and then Thumb from the Internet

This section is devoted to gathering bits and pieces here and there from the Internet. Just goes to show you, once again, if the world wasn't hung up on this great tension reliever, we'd probably bump into an adult thumbsucker often. If you have a contribution send it to me.

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alldaythumbsucker.jpgWow, it's even a record company copyright!!!

From Nick Moore, British librarian, on doing some research on the Net:

The best abstracting source is MEDLINE, available via the National Library of Medicine's free PubMed service.

1). Go to the Advanced Search Site.

2). Copy and paste in the following string (including the quotation marks"). "thumb sucking" OR "finger sucking" OR "digit sucking" OR thumbsucking OR fingersucking OR digitsucking

3). Press GO

Nick Moore is highly experienced in researching information related to thumb sucking, particularly the use of the "crib appliance" for habit cessation. He thinks it's cruel.


Thumbsucking (while pressing thumb upwards) applies pressure to this area. It sure helped me in labor.

New Age Psychotherapies

Jacqui Shiff's theory is that the patient must wear diapers, suck his thumb and drink from a baby bottle to be cured.

thumbsucking adult

Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998

From: drlyn

I am almost 30 years old, I'm going to be a doctor, and I still suck my thumb. I don't suck in public, only when I'm secure at home, and tired. My parents tried everything to break me, to no avail.

Thumb sucking was (and still is, I guess) my security blanket. My home life left a lot to be desired. My thumb seemed to be the only thing I could count on. My teeth, while not perfect like my siblings', are fine. I have had boyfriends that knew. Some thought it was gross, some thought it was cute. I have a friend who is also going to be a doctor, she's 26 and sucks her thumb as I do; when tired, at home.

When I spent a year in the suites at school, I was comforted by the fact that 2 of the 6 other girls there sucked their thumbs too. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that we are normal, and a lot of us do it. However, that doesn't make it any less acceptable. I hope that my 6 year old niece can stop thumb sucking, too. That's about the age her mother (my sister) stopped sucking her thumb.

Assalamu Alaikum wrote:

I have an awkward problem, that is I still suck my thumb since I was a child!, it can be quiete extreme when I am not feeling too well. I am in doubt if this is Haram at all, and does it nullify my fast? I heard a friend say anything that enters the body nullifies the fast. Plse answer my question a.s.a.p. because Ramadan is beginning soon and it is extremely embarassing for me to talk to anyone about it, not even my husband!. Jazakum allah alf Khair Answer: nslation.


English translation: Praise be to Allaah. Wa ‘alaykum al-salaam wa rahmat-Allaahi wa barakaatuhu. You have to try hard to give up this habit, and take your thumb out of your mouth every time you realize that you are sucking your thumb. Whatever happens because of forgetfulness will not affect your fast. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has forgiven my ummah for what they do by mistake or out of forgetfulness, and what they are forced to do.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, 2033; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1731).


The manuscript for Walter Kirn's new novel, Thumb Sucker, was making the rounds of publishers last week. When Kirn is not hawking his own books, he's a pit bull book reviewer for New York magazine.

According to Kirn, his novel is about a young man growing up as a Mormon in the Midwest who in his infancy developed the habit of sucking his thumb but doesn't manage to shake the habit until he's a young man in New York. Unfortunately, the character, who is supposed to be in the Big Apple doing missionary work, replaces thumb sucking with new habits, including drug use and sexual adventurism. Let's just say being Mormon is hard on a red-blooded young man, says Kirn.

Kirn says the book is about all our different security blankets in life and how they don't work.

From "Parents Place", written September 16, 1997 by "LucindaZ"

My younger brother STILL sucks his thumb. Of course, he would hate me for mentioning it, but you guys don't know him, so no harm done. He's not the only person in their 20's that I know of still thumb-sucking, either; but I don't know any adults still using pacifiers!

My dad sucked his thumb as a child, and my grandfather had a very frugal, but rather mean-sounding way of breaking him of the habit. What he did was tape rulers to both arms when my dad was a toddler so that he couldn't get his thumb in his mouth. I'm not sure how long this went on for, but knowing my grandad's stubborn streak - however long it took! My mom thought that was too cruel, but when I see my brother watching TV or reading a book & looking rather silly, I sometimes wonder!

