Rebecca Brown is part of the estimated 1 percent of the population in the United Kingdom who suffer trichotillomania. Instead of keeping silent about it, the brave young woman wants her voice to be heard.
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Trichotillomania is an impulse disorder where the sufferer has the urge to pull out their own hair resulting in balding and hair loss. Brown has been putting a strong front in most of her videos as she documents her life as a trichotillomania patient.
In her vlog last December, she shows herself voluntarily shaving her head in what she admits is her seventh time to do so.
“I’m fed up of being triggered and tortured by the hair on my head,” Brown said in the now viral video.
Brown also shared the aftermath of her shaved head. She said that there have been a bevy of mixed reactions on her actions. People in her life have pulled away, but she remains grateful, saying that even if she felt pain at least she can pick out who her real friends are.
People online have also posted hurtful comments and on countless occasions have given their own diagnosis from medications to therapy. But Brown sticks with what her doctor says to her.
“After a decade of being on YouTube, I’ve learned not to take the hurtful comments too seriously!” she has said. “Much of the time, their reaction is due to misunderstanding or having a lack of knowledge of the disorder, so I try to remember that when I see their comments.”
Brown has been an active user in video-sharing site YouTube for the past ten years. She is managing two accounts: her personal blog, Beckie0, and TrichJournal, where she documents her life living with the disease for many years.
In an interview with TenEighty, Brown shares the outpour of support that people have given her along the way. “People have been showing support for others with trichotillomania too, which is touching to see. It’s created another wave of awareness, so that in itself is a fantastic outcome for trichotillomania.”