*Note- this has not been tried by CBSN personally, just a members take on the idea
Weighted Blankets Provide Comfort for Hair Pullers and Skin Pickers
The world can be an overwhelming place and we all need a hug now and then. Weighted blankets are gaining popularity as a natural remedy for body focused disorders like trichotillomania and dermatillomania, as well as anxiety, dementia, autism and alzheimer’s. As we all know, hair pulling and skin picking is an attempt at self comfort and a weighted blanket can provide the peace we seek. Weighted blankets allow you to comfort yourself (or your child) by providing that soothing sensation of weight surrounding the body. New parents quickly learn the magical calming effect of swaddling a fussy newborn. A weighted blanket provides the same re-assuring deep pressure you experienced in the womb.
How does it work? The blanket’s weight provides proprioceptive cues to the body – that means that it gives you awareness of your body’s position in space. The blanket’s deep pressure causes you to release seratonin and melatonin, the brain’s natural pleasure and calming chemicals. You feel relaxed, calm and at peace. While the blanket can be any size you wish, most adults will want one that is around 40 by 70 inches. The weight of the blanket is determined by your own weight, you will need at least 10% of your body weight. Plastic pellets are used to manufacture these blankets and they are washable. Please use caution if you intend to buy one for a child under the age of three or for an elderly or disabled adult as frail people may need assistance with a weighted cover.
Blankets are available online from a number of vendors including SensaCalm and ebay. If you are handy you can make a blanket yourself. And if you have already tried this technique I would love to hear your experience…