and higher rates of co-occurring obsessive-compulsive disorder compared to heterosexual participants. The groups did not differ in terms of trichotillomania severity or dysfunction due to trichotillomania or in terms of stress response CONCLUSIONS: The rate of sexual minorities in this study (15.9%) is higher than recent US Census Bureau data for sexual minorities in the US population (11.7%). People with trichotillomania from sexual minority groups may present with unique clinical symptoms. Treatments may need to be tailored for this population.

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