During the first week of October 2014 we observed body-focussed repetitive behaviours (BFRB) awareness week. With the recent reclassification and grouping together of disorders such as excoriation (skin picking) disorder and trichotillomania (hair pulling) disorder as BFRBs; organizations such as the Trichotillomania Learning Centre (TLC) and the Canadian BFRB Support Network launched campaigns to grow awareness of all these conditions. A number of initiatives were marketed such as the purchase and wearing of the green ribbon to raise funds for much needed research and highlight the plight of those suffering with BFRBs. There was also an initiative across the various support and networking sites encouraging people from all over the world to take photographs of themselves holding a sign or poster with a positive message about any of the BFRBs and upload it to social media with the hash tag #IamNotMyBFRB or #BFRBawareness. These photographs were then used by the Canadian BFRB Support Network to create the youtube clip featured here. The hash tag for the video campaign was #SpreadTheWord #BreakTheStigma.
The hopes for this campaign was to encourage those who struggle with any of these conditions to come forward and speak about their experiences and seek help, with a strong message that people with BFRBs need not suffer in silence. There was also an educational stance to the campaign to inform the general public and those who may have a loved one or friend who has a BFRB on what BFRBs are. BFRBs such as dermatillomania, which has historically been in the shadows of the more well known disorders such as trichotillomania, gained a lot of exposure by this campaign.
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