Tracking can be a helpful part of effective treatment for Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling Disorder), Skin Picking Disorder (Dermatillomania, Excoriation Disorder), and other Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs).
Here is a log that I created in excel to track your own picking/pulling/chewing. Once you start to use it, feel free to edit it to make it fit your unique needs. Over time you may realize that you predominately use certain columns more than others. You may want to add multiple intervention columns to compare which you tried, not to mention hold yourself accountable for using them!
One of the benefits of logging is to improve your awareness of the picking and pulling behaviors. Frequently, people are very surprised when they realize how frequently, or infrequently, they occur. Also, when we have set backs or are in a bad mood for whatever reason, we may believe our picking/pulling is much worse than it actually is. Looking back over time, you may see the progress in the numbers.
I have included several key factors that have shown to be significant categories of triggers to picking and pulling. This specific log integrates the domains used in Comprehensive Behavioral Therapy (ComB) and an additional column for body sensations- perfect to use in combination with mind-body therapy or CBT!
This log includes tracking:
- When (Think which day and time of day)
- Which BFRB (Do you struggle with more than one?)
- Severity rating (Even if you don’t reach 100% perfection, any improvement here is real progress!)
- Duration (Ditto above!)
- Trigger if known
- Interventions tried (Fidgets? Barriers? Meditation? Calling a friend? I can list hundreds!)
- Sensory needs (Remember those 5 senses from science class? Tactile, Taste, Sight, Sound, Smell)
- Body sensations (How is your breathing? Are you tense? Heartbeat? Temperature? This links to mindfulness and body-mind centered therapies)
- Thoughts (Thinking errors, justifications, or topics that you ruminate on when picking or pulling)
- Emotions (What are you feeling or what feeling are you AVOIDING? This could probably use a bigger column to be honest! Or a whole page! Try journalist on this topic or processing it with a therapist.)
- Motor (What is your body doing? Describe your posture and position as best you can.)
- Place (Specifics can give more accurate trending information, and tell you were to keep your strategies so they are available when you need them!)
The idea is to use this information to come up with strategies that meet you unique needs to help you manage and avoid that next pick, pull, or chew. Some people are very emotional pickers, others emotions play very little into it. Some are sensory seeking pullers while others find sensory fidgets useless. The answers may surprise you!
Download it for free now! BFRB Log