“On the whole [a BFRB] is a behavior, like fingernail biting, hair pulling, or pores and skin selecting, however for it to be meet the standards to be a dysfunction, it implies that it has to trigger some impairment and often an impairment in functioning,” says Barbara O. Rothbaum, PhD, ABPP, a professor of psychiatry at Emory College Faculty of Drugs and a board member of The TLC Foundation for Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors. That implies that the conduct makes folks self-conscious, injured, or anxious sufficient that it stops them from interacting with others, going to work, making social plans, or experiencing different necessary components of life.
You don’t have to succeed in this stage to note that you simply’re doing this behavior, and perhaps need to minimize down. “Most likely everyone has bitten their lip out of a nervous behavior sooner or later,” Dr. Rothbaum says. However why did you begin lip biting within the first place?
Specialists In This Article
- Barbara O. Rothbaum, PhD, ABPP, professor in psychiatry at Emory College Faculty of Drugs and board member of the TLC Basis for Physique Centered Repetitive Behaviors
Typically, body-focused habits can begin as a option to self-soothe or distract from nervousness. If it not directly feels good, even subconsciously, an individual is extra prone to repeat the motion. That holds true for lip biting.
“If anyone’s biting their lip after they’re anxious and there’s a little little bit of ache, it’d really distract them from their nervousness and that could be reinforcing,” Dr. Rothbaum says. “Anytime anyone is harassed or anxious, you often see any type of repetitive conduct improve, even when it is not a behavior, you see folks getting extra fidgety and doing all types of issues.”
Then, the extra typically you do an motion, you could have the potential to repeat that motion, “after which increase, you have received a conduct,” says Dr. Rothbaum.
“If anyone’s biting their lip after they’re anxious and there’s a little little bit of ache, it’d really distract them from their nervousness and that could be reinforcing.” —Barbara O. Rothbaum, PhD, ABPP
As for why you would possibly begin lip biting over another motion, specialists are nonetheless unsure, Dr. Rothbaum says. Some folks could be extra genetically predisposed to fidgeting, and/or to particular actions, however the science on that’s not clear, but.
How one can cease lip biting
So, what are you able to do about it? Step one is noticing the conduct when it occurs. That permits you to doc occurrences, study triggers, and put together for moments while you could be prone to lip-bite. Dr. Rothbaum recommends really writing down occurrences, which can let you monitor patterns and know when you might want to be extra aware or vigilant.
“A part of the character of a behavior is that loads of it happens with out our consciousness after which swiftly we notice, oops, I’ve simply been biting my lips,” Dr. Rothbaum says. “Search for patterns, search for any ideas related to it, emotions related to it.”
Additionally useful: Dr. Rothbaum suggests doing one thing that bodily prevents you from doing the motion, like chewing gum. You possibly can pop a chunk everytime you discover the biting begin, or begin chewing preemptively while you’re in a annoying state of affairs.
The excellent news is you can most likely tame this behavior by yourself, Dr. Rothbaum says. Nevertheless, should you really feel your lip biting is crossing over from a behavior to a BFRB, you could need to search assist from a psychological well being skilled, and take a look at the assets accessible from locations like The TLC Foundation for BFRBs.
“A whole lot of occasions as soon as it begins, then it takes on a lifetime of its personal after which that is when it will possibly change into laborious and other people want remedy or need assistance to attempt to flip that round,” Dr. Rothbaum says.