In Reply to: Sorry! Not directed @ U! posted by Lael on October 08, 1998 at 20:49:22: From "Welcome To The Babynet" answer it anyway?

When I was little I sucked my thumb almost all the time and it didn't stop when I got older. My parents did everything to deter it but nothing worked. Even now I can wake up during the night or morning and catch my thumb in my mouth. I would say that my parents did nothing wrong for me to suck my thumb. All babies have security choices and I guess I just happened to find my thumb at the right time in lieu of a blankie!LOL

From Krystal:

Hi. I think part of it was attention for me too. I was the baby of the family and it was a role I learned to play well, even into adulthood. I never really got into trouble for thumbsucking either but by age 8 I still frequently did it and it was teachers who tried to break me of this habit. They'd frequently but gently coax my thumb from my mouth and it was because of this and being teased that I eventually learned to substitute the end of my index finger for my thumb. Though I would still secrectly do it...and still do to this day. :)

From Little Homepage on the Prairie

My Hero, the Liberated Thumb-sucker!

I don't think that I've ever explained here how the name Uncle Aussie came about, but I had the opportunity to explain it to a compatriot the other day over brunch and I realized that the story has a compelling message.

When I was in the throes of adolescence I changed my name frequently, taking on the names of people I admired. It more or less started with a rotation of John, Paul, George (not Ringo so much), and oh lord, an embarrassing lot of others. Mostly masculine names, as I was sick to death of being a Cathy. My name, actually, had been a matter of debate from birth, my mother thinking that a Katherine with a K stood more of a chance of being a Kate or a Kit, and my father developing a snobbish preference for Catherine with a C. My New York birth certificate has no given name on the front, an addenda of Catherine Ann stapled to the back.

According to legend, D.O.D. snuck out and grafted the Catherine with a C onto the registry behind my mother's back, so she called me Kit anyway. I was in the last stages of earnest Girl Scouthood at the age of say, 11 or 12, and attended one of those problematical sleepovers where we all camped out in Girl Scout HQ with a lot of other troops.

I was troubled by the realization that the others would discover my secret shame: I couldn't get to sleep without sucking my thumb. This is where Fate stepped in. This fabulous girl from another troop named Sidney was holding court, talking about (of all things) sucking her thumb! "I suck my thumb! I like sucking my thumb!" she said, "I think it's perfectly cool to suck my thumb and I don't care what anybody else thinks about it!

Wow! I don't think I've ever admired anyone so much in my life. I don't even remember if I chimed in to agree with her, but she had swayed the crowd anyhow; she was one of those self-assured tomboys of undeniable coolness. A liberated thumb-sucker! If only there were more of them in this world! Thank you, girl scout Sidney, and thank you, Jocelyn Elders.

Got home and reported my new name change to my mother. "Call me Sidney. Sidney is a very cool name." I remained Sidney for some time, and when a couple of cool older guys started hanging around the big sisters, they naturally started calling me Aussie, on the grounds that Sydney was in Australia. These two cool older guys were: Peter Ronne, a uncanny, beatnik-y, well-travelled artist type with no visible parents, and Jay Reid, a good looking, cool son of a shrink, with a beat up ancient Porsche. They were about 16, and they adopted me as a sort of mascot - little buddy tagalong.

I was totally in love with Jay (for years) and told him all about it. This is where the "Uncle" part comes in. I threatened to call him "dear heart" and he threatened to call me "Uncle Aussie". He won. Everyone came to know me as Uncle Aussie, which I didn't exactly appreciate, until the day I was walking down the hall at school and this cool girl named Ruthie walked up to me with arms flung open and the gladsome cry of "Uncle Aussie!" on her lips. I was loved as Uncle Aussie, and I accepted it and adopted everyone I knew as nieces and nephews.

When my sister became incipient with her first child, she gave me the news thus: "Congratulations, you're gonna be an uncle!" And, so I was. I've enjoyed my unclehood far more than I ever could have enjoyed auntness, and confess myself to being eternally, Your

Loving Uncle, Aussie

I was visiting a good friend the other night. He is recently married to a person I have found nice, funny and has a good heart. She has a 6 yr old daughter. The daughter sucks her thumb. This drives my friend crazy and he is tying to "break" her of it. I have told him, from the first time I found out, to just leave it alone. He claims that her teeth will get crooked. The mother doesn't like him constantly getting on the girls case about it. (He's done the tobasco sause stuff and everything)

The night I was visiting, I said, "What are you afraid of? Why does it bother you? She's not going to be doing it when she's 20 and in College." His main reason (the crooked teeth) I said, so what? I had crooked teeth, wore braces and didn't suck my thumb.

