Obsessive lip-licker needs to stop! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 08-11-2005, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son has some SID/OCD tendencies, and lately, he has been constantly licking his bottom lip and then wiping it with the back of his hand. Aside from the fact that I just plain-old wish he'd stop, his lower lip is now raw with that red ring below it, which gives me more of a reason to wish he'd stop If I direct attention to the fact that he's licking, he just becomes upset because he "can't" stop. Any suggestions? Do I give him another compulsive behavior to do instead? He's also now terrified because I mentioned I might have to put some cream on the raw area, and "poison" is one of his obsessive fears.
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#2 of 9 Old 08-11-2005, 10:04 PM
 
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How old is your son?
I got my dd to stop some of her nervous habits by buying a book on body language and what it 'says' so that if you twiddle your hair it says you are nervous...etc

8 might be enough
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#3 of 9 Old 08-11-2005, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's a good suggestion- he's almost 5. I don't know if it will make a big enough impact to override such a big habit (I'm still biting my nails at 31!) but it's worth a try. Do you have the name/author of the book you used?
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#4 of 9 Old 08-12-2005, 12:10 AM
 
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Is he getting therapy? When my dd was doing her own habitual things, I tried to redirect to the trampoline, lifting heavy objects, or we took a music/dancing break. Baths also worked. I hope you get a solution soon. I have a feeling that if another child comments on it, it will stop.

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#5 of 9 Old 08-12-2005, 03:21 AM
 
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My boy does the same, for a few weeks, then stops, then starts again I don't know if it starts with chapped lips. We found the candy flavored chapsticks helped - weird because it sounds like it would make you want to lick your lips more...I dunno. But if it is that his lip feels dry, so he licks, then it's wet so he wipes. Good luck!

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#6 of 9 Old 08-12-2005, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAmma
Is he getting therapy? When my dd was doing her own habitual things, I tried to redirect to the trampoline, lifting heavy objects, or we took a music/dancing break. Baths also worked.
He is doing play therapy with a child psychiatrist, for his anxiety. I know this habit began as a direct relationship to his chronically anxious state. I have noticed he is great in the tub- no licking. Interesting. Redirecting for increased physical actuvity is a great suggestion. When the symptoms are less severe, it's easy to keep him occupied at the beach, playing with the sand. But when he's in a highly anxious state, it seems like nothing works. And now, it's become more of a habit, less closely tied to specific bouts of anxiety.
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#7 of 9 Old 08-12-2005, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamarhu
My boy does the same, for a few weeks, then stops, then starts again I don't know if it starts with chapped lips. We found the candy flavored chapsticks helped - weird because it sounds like it would make you want to lick your lips more...I dunno. But if it is that his lip feels dry, so he licks, then it's wet so he wipes. Good luck!
Oddly, he used to complain (before he started this habit) that his lips felt WET all the time. And he used to compulsively wipe them with the bottom of his shirt or the back of his hand. THEN, the licking and wiping started. He isn't too receptive to chapstick- we've tried it in the winter, and he's convinced that if he accidentally licks it, it will make him sick.
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#8 of 9 Old 08-12-2005, 02:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teachma
But when he's in a highly anxious state, it seems like nothing works. And now, it's become more of a habit, less closely tied to specific bouts of anxiety.
Would it help to make heavy work and deep joint compression activities (trampoline bouncing, bike riding, etc) part of his daily life, to help prevent the highly anxious states?

my kiddo does the lip licking thing too, but not to the same extent--it's sort of on and off for him, and doesnt usually last long enough to do a lot of damage to his skin, luckily... just a few red dots. he isnt afraid of being poisoned, but i do make our own healing salve. i wonder if making his own healing balm might appeal to your ds? then he knows exactly what's in it. my "recipe" is 3-4 parts calendula infused olive oil to one part beeswax melted together, and then add the liquid from natural source vite E capsules and maybe add a couple of drops of essential oils as the mixture is cooling (lavender promotes healing, peppermint gives it a tingly sensation, but if your ds is afraid of being poisoned, then he might want to skip the vite e and eo's.)

if it's more of a habit now, i wonder if a mouth chew toy type of thing might help? it looks like you were already thinking of subbing in a more 'acceptable' behaviour for the one that's causing the skin breakdown.

i hope it all works out okay for you.

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#9 of 9 Old 08-12-2005, 09:43 PM
 
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My dd was about the same age at the time, I got it in the checkout line at the grocery store - it was a great tool to talk about table manners, posture.

8 might be enough
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