Girlfriend Sucks Thumb Part 2

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,

This is girlfriend sucks her thumb part 2..

Thanks for the help. The only reason I said I should take her to the doctor is because her mother is a borderline alcoholic and her father is God knows where. If it's what I have to do to help her, I'll do it.

Just wanted to clarify that.


Signed: Girlfriend Sucks Thumb Part 2

Dear Girlfriend Sucks Thumb Part 2,


If your girlfriend’s mother has a drinking problem and her father is out of the picture, those two things could certainly be contributing to her thumb-sucking. Your girlfriend has a father who is physically and emotionally unavailable, and if her mother has a drinking problem she is probably emotionally unavailable to your girlfriend to a certain extent as well – both of which are bound to cause your girlfriend some level of emotional distress.

Given her poor support system at home and some of the difficult family dynamics she has to deal with, FX recommends that you encourage your girlfriend to seek out help with these issues from some trusted adults. She could speak to a school counselor, meet with a private therapist, or consider a group such as Al-Anon/Alateen, which offers help for young people who are the relatives of problem drinkers.

FX commends you for wanting to be helpful to your girlfriend given her lack of supports at home. Your support, care and encouragement are certainly going to be helpful to her. But she also needs some adults in her life who can offer guidance and support, intervention with some of these issues if necessary, and who can be healthy role-models for her. So in addition to encouraging your girlfriend to get help, remember that it is important that you not try and deal with this all alone either. It is important for both of you to have help from some of the trusted adult around you.  

If your girlfriend lives in northern New Jersey and needs help finding a therapist she can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area she can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in her area. She can also contact her insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with her school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in her area.

Signed: TeenHealthFX