Then it came out that the mother, still sucks her thumb when falling asleep sometimes..........this was were I took my foot out of my mouth. (the college thing). I thought about it and still said...So What? Heck, I pick my this something so bad that my husband should but hot sauce on them to burn me? NO!

My friend claims that the daughter does it because she saw the mother do it, the mother says the daughter never saw her do it. (Hmmm, this made me wonder because I remember that my Mom picked her toenails. My brother-in-law bites his nails..and all his kids do too.)

Anyway, I'm looking for some orthodonic stuff that says, sucking your thumb does or doesn't make your teeth crooked, or stuff about hurting the childs comfort zone....whatever. To me it's like this: Smoking is bad for you, so I'm going to put acid on the cigarette to burn your lips so you will give up this awful habit. Well, it's not exactly like that, smoking is harmful......thumb sucking won't kill you, but you get the general idea. thanks, Krista

Author: BrwnEydMom Email:

Date: 1998/10/09


That reminded me of a funny story. My neice had her boyfriend over to watch a movie one night and it was him and her and her younger sister, who was 18 at the time and she fell asleep and started sucking her thumb. They really thought it was funny. Especially her sisters boyfriend!And she still sucks her thumb at age 21

Beautiful Friendship by Ellen R.

Methos' tongue darted out to wet his again dry lips, and Mac's thumb moved to follow in pursuit.

"But when I saw you leaving, I realized something. I didn't want to seduce Rebecca, Methos." Mac's voice was barely a whisper, but rich and dark, sounding to Methos like honey and red wine. "I want to seduce you."

His thumb continued its exploration of Methos' mouth, gently pressing the lips apart to stroke the soft inner lip to the corner.

"Think I have a chance?"

"Oh, I think you might," Methos whispered unsteadily, briefly tightening her grip on Mac's thighs. As simply as that, he decided to stop worrying and just act. "After all, to the victor go the spoils."

Mac took a deep shuddering breath and closed his eyes as the fingers brushing lightly across his thighs made contact with the swollen flesh between them. Methos closed her lips around Mac's thumb, sucking hard as one hand closed around Mac began squeezing rhythmically. The double stimulation was too much, and the Highlander lost his own balance and almost fell forward. He barely managed to catch himself on one outstretched hand, but he exerted more effort to keep the connection with Methos' unbelievably soft mouth.

Revue Francaise de Psychanalyse| SO- 1985 May-Jun Vol 49(3) 903-913| SN- 00352942| JA- 7409| LA- French| DT- SYMPOSIUM/CONVENTION PAPERS| AB- Discusses Freud's concept of fantasm defined as action representation, in which the actions represented are imaginary ones, embodying realizations of erotic and/or ambitious desires. The fantasm is the original representation of a cathected object. The theoretical model of the fantasm as hallucinatory satisfaction of desire includes auto-eroticism and sexual drives sustained by self-preservation drives. Using the example of thumb-sucking, 3 elements (the thumb as object/instrument of satisfaction; sucking as erotic act; and the infant's mouth as erogenous zone) are said to constitute the fantasm through displacement (of breast through thumb) and condensation of perceptual and emotional experiences into an act which also acquires a symbolization function. |

Gillis J. Bad habits and pernicious results: thumb sucking and the discipline of late-nineteenth century. Paediatrics Medical History 1996; 40:55-73.

I cover it all with jokes and smiles and assurances that 'Hey, I'm okay today. I didn't pick up a drug or a drink.' I can't stop the pain. I'm thirty-three years old and still suck my thumb and play with a piece of satin to try to make myself feel better. Hey, I'm in great shape, aren't I?

For total gibberish having to do with Thumb Sucking click here. Obviously this web page maker decided to include as many relevant words as possible to garner as many hits and a first place spot on the search engines. Other than that, it's the usual cyber porn garbage site.

