Let's create some noise about Body-focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs) this mental health awareness month. BFRBs are a group of related disorders that involve repeatedly touching one's hair, skin, or nails in a way that leads to physical damage or negative social consequences. Some common BFRBs include hair-pulling, skin-picking, and nail-biting. It's a surprisingly common condition, although nobody talks about it. It's estimated that 1 in 20 suffer from a BFRB. Now more than ever, it's crucial to spread awareness, understanding, and support for those living with these conditions. Here are five ways you can make a difference!
1. Share Your Story
By sharing your own story or the story of someone you know who has been affected by BFRBs, you can help create understanding and empathy for others in similar situations. Open up about your struggles and triumphs, and inspire others to do the same. Post about your experience online, through a support group, or just let a group of understanding friends know.
The Picking Me Foundation gives a platform to those with Dermatillomania.
If you have a different BFRB (or dermatillomania, as well!), you can also share your story to us through contacting us! We'd love to share your story on a blog post.
2. Follow and Engage with Organizations on Social Media
Connect with organizations that focus on BFRBs, such as the Picking Me Foundation, TLC Foundation for BFRBs, HabitAware, or Canadian BFRB Support Network. Engage with their content, share posts with your networks, and help spread the word about BFRBs, as well as opportunities for education or support.
3. Spread the Word via Social Media
Sharing is caring! Post articles, infographics, videos, or anything else related to BFRBs on social media. By doing so, you can spark conversations and educate others about these behaviors that are often misunderstood. Use relevant hashtags like #BFRBAwareness, #MentalHealthAwareness, and #EndTheStigma to reach a wider audience.
4. Share Resources with Local Professionals
Many professionals, such as therapists, dermatologists, hair stylists, and educators, may encounter clients with BFRBs. If you are friends with any people who might work with a BFRB, reach out to these individuals with resources, including articles, research, and support group information, to help them better understand and support those with BFRBs. In turn, they may share these resources with their clients or patients, spreading awareness even further.
Spreading awareness about BFRBs can have a significant impact on the lives of those affected, as well as their loved ones. By participating in these five actions, you'll help to create a more compassionate and understanding society for everyone living with a BFRB. This mental health awareness month, let's make an effort to bring attention to BFRBs and contribute to a better world for all.
Want to start your own BFRB management journey? Check out our Smart, Gesture-Detecting Awareness Bracelet, designed to help manage unwanted behaviors.
Header image by Marcos Paulo Prado