Olivia Munn is a well-known and extremely versatile woman in Hollywood. She has a role in Magic Mike, is a news correspondent on The Daily Show, and played Sloan Sabbith in The Newsroom. Her popularity has grown immensely, but that with it has come some hardships as well.
Munn, born Lisa Olivia Munn, was raised in a military family - specifically Air Force. As a result, her family was constantly moving from place to place. Constant uprooting caused Munn, as well as her siblings, to always be the “new kid” in school. As is stereotypical with this categorization, Munn constantly returned home with the feeling of being left out at school (Munn’s the Word).
She was constantly comparing herself to her peers and sisters, quickly becoming unhappy with her image. She began to have panic attacks as a result, which she blamed on seasonal asthma. Her family, being half Asian, believed anxiety and panic attacks were due to “being lazy.” Left unchanged and neglected, this social anxiety manifested itself as Trichotillomania or trichotillosis.
Trichotillomania, often referred to as TTM, is classified by Mental Health America as an impulse control disorder involving pulling out one’s hair. The region is different depending on the person, but is most commonly done on the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelids. Usually develops in females between 9 and 13 years old, and if left untreated, will come and go throughout a person’s life. It shares many symptoms with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, and is sometimes found in individuals with depression.
In her interview with NY Daily News, she explains that she rips out her eyelashes the way most people bite their nails. Munn states that although there is no pain in the feeling, she finds it annoying in that she must buy fake eyelashes constantly. The physical manifestation of her social anxiety first appeared when she was 26, which she treated with hypnotherapy. It resurfaced when she was thrust into the public eye with her rise to fame (What Exactly Is…?).
Although it’s hard to believe that a Hollywood starlet could suffer from social anxiety to the point of experiencing a chronic manifestation such as Trichotillomania, that’s exactly what is happening. Mental health disorders do not discriminate, so nobody is too rich, too powerful, too beautiful, too “anything,” to be crossed off from having one. Even stars like Olivia Munn, who is beautiful and very popular, can be a affected by a mental health disorder.