Anonymous Contributor

I do a 5 PM newscast, so between 4 and 5 I'm a bit busy doing what a producer does in the final hour. But one day I hear an anchor and several other people start laughing. Of course, I had to stop and see what was going on. Turns out a competing station with a 4 PM newscast had a guest on talking about "finger sucking." Maybe she should have chosen thumb sucking, but by the end of her report and interview she had switched the first letters of both words and said singer _ucking. Yes, live on the air. She buried her face in her hands, the anchors kept it together pretty well. From what the columnists in town say, that woman won't be back on the air.

thumbsucking teens

by sufi, 2/16/98

Though I am not familiar with any literature written about it, I was surprised to see mention of two other cases of adolecent thumb sucking! The third involved one of my daughters best friend who sucked her thumb privately and in the company of people she felt comfortable with until she was about 15, after that I never saw her do it again and I never asked her if she continued it.

Her history gives some insight into the why-thumbsucking is an act of self-soothing learned in the first few months of life. Naturally, as the child develops, thumbsucking should cease if a child receives the proper secure and comforting environment necessary to replace the thumbsucking with an inner soothing mechanism. This girl was the youngest child born to a schizophrenic mother and an elderly abusive father, who often hit the mother in front of the girl, though I don't know for a fact that she herself was hit.

The girl as a toddler was often observed by neighbors to sit in front of an imaginary line in front of the house for hours as though she has been warned that something terrible would happen if she passed this line. As a teen she was fiercely independent and very strong-willed, very difficult to get close to. When she would come over to our home and have dinner and spend the evenining with us I would often observe that as she relaxed on the sofa to watch tv with us she would suck her thumb. I wish you luck on finding information though no doubt it comes from issues of abandonement. ps. I am an MSW

This site recommends thumbsucking for women in labor!

The following posts came from the Internet at to find it, click here and then "find" 27.html, then click that.

Posted by Joe of Florida on September 23, 1998: In Reply to: Re: Thumb Sucking posted by Friend on July 24, 1998: I'm also am a "thumb-sucker" but with a wierd twist. Not only do I suck my thumb and smell a pillowcase, but also I scratch my fingers through the pillowcase (if that makes any cents to you). I did this all the way up 'till I was about 13. When I got into some trouble and was sent to a bording school where I had to live in a dorm with a roommate. I was basicly forced to quit due to the fear of embarassment that would haunt me for the rest of the school year. That broke the habbit for years. I'm 19 now and just recently I started back up again. I've been going through a lot of stress this year and really realizing that people suck! And I'm not meaning their thumbs. People I've known for years and people whom I've just meet are or turning into horrible selfish monsters who just want to use me for what I have, and when it's gone the're gone with it. But enough of that. I find that sucking my thumb while doing the extras (explained above) has really helped me cope with all the bs going on in my life. If it wasn't for that I might have hurt my self or really hurt someone else. I say do what you gotta do. Oh, and BTW, my teeth have never really been effected by sucking my thumb except for a slight case of "Buck-Teeth" which I can't really prove it came from sucking 'cause my mom has them too (worse than me). Anyways, e-mail me if you suck your thumb like I do. Joe

Posted by Lara O of Ukaih on August 10, 1998:

In Reply to: Thumb Sucking posted by Suzie R. on March 30, 1997:

For those of you who have been sucking for a long time and want to quit, don't give up. I was a finger sucker. My parents and grandparents tried to shame me out of this habbit but that didn't work. Finally at 6 I decided to stop on my oun. However, about six months later my father punished me unjustly. (I had a fairly unstable home life.) I started finger sucking again because I felt so lost and alone. I remember the day I started again. I made the decision to start again. I sucked my fingers all through school. Kids would tease me about my "warts" on my fingers. I'm sure my best friend knew but she didn't tell anyone. By the time I was a Freshmen in College I was really determined to try and stop. My mom and dad were divorced and my mom didn't bug me about it any more. I had to make the decision again to stop. I was 19. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to get a boyfriend unless I stopped. I realize from all of the e-mail replies that I maybe could have had a good life with a boyfriend even if I didn't stop. I took it one day at a time. For the first few days it was one hour and sometimes one minute at a time. Anyone who has been on a diet knows what I'm talking about. You get a craving for something and it just about drives you wild. After the first week it was easier. I quit cold turkey. Finally, after a month, I went out and baught myself a reward in the form of ear-rings and a barrett. I didn't tell my mom or my brother that I had stopped or was trying to stop until it had been a month of no sucking. Now it feels odd instead of natural to suck my fingers so I am not tremendously tempted to start again. However, sometimes I long the sense of peace it gave me. I am married and have three kids. My daughter sucks two fingers too (although they are different fingers). One of my sons sucks his thumb. We have an ultra-sound of him sucking in utero. My husband is really trying to make my three-year-old daughter quit sucking but I see most punishment tecniques and not working. Both my daughter and I seem to be very orally fixated. My daughter asked for gum very regularly. I also need to have gum or I get "figety." Anyway, a true-life story of some one who quit.

