Its sad watching your child engage in obsessive, destructive behavior like dermatillomania or compulsive finger picking. Seeing a child who has lost control of some aspect of her life — to the point that he picks to regain control or relieve anxiety or stress — can send a parent down the road to anxiety and stress as well!
The most important first step for a parent dealing with a compulsive picker is to take stock of your relationship with your child to understand how it may either:
- Contribute to the problem, or
- Be improved to help solve the problem
Keep the following things in mind:
- Depression — frequently present in people with obsessive compulsive disorder — is thought to be hereditary, with both psychological and physical factors playing a role.
- Nagging Doesn’t Help — this is intuitively obvious, though its very hard to refrain from nagging your child to stop picking when you see it happening. Just know that nagging will not solve anything, and will probably worsen things.
- Seek help from a qualified Mental Health Professional when you feel you’ve reached the end of your rope. Even better, see one to get tips and tools on dealing pro-actively with your child’s problem.
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