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    Adult Thumb Sucking
    nickyburd posted:

    I am 23 years old, and I still have a baby blanket and suck my thumb. I don't do it everyday, but when I get very anxious, which happens quite frequently, I revert back to this sort of behavior. I am very concerned about it, as it has gotten worse in the last year... I'm just wondering if these sort of behoviors are linked to a condition, and if so where should I seek treatment?

    I may also note that other "coping mechanisms" I use are counting my steps on my walk to work to stay calm, skin picking, and lip biting, and scratching my scalp until I develop scabs.

    Any help would be very much appreciated,

    Thank you
    Dr_Patricia_Farrell responded:
    I can understand that these are things you'd like to eliminate and it's my first thought that you need a medical check-up and then a referral to a cognitive psychologist. Some of them are "self-soothing." These behaviors are linked, usually, to anxiety disorders and some of them can be related to depression, but that has to be determined at a consult.
    Ts_Hon responded:
    I Swear you just took a page out of my Life's Book..... Except I am now 38, I use a piece of ribbon instead of a blanket and I am already on meds for Anti-anxiety and depression. I have tried hypnosis - which worked for about 15months until my marriage hit a really rough patch and I fell off the wagon and began sucking my thumb again. I don't bite my lips but I nibble on my nail beds until they bleed at times. I have also been to numerous therapist, psychologist etc... trying to help me. I don't have a problem so much with the fact that I DO suck my thumb - as long as it doesn't interfere with my life... as of right now the urge continues to draw me in and it keeps me from doing my daily to-do's. I am a stay at home mom with a 1st grader and a 7th grader and I find myself wasting far too much of my day (some days the entire day) sucking my thumb.) I feel your frustration....... I truly do. I too would love any helpful hints on how to quit this habit.
    kailanaf replied to Ts_Hon's response:
    I am a stay at home mom, too. I also twist my hair in knots while I suck my thumb. Since becoming a stay at home mom I ha ve started drinking and and have gigantic bald spot from all the knot twisting and sucking my thumb. I don't have any help for y0u, only commiseration. Thank you for \your honest post. I, too, have been to therapists and psychiatrists. It seems like if you're not suicidal or homicidal, they don't care to help you.
    hwhite39 responded:
    While I am not a thumb sucker, I do suck on my bottom lip. I never used to, it started earlier this year. I try not to, but I can't help it. I think it is something I am doing to help calm myself, but I literally do it 90% of the time now. I bite the inside of my mouth as well...but everyone in my family does. I do think it's a nervous habit for me though. I am a bit excessive about it. I do feel that you should bring these to the attention of your doctor. They may be able to offer some solutions to help.

    Good luck and best wishes
    An_261217 responded:
    I am male and over 50 years old. I find thumbsucking comforting. I used to sleep with my thumb in my mouth every night in addition to sucking it while watching TV or listening to music. I tried stopping during my childhood and early adult years. I finally decided that it gave me pleasure and didn't hurt anyone else, so why shouldn't I continue. I only stopped sucking my thumb while sleeping when i was diagnosed with sleep apnea and couldn't put my thumb in my mouth with a CPAP mask on. I continue to suck my thumb at other times, I can't tell you how often I suck my thumb because it is not a conscious action to put my thumb in my mouth. By the way, my teeth and "bite" are fine. Also my concentration is better with my thumb in my mouth. Of course I only do it in private.

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