Q. I’m worried about my 5 year old son. In the last year he has started picking at his face. I have asked him to stop. At first I felt it was a refletion on how I would look as a parent, but now I feel like he might have a problem. I took him to the doctor today because he was sick. While the doctor was examing him mouth he found a sore about the size of a quarter on his check. my son has been chewing on the inside of his mouth. Is this the early sings of OCD? Do I need to take him to a Therapist, or will he grow out of this? How can I help him to not hurt himself?
A. Yes, he needs to see a therapist. The cause for his picking at his face needs to be determined. It may be very complicated or as simple as “competing behaviors” to break the cycle of this new habit that he has developed. A thorough evaluation his condition should be undertaken. This should involve a pediatrician, a behavioral therapist and a family therapist. It may also require a psychiatrist. His problem may be very simple to solve and if you choose not to involve everyone at once, you might start with the behaviorist. Good luck. I hope I’ve helped in some small way.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Feb 2006
Randle, K. (2006). 5 Year old son picking at his face. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 9, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/02/10/5-year-old-son-picking-at-his-face/