I'd like a spinner ring, but I also need it to click...
July 29, 2013 11:29 AM   Subscribe

My partner has suggested I get a spinner ring to help me avoid my obsessive skin pulling/picking (diagnosed trichotillomania). It's a great idea! But I can't find one that I know will work....

My compulsion often centres around parts of skin that 'catch', like hangnails and scabs. All the rings I have seen are really empathize how 'smooth' the turning action of the ring is, but I feel like I'd be much more likely to fiddle with the ring and not my skin if it had a bit of resistance to it, like a clicking or ratcheting behaviour. Has anyone encountered a ring like this? If not, are there any other ideas?

Note - I have seen the kinekt gear ring and that is actually super ideal, but I also don't have $150 to spend on this.
posted by robot-hugs to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Milligrain! I have a milligrain wedding ring and the ridges on the ring are a nice focus for my fiddly fingers. Something like this:

Like this one from Overstock. (no endorsement, but the quickest search I could find.)

My wife has a spinner and it just seems like it would be fun to flick it, but not something to pull against because, as you said, it's too smooth.
posted by Kyol at 11:41 AM on July 29, 2013

It's not a spinner, but how about a poison ring that has a compartment you can open and shut?
posted by payoto at 11:44 AM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

I used to use a poison ring for a similar purpose. I don't need to wear one now, but it was such a big help.
posted by batmonkey at 11:50 AM on July 29, 2013

Would something like a puzzle ring be another solution?
posted by jetlagaddict at 11:52 AM on July 29, 2013

Best answer: What about a watch with a moving bezel? They have a nice satisfying click.
posted by inertia at 12:08 PM on July 29, 2013 [4 favorites]

There are a lot of jewelers who make spinner rings on etsy.com. Perhaps you could talk with one of them about what you are looking for.
posted by michellenoel at 12:19 PM on July 29, 2013

I wear this ring which matches your description well, (it doesn't spin perfectly smoothly and it makes a quiet rattling noise). It also has a nice weight to it.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:21 PM on July 29, 2013

There's a file to 3D print the (awesome) Kinekt ring on Thingiverse. That could be a fun project to try....
posted by JMOZ at 12:24 PM on July 29, 2013

I agree with the puzzle ring comment. (I don't have trichotillomania, but far enough along the path that my grandmother has called me a terminal case of ants-in-the-pants. My hands are always worrying something or other.) My wedding ring is a puzzle ring, and the puzzle part of it acts like a bit of a hinge. This means that the thin back part of the ring can open up just enough to fit a fingernail into. It's pretty satisfying to click my thumbnail into each little space in turn; if I do it with the right pressure and angle, it's a definite "catching", and it's also not a thing that works exactly the same way every time (so you get some satisfaction from doing it "right".) Mine is this one, but I've seen them around for 1/3 the price, mostly in head shops.
posted by tchemgrrl at 12:43 PM on July 29, 2013

Another suggestion: chainmaille jewelry can be very beautiful, and has a pleasingly rough texture. I have a piece that I use for the same reason and it's done wonders for me.
posted by epanalepsis at 12:58 PM on July 29, 2013

Best answer: I think the life counter rings described here (scroll about halfway down) are probably exactly what you want. Unfortunately, they're still developing them. Last I heard, they'd be shipping to backers in October, so I'd think you could order one at CritSuccess shortly thereafter.
posted by natabat at 1:29 PM on July 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

Rings with multiple intertwined bands can be fun to fiddle with, and the movement isn't what I'd consider smooth.
posted by waterlily at 1:40 PM on July 29, 2013

I have exactly what you have and am also diagnosed. I'm wondering if a ring or something similar would actually work to curb the impulse. My urges are extremely specific to one place on my body (my head), and I can't imagine "tricking myself" with a ring. I feel like my brain would just be like, "This is BS! You know what you really want to do!"

My psychiatrist suggested N-acetyl cysteine as a supplement which supposedly "takes the edge off" (there are studies documenting its success), but it didn't work for me.

I am doing the Whole30 right now (a paleo-diet-based nutritional reset), and there's a compelling testimonial from a woman who was completely alleviated of her hair-pulling impulses after only a week on the program. I'm on my third week, and while I still have the urges, they are much less frequent. It might be something to consider.
posted by shiggins at 8:24 PM on July 29, 2013

I have a Tangle, which are designed as sensory toys for autistic kids, but are also given out as smoking cessation aids. I'm very fidgety and it helps for me at work. It's not as subtle as a ring of course, but it is a fairly cheap solution.
posted by mippy at 3:02 AM on July 30, 2013

Huh. I do the same thing with my fingers/hangnails. In thinking about it, I realize I also fiddle a lot with the necklace I wear nearly every day (it's just a chain with three small pendants on it, one of which is a tiny picture frame that is very satisfying to rub between my fingers.) and spin my engagement ring around and around and around. Seems to help keep my mind off my fingers.

I think a clicky noise might drive others insane (I know my husband would lose his mind in about five seconds) but maybe others around you are more patient. ;)
posted by pyjammy at 9:26 AM on July 30, 2013

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