It is no secret that fidget toys are a good replacement strategy for hair pulling (trichotillomania), skin picking (dermatillomania) and nail biting (onychophagia). The reason? Fidget toys keep your hands busy so you can’t physically pull, pick or bite.
Keen, our habit awareness bracelet, can be the first step in this process by helping you become aware of your behavior. Once aware, you can grab your favorite fidget toy to keep your hands occupied.
In fact, the TLC Foundation for BFRBs store and Amazon are filled with thousands of different fidgets toys. No longer are we relegated to simply twirling our pens when anxious, we have been able to squeeze squeezy balls, play with play dough and tangle tangles for a while now.
None of these fidget toys has ever reached critical mass. Until now!
All of a sudden there has been a surge in the craze for fidget toys – namely because of new inventions: the fidget cube and the fidget spinner. These two tools have gotten so popular there’s even a Twitter hashtag: #fidgetfriday!
The fidget cube is the brain child of Matthew and Mark Mclachan from Antsy Labs. The fidget cube is a “high-quality desk toy designed to help you focus.” according to the Antsy Lab website. It was brought to life via a Kickstarter campaign, raising $6.4 million dollars more than their goal of $15,000!!!
Fidget Cube’s success took a turn when Chinese manufacturers on Alibaba and Amazon began offering comparable products shortly after the Kickstarter appeared.
Though it was Matthew and Mark’s idea, others with more manufacturing experience stole the idea and beat them to market! Reviews of generic fidget cubes vs. the legitimate fidget cube indicate that the TRUE Fidget Cube is of higher quality materials and textures.
Fidget spinners quickly sprang to market thereafter, but their origin is much less clear, with many generic versions available all over the internet.
The logic behind fidget cubes and fidget spinners are simple: if you are a naturally fidgety person, these tools help you focus that fidgety energy into the palm of your hand so you can regain your focus. Fidget spinners are a great tool for students with ADD / ADHD and other issues.
Instead of jumping around the classroom or engaging in random outbursts, these kids have found an outlet for their extra energy. These tools have also helped people relieve stress and anxiety as well.
So naturally fidget spinners and fidget cubes have made their way into the hands of those suffering from body focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs), such as hair pulling (trichotillomania), skin picking (dermatillomania), and nail biting (onychophagia).
BFRB.org recently got stocked with fidget spinners. While they maybe a little more expensive than what you may find on Amazon or Ebay, do remember, it all goes to a good cause: supporting (y)our BFRB community and funding research for a cure.
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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Together with Abbe Greenberg and Maggie Sarachek, of the Anxiety Sisters, and Lauren McKeaney of PickingME Foundation we recorded a podcast to share treatments for body focused repetitive behaviors like trichotillomania and dermatillomania, along with our mental health stories.
It's important that Keen fits snugly. Here's a quick guide to help you decide which bracelet size to order: