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Thread: Question about mental disorders

  1. #1
    Member
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    Question about mental disorders

    My last two positions have put me in contact with more folks I'm fairly comfortable saying have mental disorders. I seem to notice that some small subset of them, (may one in ten or less) excessively touch their face or head. A quick google search didn't return any results, and I'm not delving into pages of professional documents. But I will ask you guys if any of you have noticed something similar.

  2. #2
    My study of psychology was largely limited to its application in gambling, but in poker excessively touching the face/beard/neck/ears/hair falls under the category of "self comforting gestures" and is often a good tell for someone who is anxious & uncertain (they almost never have a good hand). I've also noticed it offen in social interactions (especially dating) so I'd bet anxiety is among the issues you may be facing.

    If the gesture is less soothing (gentle stroking of skin or twirling of hair) and more of a fidget or tic I'd suspect it is more likely Akathisia - a common side effect from antipsychotics, but I'm straying from my lane here...
    Last edited by 0ddl0t; 11-27-2019 at 04:50 PM.

  3. #3
    Miss Manners
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    Various obsessive behaviors can include grooming behavior. Anxiety frequently will have people touching their face or hair, with or without a diagnosable condition. Psychotropic medications can stimulate behavior than can appear obsessive, such as tongue thrusting, but is really from the personís reaction to the level of medication they are on. Some of those behaviors may carry on after changing medication.

  4. #4
    Member NEPAKevin's Avatar
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    Glass half full side, at least they are touching their own face and not your face... or other parts.
    (Because this is PF, I feel confident that no-one will go for the low handing fruit... )

  5. #5
    Site Supporter Giving Back's Avatar
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    My dog just licks and drools on her anti-psychotic medication.

    I take the same shit, and I go to sleep.

    First pain meds, now we get to share brain meds too! What in the actual fuck will the pharmaceutical companies come up with next?
    Last edited by Giving Back; 11-27-2019 at 08:37 PM.
    You can get much more of what you want with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone.

  6. #6
    Site Supporter Nephrology's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean M View Post
    My dog just licks and drools on her anti-psychotic medication.

    I take the same shit, and I go to sleep.

    First pain meds, now we get to share brain meds too! What in the actual fuck will the pharmaceutical companies come up with next?
    What'd they put your dog on? Haloperidol? Thorazine? Sounds like she's having extrapyramidal symptoms.

  7. #7
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    I used to work in assisted living for people with various levels of mental disorders and grooming or touching the face and head was extremely common. As others have said it's often related to anxiety.

    It was so common in that line of work that I very quickly quit noticing it unless it was self-injurious behavior (SIB). Don't take your eyes off the dude biting himself.

  8. #8
    From my somewhat limited study of body language, touching and grooming of the face/hair goes along with anxiety and heightened agitation or even arousal, though with the libido killing effects of most psych meds, the last is unlikely in your situation.

    A lot of mental disorders can make people easily confused, causing fear and anxiety, ramping up the body's gestures and tics.

  9. #9
    Your descriptors are just too few. what else do they do?

    That could just be mild obsessive compulsive behavior.

    Do they not step on the grout when walking on large tile floors, or not step on thresholds?

    Do they appear to be talking to a person who is not in the room?

    Do they they have lack of emotion in speech and facial expressions (flat affect)?

    Do they have extremely disorganized thinking?

    There are a ton of things that could be indicators.

    EDIT TO ADD. I am not a real pro, just used to teach mental health academies for LE and first responders, and took the calls/aided my agency and others in my region.
    Last edited by Lost River; 11-28-2019 at 10:58 AM.
    AKA Mackay Sagebrush

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  10. #10
    Site Supporter Nephrology's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost River View Post
    Your descriptors are just too few. what else do they do?

    That could just be mild obsessive compulsive behavior.

    Do they not step on the grout when walking on large tile floors, or not step on thresholds?

    Do they appear to be talking to a person who is not in the room?

    Do they they have lack of emotion in speech and facial expressions (flat affect)?

    Do they have extremely disorganized thinking?

    There are a ton of things that could be indicators.

    EDIT TO ADD. I am not a real pro, just used to teach mental health academies for LE and first responders, and took the calls/aided my agency and others in my region.
    You're right that Tics and stereotypic movement are common to a range of psych disorders (as is tardive dyskinesia for the... well medicated) . Doesn't sound like OP has much knowledge of the underlying disease process(es) in this population, though.

    Crazy people be crazy.
    Last edited by Nephrology; 11-28-2019 at 11:51 AM.

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