In the past, I’ve written about back-to-school tips I would recommend, but this time around, I thought I’d ask the body-focused repetitive behaviour (BFRB) community for their take on how to prepare for back-to-school. BFRBs are hard enough to deal with in our private lives, but then sitting in a room full of peers and trying to be studious under the ever-watchful eyes of teachers can make things all the more challenging.
Depending on where you are, maybe you’re already back to classes and are wondering how you’re going to make it through the year with your picking, pulling, or biting. Maybe you start sometime in the near future and thoughts of that first bell are looming in your mind. Whatever your case may be, and whatever your grade may be, here are some simple back-to-school tips that our BFRB peers, both past and current students, came up with.
“If you can, talk to your teacher(s) about your BFRB immediately.” – Eddie T.
“My main tip is getting your school bag/equipment ‘trich ready,’ as I call it. Fidget toys are a big thing for me, but if they aren’t in obvious places I forget to use them. I had one attached to the zipper on my pencil case … then several in the zipped pocket in the main part of my rucksack … which I’d see when I’d go to get books out, plus a tangle toy in my coat pocket for walking to school.
“In the outside zipped pocket of my bag I had a small pencil case which contained my trich/derma ‘emergency kit’ as such for when things were particularly bad. This contained a small tub of moisturizer and a tiny hand cream (I’d put it on as it makes my hands too slippy to pull, though not so practical when needing to write), some fabric plasters to put on my fingers … and some sports strapping for the same reason, plus a couple hair bands and a pile of Kirby grips, and a small hairbrush … and some tissues or a homemade cotton hankie (for when my skin picking is bad and I make my fingers/face bleed).” – Emilia
“I use a hat in class and put a hair-building fibre called Toppik on to cover my bald spots.” – H.M.
“Colouring in class.” – Kate M.
“Attending/using on-campus or online health and wellness supports!!” –Julie M.
“Getting a piece of clothing that feels good on your skin, might distract you from temptation, but overall makes you feel good is a great investment.” – Suzanna M.
“Learn to release that nervous energy in a positive way with deep breathing, stretching or drinking water. All three can easily be done while sitting at your desk/in class.” – Aneela K.