Why Can’t I Cease Biting My Lip All of the Time?

Biting your lip is the common physique language for craving, whether or not that’s for an additional particular person, or a juicy burger. Alternatively—and fewer sensually—lip biting also can point out nervousness, anticipation, boredom, or nerves. And in excessive instances, the place an individual finds themself biting their lip so usually that it leads to sores and interferes with their life, it may possibly even fall underneath the class of a “physique targeted repetitive habits” (BFRB).

“Typically [a BFRB] is a behavior, like fingernail biting, hair pulling, or pores and skin choosing, however for it to be meet the factors to be a dysfunction, it implies that it has to trigger some impairment and normally 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 Basis for Physique Targeted Repetitive Behaviors. That implies that the habits 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 vital components of life.

You don’t have to succeed in this degree to note that you just’re doing this behavior, and possibly need to minimize down. “Most likely all people 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?


Consultants 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 Targeted Repetitive Behaviors

Usually, body-focused habits can begin as a approach to self-soothe or distract from nervousness. If it ultimately feels good, even subconsciously, an individual is extra more likely 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 is likely to be reinforcing,” Dr. Rothbaum says. “Anytime anyone is careworn or anxious, you normally see any sort of repetitive habits enhance, even when it isn’t a behavior, you see folks getting extra fidgety and doing all kinds of issues.”

Then, the extra usually you do an motion, you could have the potential to repeat that motion, “after which increase, you’ve got obtained a habits,” 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 is likely to be reinforcing.” —Barbara O. Rothbaum, PhD, ABPP

As for why you would possibly begin lip biting over another motion, consultants are nonetheless unsure, Dr. Rothbaum says. Some folks is likely to be extra genetically predisposed to fidgeting, and/or to particular actions, however the science on that’s not clear, but.

The best way to cease lip biting

So, what are you able to do about it? Step one is noticing the habits when it occurs. That lets you doc occurrences, study triggers, and put together for moments once you is likely to be more likely to lip-bite. Dr. Rothbaum recommends really writing down occurrences, which is able to let you observe patterns and know when it is advisable be extra aware or vigilant.

“A part of the character of a behavior is that lots of it happens with out our consciousness after which impulsively we understand, 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’ll be able to pop a bit everytime you discover the biting begin, or begin chewing preemptively once you’re in a traumatic state of affairs.

The excellent news is that you could in all probability tame this behavior by yourself, Dr. Rothbaum says. Nevertheless, if you happen to 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 sources out there from locations like The TLC Basis for BFRBs.

“Lots of instances as soon as it begins, then it takes on a lifetime of its personal after which that is when it may possibly turn out to be onerous and other people want therapy or need assistance to attempt to flip that round,” Dr. Rothbaum says.

Why Can’t I Cease Biting My Lip All of the Time?

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