I’ve come to believe it’s important to separate our disorders from one another. No, I don’t mean the segregation of trich from derm, or dissolving the BFRB umbrella term. What I mean is separating our disorders so that we can deal with them on an individual basis and separating our BFRBs from our co-morbid disorders in particular. As a refresher, co-morbid disorders are the other disorders we deal with alongside our BFRBs.
It’s much easier to deal with and understand disorders individually as opposed to trying to sift through them all at once and find a one size fits all solution. Let’s be honest, that just isn’t going to happen. One size fits all doesn’t even exist in the clothing world, let alone the mental health world.
I personally went through this process of compartmentalizing my disorders and have at the very least managed to break apart my skin picking from my depression and anxiety. Because of that, my derm no longer feeds off of them; I don’t pick because my depression is spiking or because I’m feeling anxious. Ultimately it led me to understanding dermatillomania better because I could see it for what it was, rather than the mess that it was a part of.
BFRBs come with a host of co-morbid disorders like depression and anxiety, and often we fall into the trap of letting them all play into one another. Or we just become overwhelmed by how many diagnoses we have that we just kind of throw our hands up in the air because we don’t even know where to start.
By pulling them apart from one another and acknowledging each one on an individual basis, we give ourselves the opportunity to see them as they actually are. This can lead us to getting proper treatment for each one specifically because then we can identify the nuances of each disorder. This is particularly important for BFRBs considering we’re still trying to figure them out at all. Being able to identify something as a symptom of depression as to a BFRB could be immensely helpful, and even being able to know when one disorder is playing into the other could help reduce the BFRB itself.
Think of it as being able to identify your triggers. If you know what triggers what and when, you can learn what to do when different situations arise.
We often try to take everything on at once when it comes to our lives, and our mental health doesn’t appear to be any different. Sometimes it is just a matter of being overwhelmed, so if you feel that way, seek out help. Seeking help is not something to be ashamed of and it’s better to try than to suffer in silence. The only way to get better is to learn about ourselves and our disorders.