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14 Things You Should Know About Body-Focused Repetitive Disorder

From the Show: HER
Summary: What is body-focused repetitive behavior?
Air Date: 7/30/15
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pam Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Christina Pearson, Founder of TLC
Christina PearsonChristina Pearson grew up suffering greatly with the Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors of hair pulling and skin picking, which she engaged in for over 25 years.

Today, she has over 20 years of solid recovery, and is the woman who founded the world's first organization focusing on these issues, (the Trichotillomania Learning Center, aka TLC) in 1990. Guiding it for 23 years, in 2013 she left TLC to begin working on a new community resource, a school of sorts; the Heart and Soul Academy for BFRB Living Skills. She has devoted all of her time since 1990 to raising public awareness , supporting rigorous scientific research, & developing resources to aid in reducing suffering.

She has lectured extensively on TTM and Spectrum Disorders, done countless media presentations, consulted on three National Institute of Mental Health trichotillomania grants, and developed a series of compelling workshops for individuals whose lives have been impacted by TTM or skin picking and seek relief. She is also the author of a book of musings on recovery, Pearls: Meditations on Recovery from Hair Pulling & Skin Picking. Christina's attention is now focused on the educational support of the global BFRB community, as she sees a tremendous need to establish multiple new healing information delivery systems.

As Director of the Heart & Soul Academy for BFRB Living Skills she plans to create a body of living-skills based knowledge that can be translated into languages the world over. In September 2015, she is producing the 2015 Annual BFRB Retreat, to be held in Granby, Colorado, where she will bring together some of the world's best hair pulling and skin picking treatment providers to spend three days teaching and facilitating sessions to help ease the burden for sufferers of BFRBs.
14 Things You Should Know About Body-Focused Repetitive Disorder
According to the Neuro Behavioral Institute, body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) is an impulse control behavior that might include pulling of hair, skin and nail biting, and skin pulling that can result in physical and psychological difficulties like skin sores, infections, and scars.

These nervous habits can become problematic if they interfere with your everyday life.

What are the 14 things you should know about BFRB?

In an article posted on HuffingtonPost.com, 14 people share what they want you to know about BFRB:

  1. "I think that the biggest impact that dermatillomania has had on me is being the only one my age with 'acne' and knowing that the state of my skin is directly correlated to my state of mind. Kind of like wearing my heart of my sleeve, except it is my brain, on my skin." -- Facebook user Bonnie Van Tassel
  2. "I've been suffering with trich on and off since I was 10. I'm 19 now, and if I could give advice to my younger self or other people suffering with it, I'd say you're not alone and people are generally more understanding than you'd think. Sure, some people won't understand, but you probably don't want to be around people like that anyway. There are plenty of online resources and [the Trich Learning Center] is great." -- Facebook user Madison Nelson
  3. "I've had dermatillomania almost my entire life and it's terrible. And don't even ask me me 'Why can't you just stop?'... I would if I could." -- Facebook user Kim Dupuis
  4. "Trich is something I've suffered with on and off for eight years now. I used to think I was the only one. Now, I know I'm not alone. Always keep fighting." -- Facebook user Madison Kay Nelson
  5. "I'm not sick or crazy and I don't hate myself. Also, I don't need you to stoke my ego with the pity compliments. I'm not 'still beautiful in spite of trich.' That was never a concern!" -- Facebook user Caitlin Webster
  6. "People are more than their conditions." -- Rebecca Brown
  7. "Sometimes I don't even notice that I'm doing it... next thing you know, blood." -- Facebook user Judy Adams
  8. "I always thought that it was just me. I love my hair. I just can't stop." -- Facebook user Yazmin LoGiudice
  9. "I leave the lights off whenever I go to the bathroom at home. I don't pick what I can't see." -- Facebook user Jennifer DiSabatino
  10. "I wish people would stop saying to me 'Just quit doing it,' as if it were that simple..." -- Facebook user Laura Hanson
  11. "One, that I don't really WANT to do it. Trust me, I'm afraid I'm going to pull all my hair out one day and go bald. Two, growing my eyebrows out again was a huge success for me! Three, I also tweeze hairs out of my legs."-- Facebook user Lauren Vaught
  12. "Yes, my eyelashes WILL grow back. Well, until they won't. Still not OK to ask about it." -- Facebook user Rachel Devonne
  13. "It's good this is finally getting more attention. It's very difficult to describe by sufferers, and even harder to seek help." -- Facebook user Rachael Leigh
  14. "If I could 'Just stop,' don't you think I would?!" -- Facebook user Melani June

Founder of TLC (Trichotillomania Learning Center), Christina Pearson, shares what BFRB is and the 14 things you should know about it.

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