The cost of (not) treating Trichotillomania or Dermatillomania

I’ve heard some people express hesitation about Keen - maybe it’s the cost or maybe it’s the fear of the unknown. To that I ask, What have you already SPENT, or LOST and what can you SAVE or GAIN from Keen awareness? 

Hair pulling is about more than just hair loss. Skin picking is more than skin deep. Nail biting is more than the tip of your finger. It's the physical, mental, social and emotional toll that brings the largest cost for us to bear.

To be clear, Keen's purpose is to help you with the first step of behavior change awareness. You can't change what you don't know. It's still work, but made easier with the power of awareness that helps you make healthier choices.

The cost of ignoring hair pulling, skin picking or nail biting

We've talked before about BFRB mindset and how we can work to reset our overall mindset.

Denial sometimes seems to be the first phase of how we see our BFRB, especially when it first onsets. We try to ignore it, sweeping it under a rug (literally + figuratively), hoping it just goes away. 

But it doesn't. It festers. It boils up. It entangles us. It infects us - physically in the form of skin lesions and infections, like our friend Lauren experienced - and mentally, as it steals our ability to lead fulfilling lives.

  "I wish I was a baller," like my childhood hero!

"I wish I was a baller," like my childhood hero!

For me personally, though I tried to ignore it, my fears of being found out led me to avoid social interaction. I still remember one time in elementary school screaming at my dad to "turn the car around" as he drove me to a friend's pool birthday party. 

In high school, the emotional toll my trichotillomania took on me reduced my self-confidence to the point that I quit two things I loved: playing basketball and playing saxaphone. 

If I had to put a price on that, it'd be the $71,635 I lost out on that Google tells me is the average salary for a WNBA player! Not to mention the MILLIONS in endorsement$$$!

What have you avoided because you ignored your BFRB? What have you lost out on?

Friendships? Jobs? Skills? Moments of Joy?

YOU CAN GAIN THEM BACK.

The cost of covering up hair pulling, skin picking, or nail biting

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Similar to ignoring our BFRBs, I think at some point all of us with hair pulling (trichotillomania), skin picking (dermatillomania) or nail biting issues shift to a mindset of "I'll just hide it."

This typically means using cover ups and spending time consumed with worry and wonder if someone notices.

Some examples are wearing a wig or hat or bandana on your head, putting makeup over skin imperfections, using false lashes, or getting micro-blading / tattooing done over your eyebrows. 

I'm no stranger to cover ups. For most of my life, I hid behind eye liner and fake smiles. 

At base level, the costs of these cover ups can vary - wigs, depending on quality, can be anywhere from $50 to $5,000! And while one-off eye pencil and foundation purchases aren't too costly, they do add up to a $100s per year -- Think about how much you've donated to your local MAC or Sephora or Ulta! 

And let's be honest, you can't put a price on the time your mind spends wondering if someone is noticing. 

I've been in business meetings before where I couldn't concentrate because that thought just echo'd in my mind!

The cost of therapeutic treatment for trichotillomania or dermatillomania

If you have a mindset of being ready to face your BFRB, your go-to will be psychological treatment. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Habit Reversal and other therapies have been developed or adapted to specifically treat trichotillomania and dermatillomania.

Having worked with a psychologist trained by the TLC Foundation for BFRBs, I highly recommend it. Although the strategies gains are invaluable and therapy is by far the most effective treatment for trichotillomania today,  it has its drawbacks.

In the world we live in today, great mental healthcare is a luxury. Before Keen, I was working in advertising, where I had the favor of access to insurance that covered my trichotillomania treament visits. While I didn't track how much I spent on therapy, I do know that this can run upwards of $1,500 for a full course of trichotillomania or dermatillomania treatment.

After a while, I found my conversations with my psychologist to be so much like having coffee with a friend, that I decided to stop.  I was also very much in a good healthy place and was moving to China for 3 months for HabitAware - making consistent visits impossible! And consistency is key, but hard to achieve with rigid work requirements that may not allow for time off for visits like these, or overwhelming family needs.

Additionally, there is a lack of treatment professionals that truly understand these behaviors. I've heard time and again stories of BFRBers going to therapy for help to just here "Oh, Just stop!" This is why I support BFRB.org as they work to train professionals. 

What can you gain?

So yes, there's a financial cost to your trichotillomania, dermatillomania or other BFRB. A financial cost regardless of whether you ignore it, cover it, or face it. 

But there's also these invisible costs - the things you lose by denying yourself the chance to really take control and manage these conditions. 

Our Keen family is doing just that. For what cost? For about $150. That's $13 a month (or forgoing two cups of coffee), Or $3 dollars a week, Or 41 cents a day. Do that math!

Can you change your life enough with Keen awareness to afford 41 cents a day?! 

How can you NOT afford to?

Look at all the life you GAIN when you are in control of your BFRB through awareness:

  1. Time:  Spending 5 minutes in the bathroom instead of hours

  2. Social:  You are able to meet so many more people because your BFRB isn’t holding you back

  3. Professional:  With new found confidence comes new opportunities to ace the exam or go for the promotion

  4. Financial: As our hair grows in and our skin heals, we don’t need wigs, makeup and extra clothing to hide our BFRB damage.

  5. You:  Engaging in self-love & feeling good about you, not because your skin, nails or hair are perfect, but because you've faced this BFRB adversity head on. You've proven your ability to take on anything that comes your way. 

Make no mistake. Our mission is to help those with BFRBs find their awareness and to decrease the stigma of BFRBs across the globe. We've put our heart and soul into this product and the BFRB community. We want YOU to succeed and that is why:

1) every Keen is made with LOVE and a a 90-day money back guarantee

2) we offer free, video chat training where we help you find tune Keen for your needs because each BFRBer behavior is unique.  

We GAVE UP a lot to bring Keen to market because we knew what OTHERS COULD GAIN from it.

We thank YOU, Keen family for SPENDING this remarkable journey with us & we hope you'll share in the comments with us what you've GAINED.

love, strength & awareness,

Aneela & the HabitAware team


About Keen by HabitAware

HabitAware makes Keen, a smart bracelet that helps manage nail biting, hair pulling, thumb sucking, and other subconscious behaviors. Customized gesture detection brings you into awareness and helps you develop healthier habits.

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