The Cellar

The Cellar (
-   Parenting (
-   -   My Kid is a Damn Nutter (

Clodfobble 10-05-2012 06:47 PM

Thanks. I do have some of that stuff, I'll try it tonight.

BigV 10-05-2012 08:24 PM


heard this recently, especially the part about skin picking.

Mathews specializes in pathological grooming — a group of behaviors that includes nail biting, hair pulling, called trichotillomania, and skin picking, known as dermatillomania.

"They are behaviors that stem from normal grooming — the kind of thing that most animals do and is evolutionarily adaptive, right?" says Mathews.

But in pathological groomers, those behaviors go haywire. Instead of being triggered by, say, a hangnail, the pathological nail biter is triggered by driving, reading or feeling stressed out. "After a while, the behavior becomes untriggered," says Mathews. "It becomes just an automatic behavior that has no relationship to external stimuli at all."

Until recently, the DSM treated pathological grooming a bit like an afterthought and put it in a catch-all category called "not otherwise classified." But the new DSM proposes to lump together pathological groomers and those with mental disorders like OCD. That includes people who wash their hands compulsively or have to line up their shoes a certain way.

These behaviors have a lot in common. In both cases, it's taking a behavior that's normal and healthy and putting it into overdrive, doing it to the point of being excessive. But in at least one way, OCD and pathological grooming are also very different.

"In OCD, the compulsion is really unwanted," says Mathews. People with OCD don't want to be washing their hands or checking the stove over and over again. There is no fun in it. There's fear — fear that if they don't do something, something else that's very bad will happen to them.

But from her pathological grooming patients, Mathews hears a very different story: They enjoy it. "It's rewarding. It feels good. When you get the right nail, it feels good. It's kind of a funny sense of reward, but it's a reward," she says.

Lamplighter 10-09-2012 09:01 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Today's news...

Spexxvet 10-09-2012 10:52 AM

That's sad, Clod. When I was young, I scratched mosquito bites til they bled, then picked the scabs, because it relieved the itch. Not only do bites itch, but healing itches. I wonder if she was not expressing herself accurately, and meant that she wants to stop the itching.

glatt 10-09-2012 11:04 AM

I've read good things about the Therapik, and am very tempted to buy one. It supposedly takes the itching away from mosquito bites by breaking down the protein with its heated tip. I understand the sooner you use it after being bitten the more effective it is.

Reminds me of someone here talking about running very hot water over poison ivy rash to make it feel better.

limey 10-09-2012 11:07 AM

Good luck, Clod. I hope you find the right solution.

Clodfobble 10-09-2012 11:58 AM


Originally Posted by Spexxvet
When I was young, I scratched mosquito bites til they bled, then picked the scabs, because it relieved the itch. Not only do bites itch, but healing itches. I wonder if she was not expressing herself accurately, and meant that she wants to stop the itching.

I picked at my scabs too, though only from injuries that scabbed over themselves, I didn't claw at mosquito bites until there was a scab. The problem is that after the scab is off, she keeps digging. Most of the wounds are getting bigger over time, not smaller.

We did try the liquid bandage stuff. It helped in the sense that it prevented her from picking at it as much as she wanted to, but it's not feasible in the long-term because she absolutely hated having it put on, and it takes a few minutes to dry. It was a two-person job to pin all four limbs and blow on the various sites until they all dried sufficiently, which means it could only be applied once a day at best. On the upside, I have gotten her to stop picking a few times by threatening to "paint her owies" again.

At least she has figured out that she can get away with more picking on her arms and legs, if she'll just leave the one on her face alone. We also have some small hope in the fact that it's finally getting cold here, and when she has jeans and sneakers on she can't get to half her scabs all day long. She can push her long sleeves up, but if they have snug cuffs she can't get them high enough to get to the ones on her upper arms (and she hasn't figured out she could reach down through the neckhole yet.) I can live with the forearms, if she'll just let her face and her feet heal.

glatt 10-09-2012 12:54 PM

Sorry the liquid bandage didn't work well. At least it gave you threat material. :p:

I think the key might be to avoid having a site she is tempted to pick or scratch in the first place. I'm hoping next year that if I get the Therapik I mentioned, it helps stop the cycle from starting again with my daughter. Stop those bug bites from itching in the first place and there might not be scratching.

