Health & Technology

Amy Schumer gives the hair pulling that exposed people like me need

Like comedian Amy Schumer, I have an emotional disorder. Since high school, I’ve plucked my eyebrows and sometimes the hair on my head and eyelashes. I’m lucky enough not to have a severe case; Even after a day of heavy selection, I can often cover the bald patches on my brows with makeup and blame the thinner areas of my skin for applying too much. However, I am all too familiar with the shame that Schumer and so many others with this little-known but fairly common disorder describe.

Pulling out my own hair feels gross and embarrassing, and although I know rationally it’s a compulsion and therefore not voluntary, it’s hard not to feel guilty for having cause such damage to your body. The fact that the symptoms of affective disorder are rarely reported in the media incorporate those emotions; The less information and support there is for a condition, the more isolated and abnormal the person experiencing it is.

As a teenager and young adult, I didn’t even know what my tendency to constantly plucked eyebrows was called, let alone millions of people.

This is why it’s so important for a star as big as Schumer to speak openly about the disorder and incorporate it as a plot in her new Hulu show “Life & Beth.” In the penultimate episode of the semi-autobiographical series about a successful woman contemplating her past, a young version of Schumer is given a wig while a therapist informs her mother that Schumer have a mental disorder. It’s a moving, evocative scene, made all the more important by the star’s revelation to March that, like her character, she has long lived with a medical condition. “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,” Schumer said. explained to The Hollywood Reporter.

Last week, she said that instinct was proven right. She told radio host Howard Stern that although she grew up she felt “ugly and unlovable,” and even today is “too embarrassed” about the disorder and its effect on her life. At that time, speaking publicly about her experiences helped her let go of some of that shame and “accept” Trichotillomania as part of who she is.

It is definitely helpful for me. Hearing Schumer speak openly about her condition and her feelings about it was a necessary reminder that I am not alone in my struggles and should not be ashamed of them. This conversation is fairly new; As a teenager and young adult, I didn’t even know that my tendency to constantly pluck my eyebrows had a name, let alone millions of people, and a therapeutic avenue to treat it.

If I had known, I would certainly have felt less embarrassed, and I might even have turned to others for support. I would feel comfortable knowing that, even though pulling my hair out may make me feel “weird” or “wrong”, I am actually a lot more normal than I realize. While the cause is unknown, Research has shown that both genetic and environmental factors may be involved and many people have arrhythmias There are also similar coercive conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder or skin picking disorder.

In fact, nausea disorder is much more common than one might imagine. Massachusetts General Hospital Center for OCD and Related Disorders It is estimated that 1 to 3 percent of the US population is affected by this condition. Women are more likely to be diagnosed than men, and the disorder usually arises in early adolescence (although it can begin at any age and, as in Schumer’s case, persist into adulthood). mature). There are also tools like cognitive behavioral therapy to solve it. In CBT, therapists who help patients with arrhythmia work to change their thought patterns around behavior and find other, less harmful ways to relieve their compulsions.

But because of the silence that exists – and for the most part still occurs – around the arrhythmia, it wasn’t until my late 20s that I understood that my condition was both common and treatable. (if not curable), a therapist and friend have shared about her own struggles with the disorder. I’m grateful for both, but I’m frustrated that I’ve spent so much time feeling unnecessarily bad about something common and beyond my control.

By revealing her experience with stress disorder, Schumer and celebrities like her (incl. Actress Olivia Munnwho spoke out years ago about having the disorder) is helping to clear the long-standing stigma surrounding the condition and give it much-needed visibility.

As a teenager, I couldn’t imagine telling a soul how often I plucked my eyebrows, let alone writing about it in an article. However, all that silence didn’t make me feel better or make the behavior go away; rather, it just makes things worse. So I’m grateful to people like Schumer, who are breaking through that silence to tell people with arrhythmias that they’re not as alone as they feel – and in fact, they have a Support groups include millions of others. like them.

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