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.
Order now & sign up for our e-newsletter for helpful strategies, news & important product updates:
I started a blog, Why Do I Pull My Hair Out, to share facts I learned. I searched online for a way to control my trichotillomania at home and found Keen by HabitAware, the habit-tracking bracelet. I invested in the Keen bracelets because I often pull alone. Keen was crucial to my at-home success. My Keen bracelets remind me when my hands rose, retraining my brain over time to forgo that behavior.
"The best advice I can give other kids or teenagers like me is to use your Keens to teach people so that they will learn about BFRBs and will have understanding and compassion when they come across other people with these habits. Everyone who has asked me about my bracelets has been extremely kind and understanding. I've come to accept that I shouldn't be ashamed and it helps to know that there are other people just like me working to overcome this, too."