Nail biting, hair pulling, could be Excoriation Disorder


A new disorder listed in the fifth edition of the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual (DSM-5) may lead to better treatment options for millions globally. Both insurers and governments often treat the DSM as the go-to source for diagnosis and coverages.

Now, a little-known, but widespread issue that includes nail biting and hair pulling as part of an overall anxiety response has been classified officially in the DSM-5 as Excoriation Disorder.

This disorder could affect as many as fifteen percent of young adults, according to a study conducted at the University of Delaware. Of thsoe who engage in this activity, however, only about four percent take it to an extreme enough level to be a danger to themselves and thus qualify as serious enough for treatment outside of therapy.

Still, having the DSM-5 recognize this disorder allows mental health professionals the chance to diagnose it with clarity and for patients to seek treatment appropriately.


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