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Has anyone used TAPs to combat BFRBs?

by Fauna M. 1 min read2nd Jan 20202 comments

3


BFRB=body focused repetitive behavior such as skin picking or hair pulling. What were your TAPs? Did you experience remission, and how did you handle that?

I managed to stop my BFRB in a few months ago using a multi-dimensional strategy, but I’ve had a few close calls with recurrence and was wondering if anyone had experience using TAPs to combat these.

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I could stop biting my nails using some TAPs.

Installing the TAPs took at most a few days, and I think I might have failed and bit the nails some times. It took around a month to get the nails long enough that I could cut and polish them, and after a while the TAPs disappeared completely because I didn't need them anymore. According to my journal, I started using the TAPs on 20180612 and cut my nails on 20180714, and there is also a register on 20180703 that I was not using the TAPs because their trigger had disappeared.

I think that what made me bite my nails was that they had a dent or something like that that I could play with, and after I did some damage to it using other nails, I eventually bit it to remove that part that stood too much (I still do something similar with the skin around my nails, and I've never thought about getting rid of it). After I could cut them for the first time, I only bit them once when one of them get broken. I don't remember exactly how I felt at the time (I haven't write about how I felt in my journal), but I think it was like an accident that happened and I just had to keep doing what I was doing and everything would be fine.

I remember that I had bitten my nails since I was around 10 or even younger (I'm 30 now), and I couldn't stop definitively until I used the TAPs, sometimes the nails would grow, but eventually they regressed to the bitten state.

I used two TAPs:

  • Biting nails #1
    Trigger: Looking at my nails
    Action: Close my hand

  • Biting Nails #2
    Trigger: Rubbing my fingers with the thumb
    Action: Open hand
    It is a complementary trigger to avoid damaging the nails without even looking.

I didn't have a TAP for biting the nails (having my finger in the mouth) because I never noticed doing it without looking at them first.

It has been one and a half year since I stopped, and I think I might have bitten the nails some times, but it was not enough to keep biting them similarly to the case described above.

I extinguished 4 such behaviors in the last couple years. I made a tally every time I did the behavior (on my phone). So the TAP was

Do behavior -> Open phone

At the end of each week I gave my friend some money - a dime for each tally. Several years ago I tried to extinguish nose-picking and succeeded, but relapsed after 6-12 months, and basically trying again in a similar way worked a second time.