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MY 20 YEAR SECRET - IT'S NOT ALOPECIA OR CANCER, I HAVE TRICHOTILLOMANIA

A mum who has hid behind the hair loss condition alopecia for the last 20 years has bravely revealed a secret compulsion to tear out her own hair that has tormented her since she was a child. For more than two decades, Zena Williams has allowed anyone who noticed her bald patches to believe that she has the auto immune condition that causes her hair to fall out on its own. But in the wake of No Pulling Week, the mum-of-one has now bravely revealed that she has been pulling out her own hair since she was a child. At various stages in her life, Zena has been left almost completely bald by her compulsive addiction to hair-pulling - a little understood psychological condition called trichotillomania. When age 11, having removed most of her hair over the course of a single summer, she returned to school wearing a wig, cruel classmates soon spread the rumour she had cancer, calling her 'cancer face' and subjecting her to relentless bullying. But still Zena refused to reveal the truth about her condition, believing no one would be sympathetic to the compulsion which has blighted her life ever since.

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