Amy Schumer is opening up about her years-long battle with trichotillomania, a disorder that causes compulsive urges to pull out one’s hair.
“I think everybody has a big secret, and that’s mine,” Schumer told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Friday.
“And I’m proud that my big secret only hurts me, but it’s been what I’ve carried so much shame about for so long.”
The comedian, 40, explained that her struggles with trichotillomania — which the Mayo Clinc describes as a mental health disorder and not just a “bad habit” — began in grade school and have been an ongoing concern to this day.
“It’s not that I used to have this problem and now I don’t,” she said. “It’s still something that I struggle with.”
The 40-year-old comic has dealt with the disorder since grade school.WireImage
For the Academy Awards host, trichotillomania surfaced during a particularly stressful time, as her father declared bankruptcy and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis shortly thereafter. Her mother also left him for the married father of her best friend — all before Schumer went to high school.
Constantly pulling out her hair led to bald spots, resulting in her wearing an ill-fitting wig to school, which “everybody knew,” according to the actress.
These days, she worries her 2-year-old son, Gene, will inherit the genetic condition, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “Every time he touches his head, I’m having a heart attack.”
Schumer explores the condition in her new semi-autobiographical Hulu series, “Life & Beth.”HULU
Schumer explores the diagnosis in her new semi-autobiographical Hulu series, “Life & Beth,” in hopes that she can provide visibility for those dealing with the same issue.
“I really don’t want to have a big secret anymore,” she said. “And I thought putting it in there would be good for me to alleviate some of my shame and maybe, hopefully, help others alleviate some of theirs, too.”