BFRBs, or body-focussed repetitive behaviors is an umbrella term for impulsive pathological grooming behaviours including hair pulling and skin picking. Although its cause is unknown,
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“research indicates that BFRBs are neuro-biological disorders and that genetics may play a role in their development.”
Since most people afflicted with a BFRB can hide the symptoms of their disorder from others, many people are unaware of even close family and friends who suffer from this condition. The severe psychological impact of BFRBs can lead to feelings of isolation, shame and loss of control.
The Trichotillomania Learning Centre (TLC), a non-profit organization dedicated to those suffering from BFRBs, launched BFRB week on October 1st to help raise awareness amongst the global population about this disorder which affects thousands of people worldwide.
TLC’s #thisisme campaign, an initiative of TLC’s Millenial Task Force, was created to show the many faces of BFRBs like trichotillomania and dermatillomania. Millenials are teens and young adults that help to form and implement projects, programs and campaigns that are aimed directly at young people afflicted with BFRBs. People suffering from these disorders were encouraged to create their own #thisisme video or photo to help raise awareness during BFRB week. The aim of the campaign was to build awareness and outreach, to grow the TLC membership base, and to promote effective treatment options.
Individuals suffering from this condition were inspired to show the world that BFRBs affect people from different walks of life from all over the globe in both obvious and subtle ways, and that there is help available for sufferers. 750 000 people shared/ liked/ commented/ viewed #BFRBWEEK posts in the week that the campaign was running.