Men Speak Up!
Women who suffer from Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours (BFRBs) such as trichotillomania or dermatillomania may find it strange to discover that there are a number of men who are also afflicted with these conditions. Doug Shorts, one such sufferer, has come forward in his you-tube video titled Men Speak Up to encourage men who are suffering from BFRB’s to share their hair pulling and skin picking disorders so that other men, especially the youth or those who have just started engaging in these compulsive behaviours, do not feel so isolated in their compulsion.
Hiding behind the shaven head
Doug has been suffering from both trichotillomania and dermatillomania for a number of years and has been attending BFRB retreats and conferences for the past thirteen years. According to Doug, a salient characteristic of these workshops is that there are a large amount of women in attendance but a noticeable lack of men. Well, this ought to be expected because trichotillomania affects more women than it does men. However, Doug also believes than men tend to shy away from such functions because men are better able to hide their disorder. Men generally have much shorter hair and it is not frowned upon for a man to have a bald head. He himself shaves the hair on his head so that the bald patches that arise from hair pulling do not show through.
Support in numbers
Although there are very few men who attend the BFRB workshops, Doug has managed to meet a few with whom he has formed close friendships and who have helped him through the dark days when the urge to pull became overwhelming. Statistically, two out of every fifty people suffer from some type of BFRB, and even if only a small percentage of these are men, it is time to break the silence and speak up about it. This is the reason Doug Shorts feels that other men afflicted with the same condition need to open up and confide in others about their disorder. By talking about it, it will help other men suffering from trichotillomania, dermatillomania, or other BFRBs to confide in professionals or fellow sufferers and get on the road to getting the help and treatment they so desperately need.