it seemed to be going so well for a few days but i still haven’t been able to stop this. this tends to be a stressful time of year in general and lately i am just furiously biting my cheeks and fingers. i just can’t stop. i really think medication might be the only answer for me at this point but with the bad experiences i’ve had with that i don’t think i will consider it at this point. i’m going to try therapy again, i’ve moved recently so i am a little weary of starting over with someone new but i think i need it. i’ll let you know if i find a way to stop.
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holly316 has written 3 entries about this goal
okay for the past week i have been feeling really good about my progress. i was doing some reading and found this:
i decided to try some of the techniques here, mostly stuff i have done before. i started on a day i knew would be relatively stress-free. i was very careful that as soon as i found myself biting, i would touch my tongue to the top of my teeth and take a bunch of really deep breaths. i also kept gum and sucking candies around at all times just in case.
my main obstacle usually is that by day 2 when my mouth is starting to heal, it gets all messy with pieces sticking out etc and this is when it’s hardest to not bite. at one point i had a piece of gum and stretched it out across the side of my mouth so i couldn’t feel my actual cheek with my tongue, and this actually worked pretty well. keeping the gum there kept me conscious of not biting and also tricked my mind into thinking the area was smooth and not in need of biting. by day 3 the insides of my cheeks were actually smooth again, which i don’t remember happening in about 10 yrs. a few times there were minor bumps and i let myself very lightly bite but then i went back to really sticking with the heavy breathing and gum etc. now it’s been about a week and i have caught myself with little mini-nibbles here and there but overall i’ve been doing pretty great and don’t have the all-out bitefests i usually do where i don’t stop until i taste blood! luckily the mouth heals pretty quick so if you can just force yourself to get through 2 days or so it gets easier. the deep breathing and also touching my tongue to my top teeth has really kept me focused. i find that if i keep my tongue away from the sides of my mouth then i don’t feel the “imperfections” and don’t have the urge to bite. i’m pretty psyched right now.
i seriously started trying to quit this about a year ago. when i was younger i was a major nail biter and finally quit, or so i thought; i think i just moved on to biting the inside of my cheek instead. the last time i remember the inside of my cheeks being smooth was when i had surgery about 10 years ago and was on drugs for 2 days so i was too out of it to bite. 2 years ago i took ativan to conquer my fear of flying and found that while on it, i didn’t have the urge to bite my cheek. so i thought maybe i needed to be on some kind of anti-anxiety medication. unfortunately i was one of the lucky few who develop a rare medical condition in reaction to antidepressant drugs which leads to about 5 months of illness. that did a lot to relieve anxiety as you can imagine! so when medication wasn’t an option i felt like giving up. it drives my boyfriend nuts when he sees me scrunch up my face and he tries to help me stop by patting my mouth like i’m a dog, or making the scrunchy face back at me, which makes it worse because then i feel embarrassed and ashamed and just get frustrated that i can’t stop. i feel like an addict but there is no treatment center that can teach me how to change this behavior. i’ve been in therapy for various things for years but it hasn’t helped. none of the negative side effects – pain, sores, bad breath, looking like an idiot – can seem to drive me to stop, they only reinforce the feelings of shame and insecurity that lead me to do it in the first place.
i really hope i can find something that will help. if anyone has ideas let me know!