Help for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors: Hair Pullers and Skin Pickers
Psychologist available for teletherapy
Body-focused repetitive behaviors: compulsive hair pulling (trichotillomania) and skin picking
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Let's Talk: Body-Focused Repetitive Beahaviors
Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB)“A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” Lao Tzu Your Body Focused Repetitive Behavior seems more than a habit. It has become a problem for you. So far you have been successful at concealing the bald spots…
Recovery is Possible
"Thank you for being a wonderful partner and support on my recovery from trichotillomania journey. Your patience and optimism helped me when things seemed the darkest." AC
"It wasn't easy but you stuck with me through setbacks and lapses. We made it to the other side of that bridge you always talked about." BD
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 buildup 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.
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 the treatment.
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.
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).
HELP! Books and Resources
Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors
Shame-Based Body-Focused Behaviors, Begone!
Eight-week treatment plan with behavior charts included.