Posted by Sammy B of Washington D.C. on July 18, 1998:

In Reply to: Thumb Sucking posted by Suzie R. on March 30, 1997:

I'm fifteen years old and was always embarassed by sucking my thumb, but never really wanted to stop. It is comforting to me. It was nice to see others that felt the same way, that it is harmless to others and isn't the worst addiction compared with smoking, drinking, drugs etc. Thanks to everyone who commented who helped me realize I'm not abnormal.

Posted by Judy P. of on July 10, 1998:

In Reply to: Thumb Sucking posted by Suzie R. on March 30, 1997:

I have sucked my thumb practically all of my life and I am well into adulthood. The problem with this habit is the imprint the thumb makes on the roof of the mouth and the overbite that occurs. Because of the overbite the mouth has a tendancy to feel complete only with the thumb in there. I have had braces and am beginning to see my teeth extruding again. I would like to end this habit as I do it in my sleep.

Posted by lori g of savannah on March 18, 1998:

In Reply to: Thumb Sucking posted by Suzie R. on March 30, 1997:

I am a 23 year old thumb sucker. I don't suggest pushing the issue at all. The more my folks did the more determined I was to do it. However now I thank them. I do not smoke or drink. My thumb will not make me fat, wont give me cancer, and it is free. I have often thought and tried to quit, however my husband would rather I didn't. It is my only vise. I am proud of that. I don't ever do it in public. It is for me a lone. I find comfort in it. Remember this. There are far worse habits.

Posted by Kathleen B of East Meadow on February 23, 1998:

In Reply to: Re: Thumb Sucking posted by Ryan S. on February 11, 1998:

I'm 24, still suck my thumb (too often), have very bucked teeth (they stick out over my bottom lip) and I don't think I'll ever stop. Hope that helps some.

Posted by nanciv of Orlando on June 22, 1998:

In Reply to: Re: Thumb Sucking posted by Patricia C. on November 03, 1997:

I am the mother of the ultimate thumb sucker of the millenium. My daughter was born sucking her thumb. As she got older, she mostly sucked on it when she was tired or bored. When she got to be int he third grade, yes I said third grade, she had to have braces put on her teeth because they had formed a perfect oval shape up front to accomodate that them. Asking for a device to get her to stop, the orthodontist and her pediatrician said, "she will stop when she is ready" so...$3000+ later and several more years, the sucking is less, but not abandoned as yet. Now it is during sleep time or when extremely tired, but it still does continue...Would you believe my daughter is a 20 year old college student on the Dean's List!!!???

Posted by Kari of New Jersey on July 24, 1998:

In Reply to: Re: Thumb Sucking posted by nanciv on June 22, 1998:

Leave the girl alone. She is on the dean's List why don't you make more of that then the thumb sucking. Would you prefer she smoked, used drugs or drank alcohol to calm her stress. You should act as if you don't even know that part of her life. If she doesn't think it is a problem neither should you. By the way she is already an adult let her make her own decisions and stop trying to ridicule her.

Posted by Ginny L of Portland on July 18, 1998:

In Reply to: Re: Thumb Sucking posted by nanciv on June 22, 1998:

What does being on the dean list have anything to do with it. I'm a 80 year old thumb sucker and just retired from being a doctor. Not only do I not find it odd that your daughter is on the deans list, I think that she is partly because of her thumb sucking. It soothes, and calms you, helping you concentrate and stay stress free!!

Posted by Natalie W. of on June 02, 1998:

In Reply to: Re: Thumb Sucking posted by Patricia C. on November 03, 1997:

I am 20 years old and I still suck my thumb and play with my navel while I suck. I feel awful. I know that I am to old for this, but I've been doing it for so long and the habit is strong that I think I will never stop. Please, do whatever you can to get your kids to stop.

