Bullies Called Teen Girl 'Baldy' Because Rare Condition Made Her Pull Out Her Hair

28/11/2014 12:31 | Updated 20 May 2015

Teenager nicknamed 'Baldy' by bullies has rare condition that compels her to TEAR her own hair out

Bullies nicknamed a teenage girl 'Baldy' because a rare disorder caused her to pull her own hair out.

May Brown, 17, from Great Yarmouth, has bald patches all over her head because she suffers from trichotillomania, which compels her to tear out her hair.

The rare disorder causes people to pull their hair out from their heads, as well as from their eyebrows and eyelashes.

It started when she was 11 and made her the target of bullies throughout her school life.

May decided to document her struggle in a YouTube video to raise awareness.

She said: "I've had enough of keeping my trichotillomania a secret for so many years and felt it was time to come clean.

"At school, I was teased for my bald patches and was an easy target for bullies. I hope speaking out raises more awareness about the condition so that others 'trichers' don't suffer in silence."

May said she started pulling out her eyebrow hair when she was just nine years old.

She said: "I was watching TV one day and was constantly pulling my eyebrow hair out, not realising what the outcome would turn out like.

"When I later looked in the mirror, I had actually pulled so much out that I had no eyebrows left."

Then when she was 11, she started to pull out the hair on her head.

She said: "I used to pull during school lessons - classmates would snigger and make comments.

"Because of this, I somehow stopped myself from pulling my hair in public to not bring attention to myself.

"But I would still pull in private so that within a couple of years, I had no hair left on the top of my head.

"Anything can set my trichotillomania off - from a school essay I'm stressed about it or if I over-think during a sleepless night. A lot of the time I don't even realise I'm pulling."

She added: "I was called 'Baldy' by classmates. I had many comments from bullies like 'Haircut go wrong?' or sarcastic remarks such as 'I really like your hair'.

"I remember one point a bully tugged my hair so that they could fully see my bald patch and have the chance to mock me."

The YouTube blogger - who runs the channel MayBrown21 - then decided to upload a video in which she confessed to the world.

Story continues after video...

She said: "I decided to make a YouTube video explaining that I have trichotillomania as I wanted to tell my secret to everybody I knew.

"It was sort of a New Year's Resolution to not hide in silence anymore.

"Since uploading the video, I have had so much support from everyone. I'm always receiving messages from other sufferers around the world asking for advice and telling me their trich stories."

A spokesman for Trichotillomania Support, a resource for people with the disorder, said:

"Trichotillomania can often affect shy people who are afraid or nervous to ask for help.

"It is important that sufferers know they are not alone and they should not be ashamed of asking for support."

More information and help can be found on Trichotillomania Support's website.


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