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Mechanics of obsession; Vital health; Sam Faiers TOWIE star has a medical disorder that means she can't stop pulling out her eyelashes with Dr Craig Lennox.

Byline: with Dr Craig Lennox

OBSESSIVE medical disorders can have many symptoms but for TOWIE and Celebrity Big Brother star Sam Faiers, 23, it means pulling out all her eyelash hairs.

The reality star and glamour model has suffered from the condition, called trichotillomania, since she was eight She has told in the past how she started pulling out her eyelashes after someone told her to make a wish on a stray eyelash.

But as an impressionable young child, Sam took that belief to be true and began pulling out her lashes in the hope that all her wishes would be fulfilled and it soon became something that she was unaware she was even doing. When she was a teenager, Sam used make-up to hide the fact she didn't have any eyelashes because as a child she felt embarrassed when school mates asked her why she had none.

These days she uses fake lashes. Sufferers of this condition often talk of how they feel a rising tension, which is relieved by pulling out their hair. This feeling of relief drives the compulsion and makes it very difficult to stop.

Many sufferers pull out scalp hair, leaving extensive bald patches but beard, armpit and groin hair can be targeted too.

Sufferers may feel compelled to eat the hair, which can cause a blockage of the intestines. There is no single cause but patients pull out more hair in high stress situations and there is speculation that a gene fault makes some people more vulnerable to the condition.

Psychological therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy and habit reversal training have the best chance for a cure.

Sam sought treatment last year from life coaches and psychotherapy couple Nik and Eva Speakman, who have assisted Kerry Katona and Holly Willoughby with different problems.

'Psychological therapies the best chance for a cure'
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 29, 2014
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