Inspired by Josie

Video Posted on

We have to share this great post from our Facebook page:

“I’m 43, and being a trichster has always been a shameful secret. I just outed myself on Facebook! Thanks Josie and TLC!

It’s eerie how closely this young woman’s story mirrors my own. This week is National BFRB (body-focused repetitive behavior) Awareness Week, and today I’m inspired to out myself like Josie does in this PSA. A handful of you know I’ve suffered from mental health issues since I was a child, but almost none of you know one of those is trich (“trick”, or trichotillomania), like Josie has. I started pulling out my eyelashes and eyebrows when I was around 10. I couldn’t stop. I felt ashamed, confused, and like a freak. Sometimes I got these awful painful infections in my eyelids as a result. Sometimes people made fun of me. My parents were bewildered and concerned, and tried to make me stop by punishing me. It was hell. Can you imagine trying to talk to people without looking them in the eye so they won’t see you don’t have eyelashes? Can you imagine sitting across the dinner table from your mom every night trying to avoid her gaze so she won’t see that you picked again, because she’ll hit you? That was me.

It got better in high school since I could hide my problem with makeup, but in a few years I graduated to pulling hair out of my scalp instead. Most people don’t know that trich and BFRBs are more common than bipolar disorder, but you never hear about us in the media, probably because of the shame and lack of awareness. When I was a kid, there weren’t any resources, research, meds, or support for “trichsters” — I wasn’t even diagnosed until I was in my 20s. I still struggle with trich, and hope that my story will raise your awareness so you can keep a loving eye out for kids, youth, and adults with this maddening disorder. Please be kind to them, know it’s a disorder that’s still being researched, and connect them with a wonderful organization out there that can help: Love ~ Susana”

PS: 2 of my friends just outed themselves as having some degree of BFRB too!!

2 thoughts on “Inspired by Josie

    christina folkes said:
    October 18, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    I wish there could be a class some whre in Utah so I ould go and take my mother so maybe she could see that I can’t just stop and so she does not make me feel so gross.

      TLC said:
      October 19, 2013 at 5:42 am

      Christina, your comment just breaks my heart. I don’t even know you, but I DO know you are NOT gross!! What if you showed your mom (or even emailed her) Josie’s video, would it help? That’s one person who is not gross and also happens to pull out her lashes and brows. Hang inn there, honey, there is a whole world of people who feel just like you. xoxox

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