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9 Tips for Managing a Body-Focused Repetitive Behavior From People Who Have Them

November 08, 2017


11/8/2017, Kimi Vesel

 

Hair pulling, skin picking, nail biting—living with a body-focused repetitive disorder (BFRB) is no easy business...

I talked to several of my friends from the BFRB community to gather their best strategies for dealing with their behaviors...

...

9. Use a gadget.

“Acceptance + mindfulness + fidgets. I don’t think I could have stopped [hair] pulling without all three of these. Once I got a jump start on the acceptance part, I learned that fidgets played a big role in the recovery of many, so I slowly built up a collection of hand candy. I keep some fidgets in my car, on the back of my couch, in my nightstand, and at other trouble spots in my house.

The Keen [bracelet by HabitAware] was next.... it played a huge role in my recovery for two reasons: awareness and tracking. I didn’t realize how automatic my pulling was until I had the bracelets catch me every time. And I hate to track, as valuable as it is. But Keen has a little button on it that you can push when you do perform your behavior and you can look at the summary whenever you’re ready. With Keen I can track my behavior with minimal disruption to my life.” —Laura, 32




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Ellen Crupi can easily recall when she first pulled out a strand of her long dark hair in the same way some people might remember their first kiss or losing their first tooth. She was 12 years old and in gym class at her suburban Rhode Island middle school, waiting for teams to be chosen. 

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Pulling out her hair became a coping mechanism for Crupi, a way to tackle anxiety or even boredom, and nothing she was too concerned about at first.

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Sizing Guide

Not sure which size is right for you?

It's important that Keen fits snugly. Here's a quick guide to help you decide which bracelet size to order:

(images not to scale)