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Saturday, 17 October 2015

Meet woman who is obsessed with tearing out her own hair

A 32 year old woman, Wendy Clark, was left almost bald after a 20-year battle with a condition which makes her tear out her own hair.
She has tried to cover her head with wigs and 
hair bands over the years but it got so bad 
at the beginning of this year that she had lost 90 per cent of her hair.

She feels she’s turned a corner on the road to recovery after having an Intralace System fitted at specialist salon,the Daily Record reported .

Wendy felt shocked and emotional seeing her reflection with a full head of hair.

But her treatment at Lucinda Ellery in Edinburgh has given her a much-needed confidence boost and has also helped her cut back on her hair-pulling obsession.

Wendy, who works in HR, developed trichotillomania – known as TTM – when she was aged around 11.

She said: “I didn’t know what it was at the time and wasn’t really aware I was doing it. 
For me it was just kind of a habit that started, there wasn’t a reason behind it.
“Over the next couple of years, it gradually got worse until it was hard for me to hide it. 
I wasn’t sure why I started pulling, I had a happy, healthy childhood, it seemed to be 
a bad habit I had developed somehow. I wasn’t aware of it early on enough to stop it. The longer you do it, the harder it becomes to stop.
“It was probably in my late teens when I discovered that there was a recognised condition for what I had. I found this out through internet research but never had the confidence to admit or seek help as I always told myself I would deal with it myself. I only told my closest friends and family and we never talked about it as I always got too upset.
“People must have noticed but no one talked about it. For most of my teenage years and into my early 20s, I was able to cover up any bad areas by wearing my hair up, hoping no one would notice.
“I moved to Edinburgh for university at 17, spent a year in Australia, travelled around the world living a full and active life and although I presented a happy, outgoing exterior and people never mentioned it to me, I was constantly conscious of my TTM and anxious under the surface.
“When I was 24, I settled in Glasgow and I started wearing wigs. I thought it would be a barrier to my pulling and 
did make me feel a lot more confident. Unfortunately 
it allowed the TTM to get much worse as I could pull without having to hide the patches with my own hair and it got to the stage where I had virtually no hair left.”
At 26, Wendy finally plucked up the courage to see her GP and tried cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and hypnotherapy.

She believes conditions like TTM are widespread and she’s keen to get rid of 
stigma and offer people hope.

She said: “There’s no known cure to date 
and the science behind it all is that there are 100 million people with it worldwide.”

According to Lucinda, many people feel isolated but are now discovering they are not alone. She says it’s a genetically predisposed condition and predominantly feminine. It 
also mostly starts at around the age of 11 or 12.


Daily Mail

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