Taming the Monster in the Mind - Tips to Overcome Trichotillomania and other BFRBs
October 30, 2019
A long time ago I attending a TLC Foundation for Body Focused Repetitive Behavior's (BFRB) webinar (bfrb.org) that shared tips on how to overcome trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder), dermatillomania (compulsive skin picking disorder) and excessive nail biting (all different types of BFRBs).
One thing that resonated and stuck with me was the idea of externalizing the behavior. I think much of the shame and embarrassment and self-stigma imposed is due to internal thinking that WE are causing this damage.
If you can give up ownership of your BFRB to the "Monster" that needs to be tamed, it becomes easier to challenge this disorder.
Here's a few ways to begin to look at your BFRB as the "Monster":
First, name it, to tame it! By giving your "monster" a name, you are detaching yourself from it. You need to remember that these behaviors are because our "fight or flight" response system has gone awry -- YOU are not the "problem."
Next, draw it! This will help you give your BFRB human qualities and help you visualize something in your mind to challenge vs. this elusive and invisible disorder. Drawing is also cathartic art therapy exercise.
Third, talk to it! Instead of responding to urges with berating negative self-speak, I've found that challenging the monster in my mind, with questions like "That's all you got?!" squashes the urges.
You can then enlist your support circle and join forces to help you keep the BFRB monster away.
You can become whole again. Courage to let go of fear, and self-love, can open a way to freedom. My hope is that you stay on the path to healing.
wishing you love, strength & awareness,
About Keen by HabitAware
HabitAware makes Keen, a smart bracelet that helps manage nail biting, hair pulling, thumb sucking, and other subconscious behaviors. Customized gesture detection brings you into awareness and helps you develop healthier habits.
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Missed out on one of the body focused repetitive behavior educational webinars that HabitAware has hosted? Don't worry. We've got you covered. Here's a list of recordings so you can watch, pause, and reflect at your own pace.
"It all began in elementary school. I remember I was in my bedroom when my parents asked me where my eyelashes went. I didn’t know what they were talking about at first and then I ran to the mirror to discover that my eyelashes were all gone. I started to panic because I didn’t know how this happened and I didn’t even remember pulling them out...."