Hair - A Spoken Word Piece about Trichotillimania


Anu Elizabeth Roche is a Mumbai based poet, mother, wife, and member of spoken word poetry band Mental Heads who suffers from trichotillomania. Anu Elizabeth’s poem titled “Hair” was recently discovered by “Mind of India” and has gone viral since.  Her motivations behind writing the poem were simple, she wanted to raise awareness of the compulsive hair pulling disorder.

I want to destroy the silence and ignorance surrounding this condition, and spreading awareness is a viable solution”.

Widely Experiences, Little Known

For some people, trichotillomania is a mild problem, merely a frustration. But for many, shame and embarrassment about hair pulling causes painful isolation and results in a great deal of emotional distress, placing them at risk for a co-occurring psychiatric disorder, such as a mood or anxiety disorder or even depression. Hair pulling can lead to great tension and strained relationships with family members and friends. Furthermore it can lead to the affected socially isolating themselves because they fear talking and opening up about the disorder. Trichotillomania suffers have gone for many years without adequate information about their condition, or appropriate treatment. Consequently, the one symptom that most people with TTM share is shame.

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Expressions of pain through the spoken word

In her poem Anu Elizabeth Roche expresses her painful struggles with trichotillomania. She spells exactly what the sensations are within her body when she feels the urge to pluck hair. 

For a long time my Trich was just this weird thing I did which I "should stop" according to family and friends. For even longer I didn't even know what it was called. But knowing its name was the first step to an ongoing recovery”.

It is simply not enough to speak about the disorder only on trichotillomania awareness month. People tend to judge compulsive hair pulling suffers because they do not have knowledge about the disorder, the only way to encourage more medical research for trichotillomania is by speaking out and knowing that collective effort always attains better results. Speaking up about trichotillomania means that you have an opportunity to help educate someone about this common, yet frequently misunderstood condition.


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