Guide To Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors

Individuals who have suddenly found themselves pulling their hair or picking their skin may actually be suffering from a compulsion. This behavioral condition is often difficult to explain scientifically as it seems to often occur with little thought behind the action. Certain stressors may cause a compulsion to begin, but why it causes a specific reaction is still unclear. While quite a few compulsive behaviors have been studied thoroughly and some sense has been made of them, this is not the case with body-focused repetitive behaviors. This set of compulsions is still largely under investigation and fully not understood by the scientific community. This article will attempt to shed some light on what body-focused repetitive behaviors are and what they can do.

What Are Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors?


Body-focused repetitive behaviors essentially describe a set of compulsions that end up harming the body physically. They are different from other behaviors like burning oneself or even cutting because body-focused repetitive behaviors require body-to-body contact. Many individuals are likely asking what body-focused repetitive behaviors are because this set of compulsions are among those that are the most poorly misunderstood and misdiagnosed. The cause for body-focused repetitive behaviors is still unknown. However, there does seem to be a close association with these behaviors and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Body-focused repetitive behaviors, currently, are still being debated on whether they should be included under the category of self-harm or not. The reason for the uncertainty is because the compulsions are not usually performed with the intent to actually harm the body. Instead, they are performed as an attempt to fix or correct a perceived imperfection on the body. The damage that results from the compulsion is a side effect of the behavior. It can also be used as a coping mechanism for when an individual experiences an intense emotion.

Get to know the different types of body-focused repetitive behaviors now.

HealthPrep Staff