Vibrating bracelet helping control compulsive hair pulling disorder
July 07, 2022
Director of Awareness with HabitAware, Ellen Crupi, says she has a common, yet unspoken disorder called Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh). Crupi spoke with Keni Mac on Loving Living Local, sharing her journey battling the compulsive hair-pulling disorder since she was 10 years old. Trichotillomania is a mental health disorder involving recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from one’s own scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, or other areas of the body, despite trying to stop. It falls underneath an umbrella term – “Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors”, also known as BFRBs, such as Dermatillomania, compulsive skin picking, nail biting, check biting and tongue chewing. That’s where the HabitAware Keen Bracelet comes in.
BFRBs aren't just bad habits that can be broken by sheer power of will— long-term treatment consists of identifying and treating the root cause of the behaviors, and even then, it's not guaranteed that they will stop. Many individuals suffering with BFRBs find themselves subconsciously repeating the behaviors, making it all that more difficult to combat them in the day-to-day.
At 17 years old, Aneela Idnani was struggling with the loss of her father. Over time, she developed a mental health condition known as Trichotillomania, a compulsion to unknowingly pull out one’s hair as a self-soothing mechanism.