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margharris
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Body dysmorphia: Habit reversal training

Permanent Linkby margharris on Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:52 pm

Can't stop the compulsive touching. He doesn't want to try a physical restraint so I learnt up on other methods. The most promising was a habit reversal training that started with awareness of the triggers.
I had noticed he touched his facial or neck hair and then moved to his head. I wrote both habits down on a piece of paper and asked him to put a cross against them if he did the habit. Within minutes I returned to see four crosses next to each. He told me he touched his body hair and that triggered his DHT hairloss story so he followed on to touch his hair. I suppose it serves as a form of reassurance or checking. So the awareness training helped him build some understanding of the pattern to his behaviours. If he touches his body hair, he is likely to go on to touch further and continue to do it. It is like he can't stop once it starts.
I asked him to try and work out why he touched in the first place and he believed he felt his hair tingle. More likely he is somatizing with the extreme focus.
So this exercise in awareness did build up better understanding. Of course it didnt address the problem of touching in the short term. So I asked him to move the mouse to his touching hand. He did it for awhile. I have to find more things he can do with the hand so he might like one and take it up. This touching is a hard habit to break but a must do if he is to break free of his BDD.
Marg

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