of eating non-nutritive substances, lasting for at least a month,
Such substances as dirt, paper etc. The main characteristics are:
For at least 1 month the person persists in eating dirt or other
This behavior is not appropriate to the person's developmental
It is not sanctioned in the person's culture.
If this behavior occurs solely in the context of another mental
disorder (such as Mental Retardation,
Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia),
it is serious enough to require independent clinical attention.
be experienced by any socioeconomic group, There are no cultural
propensity towards this disorder. While it may be associated
with nutritional deficiencies such as iron deficiency anemia,
pica can occur when there are no deficiencies.
Some disorders have similar or even the same symptom. The clinician,
therefore, in his diagnostic attempt has to differentiate against
the following disorders which he needs to rule out to establish
a precise diagnosis.
Treatment emphasizes psychosocial, environmental, and family guidance
treatments have been mild aversion therapy followed by positive