Most, if not all of us, have been in a place of desperation, especially when it comes to having relatively unknown disorders like BFRBs. Whether we are the ones with the BFRB or a parent of a child with a BFRB, we scrounge the internet, looking for anything and everything that can help us. Then we find it—that one product that promises amazing results, or even a cure. It looks wonderful. It makes our hearts and hopes soar. We hit buy.
But let’s hold up a minute.
Is this something—whether it’s a book, medication, another product—really as good as it says? Or are we just wasting our money?
Unfortunately, there are scam artists out there who are just out to get our money. This even happens in the BFRB community, so we have to be careful. Does this mean that we have to be paranoid about everything?
No. Should we be scrutinous?
But how do we know what’s good and what’s not?
The same way we know about anything else. Do a little research. Google the product. Look for reviews. Even better, look for information about it on BFRB sites like ours or the Trichotillomania Learning Center’s. If you can’t find anything, send us a message and we can look into it.
There are also many advocates and community members who research and share their opinions on different things they’ve purchased or tried (and there has been at least one scam that has been uncovered). Tumblr is a good resource for that, as are the BFRB support groups on Facebook. Even just Googling “BFRB Scams” leads to results. If the posters can give detailed reviews or opinions, even better. Look for as much information as you can before hitting that buy button.
Also, be wary of the word “cure” because, quite frankly, there are no cures for BFRBs yet. There are treatments and things that can help reduce the behaviours, but there is no miracle product or method to stop entirely. Think about it, the disorders still aren’t even fully understood by professionals yet. How could some random person on the internet have found something and it hasn’t caught the attention of medical professionals?
Especially watch for websites that read like an infomercial with its flashy text, 100% guarantees, over-the-top testimonials and so on, and also watch for ones that push their product in your face and that’s all they’re doing. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably (most likely) is. If it reads like a scam, it probably is.
This probably sounds very bleak, like there’s no hope. But there is. There are so many reputable websites and books and items that can help you or your BFRB child with their behaviours. If you’re not sure where to find them, turn to the community and ask around. We’re all here to help support each other and to steer each other in the right direction.
What we have to do is fight that desperate urge and think critically. It’s better to pause a moment and do some research than to just hit buy and be had. It’s better to pause a moment and do some research and find something that actually works. It’s better to pause a moment and do some research, period. That way we can make the best choices.