Anyone else have self-destructive habits???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kadywill, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    I chew my lip, the inside of my mouth, I pick at bumps and sores till they're raw and bleeding. The insides of my mouth in the cheek area is white where I've chewed it and spat out the little pieces of skin. I do this all the time. I am very self-destructive like this. When I watch TV, I always chew my lip or cheek insides like this and I make my jaw so sore!!! I have a *pimple* or sore inside my nostril right now and I have squeezed and probed it until it is swollen and red and hot and VERY sore this a.m.
    Does anyone else do this? It is something I seem to obsess over and I cannot seem to control it.
    I used to grind my teeth and I had major surgery to correct my bite and the TMJ dysfunction about 12 years ago. I have a bite guard to wear, but I chew on it and take it out of my mouth constantly~~I cannot forget it's there and leave it alone! I take a lot of meds that *should* make me calmer; Heaven knows what I'd be like without them!!!!
    Please advise!
    [This Message was Edited on 02/25/2003]
  2. samjenkin

    samjenkin New Member

    Hi Kady

    I guess just about everyone does stuff like this, especially when tense. This is going to sound stupid but it helped me a lot - I meditate about three times a week. It takes a lot of getting used to and you feel really stupid doing it at the start, but it has helped me calm down (because I get quite uptight when my body won't do what I want it to do)and stop me chewing the inside of my cheek (which is what I do when I am really tense). Not an overnight cure but one worth trying.

    Godo luck!

  3. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    thank you, I'll try. I'll probably chew my mouth raw while meditating, but I'll try!!
  4. VickyB

    VickyB New Member

    I have a straight white line sore on the inside of mouth because my teeth catch there all the time. I do not do it on purpose but my jaw is not lined up right so my teeth just naturally catch it.
    Maybe this is what you are doing too?? Plus my teeth grind at night from the pain but I am asleep so how can you stop yourself?? My cheeks get very sore from this so I know what you mean.
    I also would grind on my mouth splint so that did not help either.
  5. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    I think, in my case, I just replaced the teeth grinding with this habit. I think a shrink would say that I have a need to harm myself because I think I deserve it~~~who knows? But, I have many of these habits and, like Lane, some of them I don't care to mention. I am not slicing my skin or anything, but I have many self-destructive habits and I am tense all over. Even the PT said that I have a lot of trouble relaxing any part of my body. When I used to have acrylic nails, the nail technician used to cuss me out in Vietnamese (I think) because he had to constantly keep pulling my hand toward him....I had trouble relaxing and letting him have my hand to work on. He kept telling me to give him my hand and I could tell he was p.o.'d at me. I stopped going because it was so tense......
    I am just a stiff and non-relaxed person by nature, it would appear.
    Oh well......
  6. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    the handiwork sounds like a good idea and it has worked for me in the past. Reading is my choice my this type of escapism and I do very well to take myself to another place while reading, but since this flare of angioedema/urticaria, I am taking steroids and many antihistamines, which make me restless and unable to concentrate. This is probably why these habits are so bad for me right now. Hopefully, when I am off the Prednisone, I'll be able to lie back and read another good book. I can read quickly and my husband has always been amazed at ho fast I can finish a book~~hopefully I can start back soon.
    My vision has made my cross-stitch a thing of the past! I'd have to use a magnifying glass to see the little squares now~~my granny glasses just aren't strong enuff!!!!!!
  7. Chrissy2

    Chrissy2 New Member

    I am personally prone to many self destructive habits, including: nail biting, playing with my hair and pulling it out (trichotrilmailia--cannot spell it), teeth grining in my sleep,and binge eating out of nervousness or anxiety.

    I don't do these things of a want to harm myself; it's more of a habitual response to cope with anxiety, nervousness, and just plain being on the hyper side. FM afflicted people suffer more from anxiety.

    The handiwork suggestion is definately a great idea! I've been thinking about taking up crocheting again for when I'm watching TV, etc.

