Sam Faiers has revealed that her eyelashes have begun to grow back after she embarked on therapy to combat an obsessive compulsive disorder she has had since she was eight.
The reality TV star and model, 28, suffers from trichotillomania, the overwhelming urge to pull out her own hair, caused by the trauma of her stepfather being jailed when she was a child.
The Towie original, who stars alongside her sister Billie in ITVBe’s The Mummy Diaries, recently started hypnotherapy and lifestyle coaching to combat the condition.
She was spurred on to get help after noticing that her daughter Rosie, who turns two in November, had begun trying to copy her.
She told the PA news agency that she had already started seeing results, and that some of her eyelashes had started to grow back.
She said: “I actually do feel progress, and I actually have quite a lot of eyelashes coming through. I’ve got quite a few coming through.
“I had a session yesterday actually. It’s a process. It’s not going to happen overnight.
“It’s very much about getting to the trigger and dealing with that first and then speaking to your subconscious and telling it that you don’t need to do that, that you don’t have to replay what happened to you when you were a kid.
“It’s just very complex, working with the mind.
“It’s teaching the mind that whatever happened all those years ago, you’re safe now and you don’t need to pull out your eyelashes.”
However, Faiers admitted it would take time to completely beat the condition.
Faiers added: “I have lived with the condition forever, like 20-odd years, but I’ve never really spoken out about it. I have – but not properly and really got into it.
“I followed the whole storyline on this show. The therapy that I am seeking and what has been working for me.
“It’s so important, with the platform that we have got, to share our ups and our downs. Everyone is dealing with their own issues.
“We’re not perfect and it’s been really important for me to follow this journey on the show and on my social media because people are actually really enjoying it.
“The feedback has been amazing.”
The Mummy Diaries follows Towie alumni Sam and Billie as they embark on motherhood while balancing busy careers with hectic home lives.
About 3% of the world’s population are thought to suffer from trichotillomania.
Largely, it affects women and the majority of sufferers pull their hair, eyebrows or eyelashes as a coping mechanism for anxiety or other difficult emotions.
The Mummy Diaries returns for a sixth series on ITVBe at 9pm on Wednesday September 11.