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Marni Bates has battled a stress-related disorder known as trichotillomania for roughly six years. The impulse to pull out all her hair (including her eyelashes and eyebrows), has been a source of much pain, frustration, and in rare moments, humor. It wasn't until Marni googled 'hair-pulling' that she discovered what she was doing had a name and an explanation. Hiding her condition took a lot of work, but being confronted with it was far more difficult. Unfortunately, the majority of high school students don't know how to react when faced with trich. Health courses tend to focus on already highly publicized conditions such as anorexia and bulimia, ignoring other stress-related disorders.
In "Marni," author Marni Bates powerfully shares her journey, from the roots of her anxiety which was caused by her parents' messy divorce when she was eight, a dysfunctional relationship with her sister and father, and feeling like such a misfit that she convinced her mom to let her drop out of middle school to be homeschooled, to having her emotional turmoil give birth to trichotillomania. The urge to pull out all of her hair felt as uncontrollable and natural as breathing or cracking her knuckles. Unfortunately, her new habit led to social embarrassment, crushingly low self-esteem, and years of therapy.
Some highlights from Marni's story include: Going through a messy family breakup The painful disintegration of her relationship with her father Dropping out of middle school to be homeschooled Facing an identity crisis which resulted in suicidal thoughts Returning to public high school and starting over Her slide into trichotillomania Suffering from trich in silence and shame