Here are my opinions, I was going to keep quiet on this, but after seeing others express their concerns/anger - I feel I have to speak on this.
-It was more of an advertisement for The Speakmans than awareness.
-It didn’t explain clearly what Trichotillomania was, before diving into the topic of the cure The Speakmans could provide. As a Tricher, even I found the suddenness of their interview a bit much, could non Trichers really follow that? With my interview, we sort of, let the audience in slowly, before showing images like that, or talking in deep depths.
-The Speakmans kept referring to it as self harm when that is not the case. Sure, the subject of whether Trichotillomania is self harm, is one we all constantly debate - but it’s not yes or no. They should at least say “some say it’s a self harm”… :/.
-The Speakmans said that Trichotillomania is something that we are not born with, therefore we can get rid of it.
Once again, we don’t know yet! Trichotillomania research is in the early stages, it could be genetic for all we know! The Speakmans talked in such a way that millions would follow their statements and believe.
-The Speakmans (like their tv show counselling session) said that Danielle was bullying herself by tearing her hair out, after the bullies stopped hurting her as a teenager. Making her Trich out to be something silly and childish.
-The Speakmans implied that we can all be cured by just talking! Talking mends all our problems and our troubles can be gone.
-The Speakmans did all the talking, Danielle barely spoke. They are very talkative, focused minded people, I’d have found it hard up there to speak too. Danielle was only asked to speak when it backed up what the Speakmans were saying. It wasn’t Danielle’s interview, she was just their example for their cure to advertise :(.
-The piece was far too short, I’ve been on that programme before and we managed to get everything in to the best of our ability. Speaking on telly, especially with a group can be hard. Also, the same morning, there were “breaking news” stories going on, so that could have meant the TV company decided to cut down on their time.
-Danielle clearly stated: “There is no cure for Trichotillomania but The Speakmans have successfully treated me”. We have argued over this. If there is no cure, then how can such a statement be said? Especially as her treatment was extremely recent.
-I asked ITV two nights before, to be sensitive about the subject of Pull Free and cure, I was surprised that the phrase “Pull Free” was not all over the interview, that made me happier :).
-Danielle was asked if she had any urges/pulling moments since her successful treatment, she said a firm no. Yet, clearly last week, she was screaming at myself and others that she had urges to tear all her hair out and was clearly in distress. Such distress that anyone would pull, I know I would. I said a long time ago that the pressure placed on her by The Speakmans to be pull free could be intense, lying on Telly not only gives the impression they have cured her, but also gives false hope to others… because clearly she has had urges, if not pulling somewhere too.
Overall, this television piece made me exceptionally angry, I truly am fed up of The Speakmans claiming they can cure and projecting their beliefs of what Trichotillomania is, as fact. This programme had the potential to be seen by a few million people, and if there are any parents out there watching, they will now believe they can belt their childs trich out of them, with heavy talking and a wig system. This worries me tremendously.
Well done for Danielle going on telly and for her story, I’ve been in that same chair on there and it’s a little scary.