We started the liquid bandage thing in early August, and the wounds healed for the most part by the first day of school in early September, and now, a month later, she still has multiple scars where she had dug deep holes into her skin from the picking. They look pretty bad. I hope they fade with age. She's only 13 and hopefully her skin can still regenerate a bit. She doesn't care much about her looks yet, but I know that will probably change pretty soon.

DanaC 10-25-2012 06:10 AM

That skinpicking thing is something I still do. Have done since I was around 3. It is an absolute compulsion and probably a large part of the reason my eczema infects so often. I have mulled over seeking help with it for years, but it is coupled with a slight revulsion or expectation of revulsion in others, so never have. Just something I try to not be seen doing.

The worst possible thing to do is treat it like aberrant behaviour and draw attention to it. Difficult, given you also want to try and avert the behaviour. My parents mishandled it, not that I'd ever tell them that :P Their response was to pointedly draw my attention to how it looked when I did it and tell me off in an attempt to stop me doing it. Instead it just sent it into a secret behaviour and probably escalated it considerably.

Bless them they were doing their best.

That's not why I came in here though :

Saw this on the BBC site and thought of you guys. Brilliant idea.


The foyer of the Cottesloe at the National Theatre is buzzing when I arrive, as groups of disabled and non-disabled people bustle about, organising tickets and purchasing drinks. We are all here to see a dramatized version of Mark Haddon's highly successful 2003 book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
The sell-out play tells the story of 15 year old Christopher Boone who has Asperger's syndrome, an autistic spectrum disorder. Those with the condition are typically high functioning, can have social difficulties and are often very sensitive to light and sounds.

The author of the original text did not have Asperger's and neither do any of the actors, but today, many in the audience have autism or a learning disability of some kind. I am at what's known as a "relaxed performance", which is summarised on the National Theatre's own website in a very friendly and inviting manner: "The atmosphere in the auditorium will be relaxed to provide a more supportive environment - a bit like the quiet carriage on the train ... but the opposite! Audience members will be free to come and go as they please throughout the performance and make noise if they want to."

Relaxed performances at other theatres have had a chill out room where people who need quiet time can go before, during or after the show. Some even relay the play on a big screen, so that if someone needs to leave the auditorium they can still follow the story. Today, the Cottesloe foyer has been designated as a quiet space.

To prepare audience members with autism who find surprises uncomfortable, a letter was sent out in the weeks leading up to the performance. It reassuringly explains precisely what we can expect from the day, including at what time we can enter the auditorium, when the show will start, how long it will be and the length of the interval.

all theatre-goers will have received "visual stories" or storyboards, a couple of weeks before this relaxed performance, so that they already know the narrative and feel prepared for each bit as it comes along.

Clodfobble 10-25-2012 07:28 AM

In Austin there is a movie theatre that has monthly "Sensory Friendly Films" events, showing whatever kid movie is out at the time. They keep the lights up, the volume down, let everyone bring their special diet food into the theatre, and don't care if anyone has a meltdown. It's a pretty neat thing.

Re: the skin thing, our current half-solution when we see her picking is to get her attention, start picking our own skin, and let her tell us "No, no!" She thinks reversals of authority like this are hysterical in general, and it's usually enough to temporarily distract her, if only for a few minutes.

DanaC 10-25-2012 07:31 AM


Griff 10-25-2012 08:15 PM

That is brilliant. I have 2 pickers in class this year. I never saw it before.

ZenGum 10-25-2012 09:07 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Griff (Post 835787)
That is brilliant. I have 2 pickers in class this year. I never saw it before.

These two?

Attachment 41370

BigV 10-25-2012 10:17 PM

No, them are grinners.

ZenGum 10-25-2012 10:23 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Why can't they be both?

Attachment 41371

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:40 AM.

Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.