I have been ignorant of this form of OCD. I had not researched or even really heard of this mental illness until last year. I vaguely remember a friend I used hang out with telling me she "twiddled her hair until it came out" her words for it. I don't remember seeing bald patches, so it never occurred to me it was a problem. Geeez, I wish I was a little more observant sometimes....last year my sister-in-law confided in me my eight year old niece had trichotillomania. I was very confused. I had to ask her what trich was. She sent me research materials, websites, and vlogs on it. I was enlightened.
Trichotillomania, a hair-pulling disorder, is a mental disorder that involves an irresistible urge to pull out hair. This behavior occurs to the point of noticeable hair loss. The most common areas for hair pulling are the scalp, eyelashes, and eyebrows but may involve hair anywhere on the body. - webmd
Harley Rose is an amazing, beautiful little girl. She is bright, funny, and charming as all little kids are. And now as she is starting to learn what life is all about she has to add this to her plate. Her mother is amazing and very supportive. They live in a small town. She has made her daughter a web page, watched videos with her,and reached out to other families with trich. Because of that Harley gets to enter act with other little boys and girls just like her. When she first went to school she had a terrific teacher that would wear her own wigs when Harley would wear hers. She went out of her way to teach Harley that she was accepted and beautiful just the way she was. Then as Harley went to first grade her new teacher didn't approve of Harley wearing a hat or wig in class. She would go out of her way to shame and make this little girl feel inadequate. My sister-in-law complained at even went to the school board but nothing was done. If Harley had needed bulky leg braces it would have been approved to wear them. If Harley had been going through chemotherapy she would have been able to wear the hat or wig, but because Harley has a mental illness she was no longer allowed to do so. She was discriminated against at this school at the age of eight. Her mother ,rightfully so, is now home schooling Harley. The wig and hat are not just to make her feel less uncomfortable with her appearance but help keep her from pulling. The fact that adults reacted towards her like this is just disgraceful. Because of the love and support of her family and web community she decided to shave her head. It helps to stop the urge to pull and helps her hair to regrow evenly. She is gaining confidence and now has been going everywhere without a hat or wig. She is not afraid to accept herself the way she is. And she expects you to do the same. She has more bravery in her at the age of eight than I have at the age of thirty three. Please don't let her down. Educate yourself before you judge her or someone like her. According to research one in fifty people are surviving with trichotillomania. If you would like to learn more about trich you can go to this website www.trich.org
You can also view many videos on YouTube. Lets all make an effort to understand each other , and maybe accept our differences. As for Harley Rose I want to take a second to tell her how amazing she is. I love you Harley. You are a beautiful and brave little girl.