Sometimes when people are faced with great stress they convert all the negativity into positive action rather than succumb and that’s certainly the case with one brave 14 year old from Ilkeston in Derbyshire. Amy Tatler lost her mum four years ago and as a result of the stress her hair began to fall out until she was completely bald, with no eyelashes or eyebrows within the space of five days.
Stress-related hair loss is particularly cruel
Alopecia areata is thought to be an auto-immune condition where the body’s self defence mechanisms turn on healthy hair follicles resulting in patchy baldness which can occasionally lead to total hair loss, alopecia universalis.
The condition can be triggered by a number of factors but one of them is stress. This is particularly cruel, as a person already affected to the point they have a physical reaction has the problem compounded by the additional stress of hair loss, creating a vicious circle.
Other sufferers of the condition include TV presenter, Gail Porter who went completely bald at 24 after a marriage break up and Ranvir singh, the Good Morning host who struggled with hair loss after her father died when she was nine.
Amy managed to turn the situation round and get back into school with excellent support from home and the teaching staff. The headmistress used a photograph to illustrate what was happening to Amy in an assembly and she explained that she didn’t have cancer and wasn’t contagious. This helped with a successful integration back into the school.
In the headmistress’s own words “[Amy]’s dealt so well with it all although I know she had times when she thought ‘why me’ but this has really made Amy into the person she is today and I couldn’t imagine her with hair now.”
“You are who you are”
Amy is now confident and happy at school to the extent where she offers advice and support to fellow students struggling with body issues. To quote Amy, “When I talked to the other students who were having issues with their body shapes I just told them ‘you are who you are’ and you should never let anyone else put you down.”