What is PICA?
Pica is characterized as:
- Persistent eating of nonnutritive, nonfood substances over a period of at least 1 month.
- The eating of nonnutritive, nonfood substances is inappropriate to the developmental level of the individual.
- The eating behaviour is not part of a culturally supported or socially normative practice.
- If the eating behaviour occurs in the context of another mental disorder (e.g., intellectual disability [intellectual developmental disorder], autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia)
or medical condition (including pregnancy), it is sufficiently severe to warrant additional clinical attention.
How is PICA Treated?
The most reliable treatments for Pica are cognitive and behavioural. We use CBT protocols that include exposure work as well as DBT skills training to help with anxiety, emotion regulation, and normalization of eating.