In February 2013 we published a blog post about 20 year old Rebecca Brown, a British woman who suffered from a rare hair pulling condition called trichotillomania throughout her teenage years and into adulthood
Since then Beckie has published a series of videos on YouTube, notching up more than 12 million views, as well as a popular site on Tumblr and she was also featured recently in the Daily Mail. She has become nothing short of a sensation and has provided inspiration and support for many other trichotillomania sufferers from around the world.
Her latest piece of filming however has attracted a much larger audience, in the form of an interview on ITV’s This Morning. To see Beckie’s appearance on the show, see the video on ITV Player.
Rebecca’s inadvertent media exposure has raised awareness of a condition that many people do not know exists. Although it is a fairly rare condition, it is effectively a psychological disorder and potentially extremely damaging to the person who suffers from it. Furthermore it is virtually impossible to say for sure how many people show signs of the condition as there are no official figures, and even if they were, trichotillomania is the kind of disorder that would most likely go unreported in the majority of cases.
If you do not know what trichotillomania is, see our previous blog post for a full explanation. In brief, it is a nervous condition by which the sufferer tugs at their own hair compulsively, often unaware that they are even doing it. It is actually classed as a psychological disorder, and should really be remedied with the same measures as other conditions such as self harming and eating disorders, by way of therapy and other techniques. Unfortunately this condition is not recognised as being as severe, even though the emotional impact can be highly significant.
Do you suffer with trichotillomania?
If so, the following resources may help:
- Rebeccas video library
- Trichotillomania on Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies
- The Wikipedia page for this condition
- Trichotillomania Support Online
- The Trichotillomania Learning Center