Amy Schumer Uses Her Hulu Series to Shed Light on Trichotillomania, a Hair Pulling Disorder

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Amy Schumer recently admitted she struggles with a hair-pulling disorder called Trichotillomania.

Amy Schumer is known to challenge the standards Hollywood pushes on women with her willingness to be open and transparent. Her bravery sheds light on avoided topics, leading to those who suffer in silence having a safe space to open up about their own struggles. You’ve probably heard her mention her liposuction and hysterectomy, but recently she revealed her “big secret” on her latest Hulu series. A little over halfway through the penultimate episode of Amy Schumer’s latest creation, Life & Beth, the camera lingers on a pile of hair.

“It’s called Trichotillomania.” In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Schumer said, “And it’s not that I used to have this problem and now I don’t. It’s still something that I struggle with. I think everyone has a big secret and that one is mine. I’m proud that my big secret only hurts me, but it’s been what I’ve carried so much shame about for so long.” She goes on to admit her biggest fear is passing the hereditary condition to her 3-year-old son Gene.

What is Trichotillomania? 

Also known as “hair-pulling disorder,” Trichotillomania is a mental disorder classified under Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. It involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull hair from the scalp, eyebrows, eyelids, and other areas of the body, despite repeated attempts to stop or decrease hair pulling.

If you’ve ever noticed yourself playing with or pulling your hair in stressful situations and a sense of relief after pulling, you may have Trichotillomania or “Trich.” Other Symptoms include:

An increasing feeling of tension when trying to resist pulling or before the hair pulling

Hair pulling causes impairment or distress in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning

Noticeable hair loss

Pulling certain kinds of hair (certain textures)

Playing with pulled hair 

Or rubbing it across the skin or the face

Hair pulling often occurs in private

Repeated attempts to decrease or stop hair pulling

Biting, chewing, or eating pulled hair

Maybe you’ve never noticed it before reading this or didn’t think it was anything significant. For most, Trichotillomania isn’t caught until it’s too late, and noticeable sections of hair are missing.

Studies have shown that onset occurs between 10-13 years of age or around the time puberty starts. Your confidence could be shaken due to Trichotillomania and, like Amy Schumer, can be a source of future traumas.

Amy Schumer mentions a big part of the condition isn’t necessarily the hair-pulling itself but the shame that comes along with it. Schumer says she hopes her bravery doesn’t stop with her. The standup comedian adds, “I really don’t want to have a big secret anymore,” and “I thought putting it in there would be good for me to alleviate some of my shame and maybe, hopefully, help others alleviate some of theirs, too.” 

If you’re struggling with Trichotillomania, Custom Hair Tampa Bay can help. To schedule a free consultation, click here.

Photo Credit: Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash