Amy Schumer Says That Her Hair Pulling Disorder Made Her Feel ‘Ugly and Unlovable’ – PEOPLE


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The comedian and actress shared last month that she’s dealt with trichotillomania since middle school, and kids used to say that her bald spots "made them sick"


Dealing with trichotillomania, a disorder that causes a compulsive need to pull out hair, made middle school a difficult time for Amy Schumer.

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"When I was 13, I pulled out so much hair that I needed to get a wig and wear a wig to school," Schumer told Howard Stern last week. "And it was humiliating, and it was really hard."

Schumer said that her trichotillomania — and the bald spots that formed from it — made her feel "deformed."

"I ate my lunch in the nurse's office because I heard someone say that I made them sick," she said.

To compensate for the insecurity she felt, Schumer made sure to project the opposite to her classmates.

"I was extra confident, I always had a boyfriend, I was always like, 'Everybody cool has no hair,'" she said, adding that a part of her didn't fully realize what she was dealing with on the inside.

"I thought I was okay. I didn't realize that I was not okay and the hair pulling was a symptom of that," she said. "I would not even realize I did it and just look down and there would be a pile of hair."

The Inside Amy Schumer star said that her parents tried to help, but struggled with what to do.

"My mom was especially horrified and upset by it," Schumer said. "She would help me do my hair before school every morning, and she would be crying while she helped me with my hair."

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Schumer kept her trichotillomania — which she still deals with — out of the public eye until last month, when her semi-autobiographical show Life & Beth premiered. In it, her character Beth is seen as a middle schooler dealing with the condition and as an adult, just like Schumer.

"It's been my big secret. I have so much shame about it, and I really just wanted to try to let go of it and accept it about myself, and this was part of that," she said of sharing her experience publicly.

Schumer said that she still pulls her hair, and that she has "probably half the amount of hair that I should have."

"I'm lucky that extensions have become so normalized," she said. "Every woman you see on camera in any movie is wearing a wig or has a lot of added hair. That's just how it works in the business. It's not even strange."

"I used to be embarrassed about having these little clip-in extensions, but I just think all these things that we've been ashamed of and hiding — we put on makeup, we put in extensions, we put on Spanx — it's all good," Schumer continued. "Just doing whatever you want to do to feel good."

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