Shatter Shame with HabitAware
The main Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs) that people talk about are Trichotillomania and dermatillomania. These two mental health conditions, along with the full category of BFRBs, are often misunderstood and stigmatized. Trichotillomania is characterized by an irresistible urge to pull out one's hair, while dermatillomania is characterized by an irresistible urge to pick at one's skin. Both conditions can cause physical and emotional distress, leading to shame and embarrassment, and causing those affected to hide their conditions from others.
Beauty Rules & BFRBs
One of the reasons that people with trichotillomania and dermatillomania may feel ashamed is because of society's rules of beauty. In our culture, there is an idealized image of what is considered beautiful, and this includes having a full head of hair and smooth, flawless skin. People who don't fit this ideal may be seen as less attractive, less valuable, or less worthy. Those with trichotillomania and dermatillomania may feel like they don't measure up to this ideal, leading to feelings of shame and self-loathing.
Social constructs also play a role in shaping our beliefs about mental health. Mental health conditions are often stigmatized and seen as a weakness, or a personal failing. This can make it difficult for people to talk about their conditions or seek help. Instead, they may suffer in silence, feeling like they have to hide their condition from others to avoid being judged or misunderstood.
"Secrets Make Us Sick"
Unfortunately, keeping secrets about mental health can make things worse. In fact, our cofounder Aneela, in realizing the decades of shame and hiding her trichotillomania often shares that "Secrets make us sick."
Secrets can be toxic, leading to feelings of isolation and shame. It can be difficult to build connections with others when we are keeping secrets, and this can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and depression. In addition, keeping secrets can lead to increased stress and anxiety, which can make our mental health conditions worse.
This is where HabitAware comes in. HabitAware is a wearable device that helps people with trichotillomania, dermatillomania, and other similar conditions. The device is designed to track when a person is engaging in a habit, such as hair pulling or skin picking. It then sends a gentle vibration to the wearer's wrist, reminding them to stop the behavior.
But HabitAware's smart bracelets are more than just a reminder. It's also a tool for self-awareness and self-acceptance. By tracking the behavior, users can gain a better understanding of when and why they engage in it. This can help them identify triggers and develop strategies for managing their condition. In addition, HabitAware can help users break the cycle of shame and self-loathing. By using the device's gentle vibration to interrupt the behavior, users can begin to re-learn to love themselves and take back control from their condition.
In HabitAware's private online forum, the BFRB Change Collective, the community can also challenge social constructs and society's rules of beauty. By acknowledging that hair pulling and skin picking are not personal failings, but rather symptoms of a mental health condition, users can begin to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health. They can also challenge society's narrow definition of beauty, recognizing that true beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.
Social constructs and society's rules of beauty can have a profound impact on people with trichotillomania and dermatillomania. These constructs can lead to feelings of shame and self-loathing, causing those affected to hide their conditions from others. But keeping secrets about mental health can be toxic, exacerbating feelings of isolation and loneliness. HabitAware has a smart bracelet tool, a behavior change system and a community for breaking this cycle of shame and self-loathing.
By joining the Keen family, you can begin to re-learn to love yourself and take back control from not just your mental health conditions but also from society's expectations.
By challenging social constructs and stigma, HabitAware is helping to create a more accepting and compassionate world for all. We hope you'll join us.
love ♥️, strength 💪, & awareness 👀,
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HabitAware’s smart bracelet uses gesture detection technology so you can build awareness of your hands. When you use Keen’s vibration as a cue to pause and notice what is happening, you are building self awareness of your thoughts & feelings through our proprietary method of Love, Strength, and Awareness. Combined, you have a framework for doing the joyful work of learning how to use your BFRB to your healthy advantage.