    The Lord is showing me how to break my bad habits. One way is by soaking Bible verses into my spirit that speak to my fears. I know that the source of my fears are not from God, but from an enemy who wants to fill me with anxiety. Knowing that makes it easier to will to dismmiss them. If I didn't have God, I would truly be a mess.

    Romans 8:15
    For you did not receive a spirit
    that makes you a slave again to fear,
    but you received the Spririt of Sonship.

    Thinking of you all-

  8. pamela

    pamela New Member

    Kady..I can't believe your post. I've been wanting to write on this myself. I especially chew on my check and tongue when i'm driving in traffic. Also when i'm bored or watching t.v. or when i'm excited about something. The bad thing about our chewing problem is it causes the cells in our mouths to reform and change and sooner or later it can cause cancer. I think its a nervous habit but also something to do with the FMS. Once you start a chew spot there is the part left you have to get and that causes more spots to get. Get it? lol... Anyway, I always think about what my dad said (he was a dentist before he passed away) and that was.. "watch out for the changing cells in your mouth".. and usually I can quit at least for the time being. P.S. I love reading your posts!!! Next time you start this chewing ritual like me...think about what daddy dentist says...(((HUGS)))) Pamela
  9. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    I will think of you and your Daddy tonight while my honey and I are lying in bed watching TV!!!! Of course, when he asks me who/what I'm thinking about when I have that distant look in my eyes, I'll have to be honest and tell him that I'm thinking of another man and woman!!! LOL
    I, too, know that this is a nervous habit, but it is one I didn't have until I became sick with this DD! Until then, I was fairly content and "normal"!!!
    Thanks for the compliments, Pamela......I am so glad we all have one another, aren't you??
  10. LauraLea

    LauraLea New Member

    I wondered the same thing. My bad habbit is scraching. I get sores and bumps all over my back. I keep scraching till they bleed.

    Sometimes I don't even know I'm doing it cause I wake up in the morning with scabs on my back..
  11. oilofjoy

    oilofjoy New Member

    I pull out my eyebrows (trichollomania) chew my lip corner and pick at my skin. When I was growing up I used to pick at my arms until they looked like chicken pox and also use tweezers to pull the hairs out of my legs (why I don't know) I have caught my daughter doing the same thing even though I never told her about me. This is weird. Does anyone one know if OCD type things like this are typical of fibromayalgia? Or is it a latent desire to injure the doctors that act like we are crazy?
  12. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    You know, I'm not convinced these are necessarily "self-destructive" habits (what I mean is, I don't think we necessarily have some sub-conscious ulterior motive to hurt ourselves in some way). I just think they are, or can become, ingrained, habitual behaviors that are horribly tough to break once they get started. I was a nail biter until I was 33. Once I finally broke that habit, and I don't even really remember exactly HOW I did, I didn't replace it with some other destructive habit. I'm just saying, we should give ourselves a break & realize that many people (not just FMers) have some kind of stubborn, nagging habitual behavior that is a killer to break. Unfortunately they cause problems when your cheek starts bleeding, your teeth get worn down, or your nails are painful, but I don't think we're being purposely destructive....

    I don't have any magic answers, I just want us to all feel better about ourselves, and know that "well" folks have plenty of bad habits, too. Maybe habits are even tougher to "cure" than illnesses, because they are so repetitive for so many years......

    Kady, my daughter did the same thing with her retainer as your bite plate--popped it in & out of her mouth constantly, so she could never get the full benefit of it. She was a good, well-behaved kid; I'd watch her do it & realized from the look on her face, she had no conscious realization she was even doing it, it was something she did entirely without thinking about it. We are doing a new retainer next month (round #2 of orthodontia) and I've already spoken to the dentist about a different kind of retainer altogether, one that's tough to pop out------hopefully that will solve our problem, and will avoid making her feel like she's commited a terrible sin, when in reality, she was just fighting a tough, unconscious habit.

