For people with BFRBs, having a supportive person in their life can make all the difference when in recovery. Parents, in particular, can be important parts of that support. Gessie Perez, an online trich advocate, writes in The Mighty about how her relationship with her mother helped her with recovery.
In particular, I really liked that she travelled to the TLC Conference to meet others in person. In particular, Gessie writes that listening to her mother speak about her experiences was an eye-opener:
Three years ago we were at a workshop for trichotillomania and related behaviors. My mom shared with the group that she felt a loss of my hair like she lost a part of her daughter — that her daughter was known for being the one with the beautiful curly hair, and for me to go from that to having bald spots was really painful to watch. I was sitting right beside her and I teared up when she said that. It was the first time I was hearing that; I didn’t know she had felt that way. However, it allowed me to see things from her perspective. I realized then that this was just as hard on her and she had her own struggles and emotions in dealing with this as a parent.
Yes, parents and other loves ones are struggling alongside those with BFRBs. It can be tortuous to witness a loved one who is picking their skin or pulling their hair compulsively. And not be able to do much about it.
It makes me wonder: What kind of help can parents give to children who suffer from BFRBs? Clearly being supportive and positive are important. What else can they do? How do you want to receive support?