Is This Normal: Thumb Sucker

Is This Normal: Thumb Sucker
Dr. Phil talks with guests about whether their behavior is normal.
"I still suck my thumb," says Mollie, 32. "It's something I have done my entire life and it's a part of me." Mollie has trouble falling asleep without doing it. "When I don't suck my thumb, I get nauseous, my stomach starts to hurt," she says. Mollie is concerned it will give her buck teeth. "Dr. Phil, how abnormal is it for me to still suck my thumb as an adult?"


Mollie says she knows it's abnormal because of the audience's reaction. Dr. Phil says that's because most people stop at 6 months of age. He asks her why she thinks she sucks her thumb.


"There was never a time where I said, 'I need to stop this.'"


"Why stop now?" asks Dr. Phil.

Mollie says there's a part of her that likes it because it's "different," but also a part of her that hates it because it's "different."


Dr. Phil explains why she's probably doing it. "So many of our habitual behaviors start for one reason, but they continue for another, and then they become habit and it's easier not to depart from it. It's just a habit that you may have started at one point in your life because it was a pacifier," he says. "And what you have to do is quit. And the way to quit is to recognize that when you stop, there will be some anxiety. You have to come up with another way to deal with the anxiety whether you do deep breathing or some type of relaxation exercise, and you can develop that skill set instead. So if you put another behavior in its place, and you make it uncomfortable to do, then it's likely to go away," says Dr. Phil.