    Anyway, just my two cents! Kady, hope things are going better for you now----have you been able to still stay home & take care of yourself? I know you had at least temporarily been able to quit your nursing gig & focus on trying to feel better & take care of your health. Hope that's going OK for you!

  13. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    Yes, I'm still at home~~treating the back/buttock pain with meds and PT as ordered by the Neurologist I'm seeing. I am still getting short-term disability payments every two weeks and am so very thankful to have taken out this insurance several years ago. I suppose I'll apply for my long-term disability coverage as well after six months. (it's been over three months since I started the LOA) It is helpful to listen to my body r/t sleep habits and rest breaks. I am in a flare of my autoimmune skin problems, too, right now. This started Jan. 10th and I am having to take steroids for it. Because of this problem, I am in the bed a lot right now. I am flu-ish and fatigued and I know this condition has caused a flare of the FMS/CFIDS. It's a vicious circle and I am so glad to be home while suffering like this.
    Love and thanks!!
  14. Mom2Two

    Mom2Two New Member

    I have started eating. Today and last night have been the worst because I have had nothing to take for the pain since the night before last. I went to the store and bought a CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) frozen pizza and some Ben & Jerry's. That outta do it until dinner. I see this as totally self destructive. I used to bite my nails then I got acrylics. I used to pick at my toe nails. Then I started getting pedicures. So, now all i do is eat when tense and in a lot of pain. I guess that is enough...
  15. pamela

    pamela New Member

    Now when I start to chew and bite I will think of you. What a ritual???LOL!! Anyway, i'm glad you can at least stay at home and try to get better. Tell you and yours "Hi" from me and mine!!! See ya--((((hugs))) Pamela

    Dad would be proud!!
  16. dawnie1960

    dawnie1960 New Member

    I will put on lipstick and then promptly nibble it off and then start in on the dry flaky skin on my lips and inside cheeks!!

    I also used to bite my nails but now I have acrylic, which look nice....but, now I pick at my dry cuticules, sometimes with a pin and they get all rough and nasty looking! I only do it when I'm watching tv or something.
  17. 2girls

    2girls New Member

    Count me in on this, although I think the behavior is more a learned one than a destructive one. I have bitten the insides of my mouth for years - cheeks, lips, you name it. I believe TMJ was a result of this behavior. I was able to make a conscious effort and stopped this for a few months but lately I just do it without realizing. Trying very hard not to do this. Also, Vicky mentioned the misaligned jaw and the dental line which I also have.
    I also wear a splint at night to realign my jaw, but the biting is defeating the purpose.
  18. aryiella

    aryiella New Member

    I smoked pot for the past 9 years to varying degrees. Sometimes once a month, sometimes a couple times a day. I quit a few months ago out of necessity. Couldn't do it anymore because it would cause the muscles in my back to tense up and made the pain a whole lot worse. And, as the years went by, mentally it caused me to feel more paranoid and depressed instead of happy and giggly like it used to. In fact, if I would smoke it alone (which I normally did), I would start thinking about dying and how scared I was, and then I'd end up crying. Very strange. I almost wonder now if I've permanantly affected my brain chemistry and this has contributed to my fatigue, depression, and sleep problems.

    Also, for the past 13 years (I'm 28 now) I've been binge drinking 1-2x week. I'd have anywhere from 4-6 in a 3 or 4 hour period. I've had to cut WAY back on that too in the past couple years because the next day I have such a hangover and no energy. I probably still drink maybe one night a month, however. I'm really trying to completely quit. It's mainly a social thing, since I've been into the club scene for a long time.

    And, I've also smoked cigs for maybe 5 yrs now. I think at one point I was smoking a pack a day of ultra lights but that didn't last long. Right now, I'd say I may have 2-4 cigs if I go out to a club. So, maybe 8-10/month. I would like to get that down to zero too.

    My other wierd habits are picking at blemishes on my face. I can't keep my hands off! Of course that makes my complexion worse when it doesn't have to be. I also notice that I clench my jaw a lot. When I realize it I try to stop and stretch my mouth open. I think it's stress-related.