Woman With Severe Compulsion Grabs The Problem By The Hair
A hairdresser who uncontrollably pulls her hair out, resulting in large bald patches all over her scalp, is tackling her condition head on. Kelsie Hanna, 30, from Edmonton, Canada suffers from trichotillomania - an obsessive compulsive condition where sufferers can’t resist pulling their hair out.
In Kelsie’s case, this has resulted in her tugging out most of hair out from her scalp, as well as plucking out her eyelashes and eyebrows. She does it every day - if it’s not an eye lash, it is a hair on her head. “I can’t exactly say why I pull my hair roots because it’s very neurological. I just get a sudden urge and sometimes I don’t even know I’m doing it.” says Kelsie. “I start feeling like there are ants and needles poking my head and it just won’t stop and then I have this uncontrollable urge to start digging around and try to find what hair is actually bothering me and I can’t stop until that hair is removed, which means that there’s probably 10 or 20 others that are going down with it.”
The trained hairdresser now uses her skills to focus on helping other with the same issue. She said: “Trichotillomania definitely inspired me to get into hairdressing. I needed to find a way to cover my bald spots.” She has tried various treatments and therapies over the years, even tried taping gloves on her hands, but nothing worked. She gave up all medication at the age of 21, getting fed up of feeling like a guinea pig.
Kelsie now shaves every possible body part and has tattooed eyebrows. She admits that she can now control her compulsion to some extent and that her fiance Curtis, who has been on the in since day one, helps her a lot.
Trichotillomania is classed as a body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) and a form of obsessive compulsive disorder, which can be triggered by anxiety and stress, although more recent studies have suggested there could be neurological links to the condition also.