Self-destructive habits performed by threesome

 

In a small house lived three creatures yearning for inner peace. Though they loved and supported each other, any kind of sickness still seemed contagious. The stress was like a thick cloud that filled everyone’s lungs like an allergen. You may see that such pain manifests itself sometimes in similar or other times in different ways among closely connected people. Much of it is indeed born from stress, anxiety or depression. Much of it is also self-destructive. In these cases, it’s almost obsessive or compulsive in nature. At least the examples I provide below are.

When I’m depressed, and especially anxious, you can read it on my face in various ways. Not just by the look in my eyes or general behavior, like fatigue and lack of motivation, but by the shifting of my jaw. Yes, I am prone to daytime bruxism, where I grit and grind my teeth, almost all day long. It can be an unsightly sight. I know because I’ve spotted myself in action in the mirror a few times, and received similar feedback. The grinding sound can also be heard from a distance.  “Stop it, Cindy!” yells out those close to me, so I do so, but it soon after begins again. I do it unconsciously. Strangely, it seems to be a kind of comfort. I’ve done it throughout the years off and on, with some breaks short and long. My dentist doesn’t have to draw my attention to the wearing down of my teeth. I see it quite clearly.

As I grind my teeth, my closest loved one has his own stress habits. Is he just trying to think of something when scratching his head so much? Well, he or may or may not be thinking about something, but the action is his odd relief. As my teeth grind down his head develops scabs that often bleed. Picking his scabs becomes an extra level of relief for him. If not picking his head, he picks the fingers near his nails, which also often bleed. “Stop it, Love!” I yell out. He does so for a bit until I’m not looking. Sometimes when I yell he yells back because he doesn’t really want to stop.

Some people don’t know how much pets suffer when their owners are unwell. They try to comfort us, but something has to give. My late pet parrot would sit on us, often cheek to check and share his warmth and love, but we knew he was concerned. Anxiety or other types of sickness often show itself quite clearly. In the case of birds (and my late parrot), it showed in piles of feathers. Feather plucking is a common sign of stress in birds. It’s a symptom that must be investigated. But if their nutrition and general health otherwise is confirmed fine, then stress is likely the cause.

We hated to see our little bird man pluck. It made us feel guilty for passing on distress. We tried hard to show a happy face in front of him, but he was just too smart. We’d yell at him to stop, and he would, like us, for only moments before continuing when we weren’t looking. Of course there were better weeks, months and years when he stopped the plucking and would have a beautiful body full of green and blue feathers. It was during those times my grinding stopped and my other loved one’s head and fingers were healed.

There are stress relief tools and methods that help with self-destructive stress habits. I won’t go into them here, but may mention some in a future blog post. There are also ways to prevent yourself physically from performing the self-destructive behavior (think mouth guard, sitting on hands, or for birds, Elizabethan collars – Oh no!).

Do you practice a self-destructive habit/compulsion similar to any of the ones mentioned above? Is it because of stress or some other reason? How do you calm the habit?

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6 thoughts on “Self-destructive habits performed by threesome

  1. Jessica Bakkers July 6, 2017 / 12:47 am

    I’ve never considered the effect my mental health has on my pups. Now I feel awful for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight July 6, 2017 / 2:41 am

      Please don’t feel awful, Jessica, but do know animals are very perceptive. Show them all the love you can. They are part of the family so can’t help but care.

      Liked by 1 person

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