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27 June 2019, 10:18
The reality star, 28, has suffered with Trichotillomania – a disorder which causes her to pull out her hair and eyelashes – for over 20 years
Sam Faiers is getting help from a therapist to tackle her Trichotillomania as she fears her children may pick up the hair pulling disorder.
The reality star, 28, has no natural eyelashes due to her compulsion to pick them out and is anxious her two kids, Paul, 3, and Rosie, 19 months, may start to mirror her behaviour.
A source close to the mother-of-two, who has suffered with the disorder for over 20 years, said she's fixed on finding a cure once and for all.
The insider said: "Now she has children of her own, she’s determined to seek a cure for her trich as she would be devastated if her children replicated her condition."
Samantha, who is famed for her starring roles in TOWIE and The Mummy Diaries alongside sister Billie, 29, was diagnosed with Trichotillomania when she was just eight years old.
According to the NHS, the condition is "more common in teenagers and young adults, and tends to affect girls more often than boys".
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She previously opened up about the devastating impact it had on her self-esteem and revealed to YouTube fans it was something she had no control over.
"When I was at school, I was a really confident loud kid. But when you're going into senior school and you want to look nicer. I felt like I couldn't really look people in the eye.
"I felt like people were looking at me like I was weird... When I was 14 I discovered false eyelashes. I couldn't believe how over the moon I was."
After seeking help from a psychologist to get to the root of the issue, she discovered the disorder was likely triggered by her stepfather being sent to prison.
Dave Chatwood, who was previously married to the girls' mum Suzie Wells, went to jail several times and was last released in 2013 following a stint for his part in a £1.1million robbery.
Speaking about how the disorder first began, she said: "From the age of eight was when my mum discovered I was picking out my eyelashes. It became a habit, I still haven't stopped.
"It started when I was eight and I friend of ours said to me if you pick out an eyelash, make a wish and it'll come true. As a young girl it's a fairytale.
"In recent years, I've seen a psychologist who specialises in Trichotillomania. The story goes deeper. They take it all the way back to your childhood.
"When I was younger my [step]dad went to prison. I was picking out an eyelash and making a wish for him to come home."
Despite making sense of the reason behind her trich, Sam explained it hasn't helped her get the condition under control.
She added: "Now I'm an adult I know that's not going to happen, but it's gone so far that's it's compulsive and it's so hard to stop.
"I like the feeling of it. It's like a comfort thing."
Addressing the hair pulling disorder in public, the TV personality and fashion business owner is hoping to inspire others to embrace their insecurities and ask for help if necessary.
"I coped by talking to my mum and my sister. As the years went by it got easier for me to talk about.
"Speaking from my own experience, you're not the only one with insecurities, nobody's perfect. It really helped talking to the people around me about it."