Middle School Video Helps Stop Bullying About Hair Pulling Disorder

Bullying is a problem that affects so many kids especially if they

Genevieve Nameika talks about a school video her classmates created about her hair pulling disorder. She says it's helped stop bullying.

Twelve-year-old Genevieve Nameika wears a hat she calls "Mr. Fluffers" to help her stop pulling out her hair.

"He helps me keep my hands out of my hair because when I feel his llama fur and it's anchored in really well I'm just like oh (I can't get this out)," said Nameika.

Nameika suffers from a psychological disorder called Trichotillomania. It causes her to to pull out every hair on her body, even her eyelashes.

"It's kind of firey," said Nameika as she described what it feels like to pull out her lashes.

It's been a two year battle for Genevieve. A batlle to stop pulling and a battle with bullies.

"I've been told to me that it's just hair but for me it's more than just hair it's a way for me to relieve stress," said Nameika.

Her parents, James and Kathy, talked to me about what it was like to realize what was happening to their daughter.

"It was hard to see this reverse mohawk on my daughter's head," said Mr. Nameika.

"I realized it was out of our control there was nothing we could do," said Mrs. Nameika.

But Mrs. Nameika said a video Genevieve's classmates at Skyview Middle School made has helped her get back some of that control. Genevieve went to her schools broadcasting class and suggested they do a story about her so others would understand and accept people for being different. They were happy to help.

"I just basically hate the way I look because I just see a bald person with no hair," said Nameika in the video.

The impact of that video?

"It was like a whole new world to me," said Nameika. "Most people hide in the dark and think they're alone with this disorder and then when they see that many thousands of others have it they find out that they're not alone."

"When the video reached 100 views on Vimeo I was ecstatic," said Nameika. "I was like oh my gosh my story is getting out there."

Nameika said it's much different for her to walk through the halls of her school now that people have seen the video her classmates created.

"I feel a lot more loved and a lot more happy," said Nameika. "I used to suck in my head and hide."

But she doesn't hide anymore and she's hoping her story will teach others about the importance of not bullying.

"It's okay to have differences, its okay to stand out from the crowd but what's not okay is bullying people because of those differences," she said.

Trichotillomania: A Documentary from Skyview Broadcasting on Vimeo.

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