Tele-Therapy for Compulsive Hair Pulling and Skin Picking
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"Thank you for being a wonderful partner and support on my recovery from trichotillomania journey. You patience and optimism helped me when things seemed the darkest." A C
"It wasn't easy but you stuck with me through set backs and lapses. We made it to the other side of that bridge you always talked about." BD
What causes BFRBs?
We can't point to one specific cause. Troublesome emotions can increase the tendencies to pull or pick. Usually behaviors occur during periods of sedentary or contemplative activity like watching videos or doing homework. Some people are responding to a build up of tension which is relieved by pulling hair. Some pull or pick without being fully aware of doing it. Some people pay close attention as they try to "even up" or change a hairline.
Is it just stress?
sometimes a stressful situation comes before the first episode of the behavior. Many times the behavior worsens during high stress times like final exams, work deadlines or preparing tax returns. It isn't that simple, but learning to handle stressful situations and uncomfortable emotions is part of treatment.
Why don't people just stop?
Most people go to great lengths to stop and to hide the behavior from others. Many are successful in varying degrees. Most people return to the behavior even after long periods of abstinence. Often they blame themselves for not being able to control the behavior and this brings on the shame, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem that complicate treatment.
How do you treat these behaviors?
Medication is not usually an effective treatment. Some form of Habit Reversal and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are the most effective approaches. Recent advances in behavior therapy include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).