Posted by Susan R. of Shickshinny on March 11, 1998:

In Reply to: Re: Thumb Sucking posted by Patricia C. on November 03, 1997:

I have sucked my thumb for a very long time. My parents tried many times as an infant and child to persuade me not to suck my thumb. Nothing worked. It doesn't hurt anyone. When I was little I did it when I was tired, cranky or bored. Now I do it once in a great while if I have trouble falling asleep. Your child will give it up when he is good and ready. And nothing that you will invent will make him stop. Why don't you just leave him be? He could be doing worse things. The only concern would be for the development of his teeth. Sometimes thumb sucking doesn't effect your teeth. I never needed braces.

Posted by Cindy L. of Cleveland on July 19, 1998:

In Reply to: Re: Thumb Sucking posted by Susan R. on March 11, 1998:

I am an avid 40+ thumbsucker. I probably started in the womb and never could stop. I do not have buck teeth, never needed braces and get compliments on my pearly white straight teeth. My gums and teeth have been pretty healthy over the years and I have needed less dental work than my 2 younger sibs that never sucked their thumbs...go figure!

Posted by yvonne of california on March 24, 1998:

In Reply to: Re: Thumb Sucking posted by Amy L. on November 16, 1997:

I am 38 years old. I have been sucking my thumb for as long as I can remember. My mother tried all sorts of ways to get me to stop sucking my thumb, like tying my hand to the bed post, etc.. No one else in my family sucks their thumb. The dentition of their upper incisors actually lean in. I believe I may have had that problem if it were'nt for my thumbsucking. Until recently though my teeth looked great. But now are starting to protrude. Also my thumb is flat and dry looking. I don't have calluses though. Of course I don't like it. I would like to get braces but I have a child who does'nt suck her thumb who might need them instead.

Posted by J Anonomous of on July 28, 1998:

In Reply to: Re: Thumb Sucking posted by yvonne on March 24, 1998:

Well, I must say I am amazed to see that I am not the only wierdo in the world. Haha. I am 21 and am still hooked on the thumb. Of course, my mother was pretty lenient about the whole thing, but my father always chatised me and tried everything under the sun to get me to stop. When I was younger I remember trying to hide it as best I could. I would literally jump when he'd come in my room in the morning because I thought I would be caught. Even now I still jump when someone comes in the door out of habit. Anyway, I think that for those of you who have kids who suck their thumb, the best thing might be to leave it alone. It seemed the more I was caught and reprimanded, the more I sucked to comfort myself. It did have an effect on my teeth and I had braces, had them off, and still kept on going... back to square one. Anyway, the tricks and methods don't work. Just let your child outgrow it and hope that will be enough!

Posted by Shannon K. of Ottawa on June 10, 1998:

In Reply to: Re: Thumb Sucking posted by yvonne on March 24, 1998:

I am 22 years old and I have been sucking my thumb for my whole life. I find that sucking my thumb does pacify me and relieves stress. Not only do I suck my thumb, but as I do so I smell a favorite blanket that I have. Now, in all the years that I have been sucking my thumb my teeth have not been too damaged. In fact I still have people who comment on how "perfect" my teeth are. I do, however, notice a slight protusion of my front teeth. I have tried my whole life to stop, and succeeded at one point, only to start again a year or so later. I don't believe I will ever stop. I honestly don't think I want to. The only major reason I wish to stop is to protect my teeth, but the way I see it is that if after 22 years there hasn't been alot of damage, why put myself through the hassle of quitting. I think the key to thumb sucking and the reason that my teeth weren't damaged is because of the way that I suck my thumb and the placement of the thumb in my mouth. I don't rest my thumb against my teeth. I mostly angle it in my mouth. I don't know if this helps anyone, but coming into this site and reading all the comments has helped me at least to understand that I am not alone.

