Lucinda Ellery, hair extension specialist and founder of National 'No-Pulling' Week, will be with us all week talking about Trichotillomania...
"It’s the middle of National ‘No Pulling’ Week and today I wanted to introduce you to the average TTM sufferer - you might recognise her – is it you, your sister, a friend, a daughter or a pupil in your class? It’s staggering to think but almost one million people in the UK will suffer at some point in their lives from TTM! That’s 4% of the UK population.
To give you an idea of scale, a GP is likely to have at least 10 TTM patients on a typical list of 1,000 patients and every single teacher working in British schools will, at some point, have a child with TTM in their classroom!
So, who does it affect most?
It most commonly affects young women and often begins during times of anxiety, stress or upheaval. Often the young women affected are intelligent, attractive and sensitive. They are usually confident, happy and successful; they are doing well at school or in their studies and have no obvious reasons for starting on this destructive journey of pulling.
As one sufferer, India Barnes says, 'I was about 11 years old when I started pulling out my hair. I was happy at home and at school and was following my dream to become a ballerina. Everything in my life was good and to this day I have no idea why I began pulling.'
Even celebrities are not immune to TTM. Sam Faiers from TOWIE has admitted to suffering from a form of TTM, where she pulls her eyelashes out. She says, 'It’s hard to explain. I do it without thinking. I do it when I’m nervous, or bored or even when I’m asleep. I don’t even realise I’m doing it.'
For Sam, false eyelashes are so much more than a fashion statement. They hide the fact that she has no eyelashes at all.
There are so many ways that people can hide the fact that they are suffering from TTM - growing their hair, always wearing it up, using hair pieces or even resorting to wearing a wig. Although this is a positive thing in some ways, in other ways it means that sufferers don’t have to face the fact that they need help.
National ‘No-Pulling’ Week aims to show people that they don’t have to feel ashamed or suffer in silence. It’s time for everyone to open up and to take positive steps to beat TTM.
Visit my website www.lucindaellery-hairloss.co.uk for more details."
National 'No-Pulling' Week blog: Day 2
National 'No-Pulling' Week blog: Day 1
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