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OCD and Nose Picking
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OCD and Nose Picking

I have a 20 year old son who has an intellectual disability.  He has severe epilepsy and various other problems.  He is on many medications.  He can not stop picking his nose.  It is an obsession.  He is doing it all the time.  It is to the point that it is causing damage.  I have consulted the doctors and they don't seem to know what to do.  I have tried replacement behaviors and redicrection.  He just can't stop.  Can someone help me out?
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Hi and welcome to the forum,

I don't have a lot of knowledge on this but I found some info, you may already know this.


A severe problem only occurs if nose picking causes severe impairment of daily living or medical problems (like nose bleeding) and if you cannot control the habit yourself.
There was no clear cut-off for the time patients spend nose-picking. I think anything more than an hour a day should warrant professional treatment. About 18% of the adolescents reported nose bleeding and 0.8% reported damage of the nasal septum due to habitual nose picking.

It is important to evaluate the "effect" of the habit for the individual. Most clients do it to relieve discomfort or itchiness (about 66%), 17.2 did it due to a habit

If you think of other psychological problems that might be related to rhinotillotexomania, other disorders of the obsessive-compulsive-spectrum like Trichtotillomania, nail-biting or other related problems, may come to mind.

To describe the problem in a simple way: People with Rhinotillexomania cannot inhibit their habit. This is usually a neurobiologically based problem!

People with OCD or related disorder usually feel anxious or very tense if they are not allowed to indulge in their obsessive habit. It helps to get short-term relief but they are not able to control and inhibit this behaviour. Usually a combination of medication (using SSRI = Selective Serotonine Reuptake Inhibitors) and cognitive-behavioural therapy is helpful.

I stand by the antidepressants and CBT as it has helped me with my head picking.  I have traces of OCD and bipolar 1.  I hope this helps but am unsure if you he is already on antidepressants or what CBT you have tried.
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