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unconscious anxiety habits/tics?

My name on this website is Anne, and I have diagnosed anxiety, ADD, and a heart defect and am not currently allowed by my parents to take anxiety medication or ADD medication.

I have problems with an anxiety “tic” as my mother and I have come to call it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not serious, but my parents (and complete strangers) have called me out on it and criticized me, and I would like to learn how to stop doing it.
When anything happens (ex: I get nervous, or tired, or confused, or feel any sort of strong emotion) I will begin to “twirl” my hair, tug at it, and pull at the ends. I find it soothing, but it’s become a problem. When I get very stressed, I end up slowly pulling out clumps of my own hair, and I’ve been warned that it’s a destructive habit, and can lead to baldness in the future, which I definitely do not want to happen.

I also have less prominent tics, such as chewing my fingernails (I have to be very stressed for that to happen, it doesn’t happen too much), chewing my lip, and grinding my teeth (which happens in my sleep rather than while I’m awake).
My question is, is there any way to slowly bring these somewhat destructive tics to a stop? Does anyone have ideas that don’t involve taking medication or spending too much money?

Thank you
-Anne
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replied November 30th, 2018
Thank you for asking at Ehealth forum!

I read your question and I understand your concern.
I would suggest you to have regular exercise and yoga. Psychotherapy sessions like CBT will help you as well.
I hope it helps. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider for further guidance as our answers are just for education and counselling purposes and cannot be an alternative to actual visit to a doctor.
Take care
Khan
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