Maela, an 11-year-old from Indiana, has had Trichotillomania for four years. She pulls her hair and eyelashes in bed while she goes to sleep. Maela’s mom, Courtney, would go in at night to say goodnight and give kisses, only to find the bed covered in hair.
One day Courtney was searching online for new Trichotillomania tools. She was frustrated by physicians who suggested antidepressant medication for her daughter. She happened to find Keen and was shocked to learn that an actual tool was available specifically for Trichotillomania and other BFRBs. Courtney was overjoyed to learn that Keen was available for children as well as adults. “To finally have a tool – a real tool – that had potential? Oh my goodness!”
Maela was excited when she found out about Keen. Her grandma purchased it for her as a gift. “I use Keen most when I’m going to bed. I pull mostly at night when I’m going to sleep. It buzzes when I start to pull so I know I’m pulling. It helps me so I can stop.”
When Maela first began wearing her Keen, she would gasp and giggle when the bracelet “caught” her pulling. As Maela continues wearing her Keen, she and her mom are learning that they are on a journey. Courtney now worries less at bedtime, but says, “Keen is a tool and tools don’t work if you don’t use them. Parents become so desperate that they’re looking for a magic wand. Kids should be encouraged to use Keen, but it’s not a miracle cure.”
There are times when Maela simply just wants to pull, but as we say here at HabitAware, that’s ok! Maela’s real win is that Trichotillomania doesn’t have a hold on her anymore – she’s taken control. When Keen lets her know she’s pulling she can make the choice to stop. “I think it’s a really cool tool.”
And we think you’re cool, too, Maela!
We wish you love , strength & “keen” awareness ,