, 9 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Locked up alone in a tower for nearly 18 years, Rapunzel’s magic hair was a curse that—by all evidence—led to an untreated mental illness and possibly her early demise. Read on.
Rapunzel’s hair is a product of the magic of the Sun-Drop flower, made into a potion+fed to her mother(the Queen) as she lay dying during her third trimester. My best guess is that the Queen suffered from #preeclampsia,and the flower’s trace salicylates (and magic!) were helpful.
Anyway, Rapunzel is kidnapped in infancy by Mother Gothel, who raises her and harnesses the magic of the flower to keep her youth. Other than that, it seems Rapunzel is left to her own devices, locked up in a tower away from human contact—-left to spiral into madness.
With her long flowing hair and isolation, it’s no surprise that Rapunzel should develop trichotillomania—a condition of obsessive hair pulling, part of the DSM IV classification of impulse control disorders. 🎵..and I can brush brush brush and brush and brush my hair..🎵
But the problem is, in up to 18% of patients with trichotillomania, trichophagia (pathologic hair eating) occurs; one third of patients with trichophagia develop trichobezoars, a mass of undigested hair sitting in the gut. In fact, this is called <Rapunzel Syndrome>!
Trichobezoars grow in size with continued ingestion of hair+can lead to gastric mucosal erosion, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or small intestine, gastric outlet obstruction, intussusception, obstructive jaundice, protein-losing enteropathy, pancreatitis, and death.
So w/18 years of unchecked trichotillomania+trichophagia, and no mental health professionals or surgeons around to help, it’s possible that Rapunzel’s gut was cemented shut w/hair—and her desperate journey to see the lanterns was but a final wish before a young and tragic death.
Possibly related—the baby woke me up at 430 and we decided to watch “Tangled.”
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