“Today I am 100% shame free and about 95% pull free which is good enough for me. I’ve worked with hundreds of thousands of other people, just like me, and helped them get on the path of being free from the burden of their BFRB.” – Ellen Crupi

Director of Awareness with HabitAware, Ellen Crupi, says she has a common, yet unspoken disorder called Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh). Crupi spoke with Keni Mac on Loving Living Local, sharing her journey battling the compulsive hair-pulling disorder since she was 10 years old. Trichotillomania is a mental health disorder involving recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from one’s own scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, or other areas of the body, despite trying to stop. It falls underneath an umbrella term – “Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors”, also known as BFRBs, such as Dermatillomania, compulsive skin picking, nail biting, check biting and tongue chewing. That’s where the HabitAware Keen Bracelet comes in.

The team at HabitAware has defined BFRBs by saying, “The hands are the gateway to the mind. A restless mind leads to ‘restless’ hands”. With that said, Crupi described the Keen bracelet as a self-care alarm. She said wearing the bracelet worked so well for her in her battle against trichotillomania, that she began working for HabitAware 5 years ago.

HabitAware Keen Bracelet has an external stimulus of a gentle vibration. When it vibrates on the wrist, it gives a person a moment to pause, allowing a split second for the brain to go from autopilot to being the pilot.