I Have Bad OCD and Scratch My Tongue with My Teeth

Published: January 17, 2017
Dear TeenHealthFX,

I have bad OCD and for a couple of years i scratch my tongue alot with my teeth, but im looking to stop this as ive noticed when i pull my tongue out it there are tiny little spots everywhere is if the tongue was chopped up with a knife on the top of it, how can i get over this ocd? and what can i put on my tongue for it to get normal and soft etc as its supposed to be?

Signed: I Have Bad OCD and Scratch My Tongue with My Teeth

Dear I Have Bad OCD and Scratch My Tongue with My Teeth,

What you are describing is a type of compulsive behavior. Compulsive behavior is defined as performing an act persistently and repetitively without it necessarily leading to an actual reward or pleasure. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is often a major cause of compulsive behaviors. Obsessions are involuntary thoughts, images or impulses that occur over and over again in your mind. Compulsions are behaviors or rituals that you feel driven to act out again and again, often in an attempt to make the obsessions go away.

To address this compulsive behavior, and to find out whether an OCD diagnosis applies to you (unless you have already been diagnosed by a mental health professional), TeenHealthFX recommends that you meet with a reputable mental health professional such as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist for individual and family therapy. Individual therapy can help you to find healthy ways to deal with the thoughts and emotions that are driving this behavior. Family therapy is also recommended so that all family members can be educated about the behavior to reduce any conflict that may occur around it and/or address any family dynamics that could be contributing to the issue. Your therapist might also suggest a consultation with a psychiatrist who can make a recommendation about whether or not you might benefit from taking psychotropic medication. Self-care measures are also important. These include exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, making sure you have quality time with friends and family members, and utilizing meditation or other relaxation techniques.

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

For more information on OCD, you can read the HelpGuide.org article on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Signed: TeenHealthFX