Posted by Anonymous (25) of New York on July 24, 1998:

In Reply to: Re: Thumb Sucking posted by Shannon K. on June 10, 1998:

I am 25 years old. At 10 my mother promised me she would stop smoking (Winston) if I stopped sucking my thumb. I knew She could get cancer so I quit almost immediately. At 18 when I went away to college and had my own room I started again and only stop when I go to visit my parents. It hasn't effected my teeth but I realize I spend to much of my time at home sucking my thumb while I am reading writing or watching TV. I have even cut through the skin on my thumb. I spoke to a psychologist and she advised me to look for something else to occupy my hands with. Pottery and clay have helped so have cooking and playing Nintendo also getting out of the house more often. I didn't mention that smelling my pillow was also part of the thumb sucking they go hand in hand and nose. Any way since having my pillow around makes me want to suck my thumb more and parting with my pillow creates anxiety even at the thought of it. My psychologist and I are weening me from it. I place a shirt over it while I sleep and change the cover every other night It has worked some but sometimes I am so stressed I just need my thumb and pillow. I am sure Little by little I can quit if I really wanted to. The truth is I don't I just want to curb my time.

Posted by Wayne M. of on March 25, 1998:

In Reply to: Re: Thumb Sucking posted by yvonne on March 24, 1998:

Hi Yvonne, I don't think you have a problem at all...society does. I too am an adult thumb sucker and older than you. I don't do it very often and my teeth are not affected but even if they were, that's a small price to pay for getting the comfort and stress reduction that a thumb can give you. And like you say, no air or lung pollution! Why is it that a cig is okay, but your own digit is not? That is sooo weird!

In Reply to: Thumb sucking adult posted by Jackie on September 09, 1997 at 09:42:27:

I was curious about this subject as I have sucked my thumb for almost twenty-nine years now. I am very much a closet thumb-sucker. When I ran my net search for thumb sucking of course I found it in with "The first grade", "Potty training" and "Formula" so I was a little discouraged. I was encouraged when I found this site. I wonder if there are any other closet thumb-suckers out there. Obvisously, Jackie you have found one. If he is like me the fetal position that you found him in might have been the position of the moment. As I am "normal"; well as much as anyone else that pays on student loans, looks forward to vacation, and dreads cleaning house. And I probably sleep in that manner occasionally myself. I have thought about consulting a psychologist about it, but other than the fact that occasionally my pressing against my lower teeth makes them a little sore (then I refrain for a while) I really have no other problems. Neither psycological or physical. An orthodontist told me that if I did not stop I would ruin my teeth. He also told me that if I stopped the muscles around my mouth would pull my top teeth in. Actually, my top teeth are out about four millimeters and my lower are in about 4 millimeters. This is not a distortion. You would not suspect that I suck my thumb if you were to meet me, perhaps unless you suck your thumb, too! With all of this said, I would like to stop sucking my thumb. If any one has reasonable suggestions please post them. I have tried hyptnosis and it almost worked but I have a very strong will. By-the-way one of my other sisters, 26 years old, also sucks her thumb (both of them!) How wierd is this?

The following posts came from various section of the Internet:

Question: “I suck my thumb! I’m 16. How can I quit my secret habit?” You would think the feminists at ‘Young and Modern’ would answer, “Don’t worry. Whatever you want to do, as a young woman, is fine and dandy.” You know, ‘woman power’ and all that. But no, the advice lady, Stephanie Dogoff, actually gives advice to this girl on how to QUIT sucking her thumb! Girls, let me tell you something. There is nothing wrong with sucking your thumb. Right next to my computer I have a photo. It’s from the July 1979 issue of Playboy. It’s of Playboy Playmate Dorothy Mays. Do you know what she’s doing in this photo? She’s sucking her thumb. This photo has sat right next to my computer for over a year, all because I so love looking at Dorothy sucking her thumb. Do you know how much I had to pay to get hold of this photo of Dorothy sucking her thumb? $40.00! This for a magazine that originally sold for $2.00. What do you think this issue of Playboy is worth today? Not $40.00. No, no. That was a year ago, that it was worth $40.00. Today, in order to have this photo, you would have to shell out $75.00. See for yourself in the Winter 1998 issue of the Playboy catalog, by calling 1-800-423-9494. It’s listed on page 32 and it’s item number: DGBI7907. Thumb sucking is popular, girls. Do you think guys would be paying $75.00 to see a girl suck her thumb if it wasn’t? But, if for some reason you don’t want to suck your thumb, there’s a quick and easy solution.

Amy wrote:

I have sucked my thumb since before I was born. I have only quit once in third grade. I always thought I never quit because I have no will power. I'm wondering now if it's because of my crappy childhood. I can't watch tv or go to sleep without my thumb in my mouth. I usually hide it under a blanket. Not many people know I do it. It's weird because I've heard of alters who suck their thumb, but with me it is clearly not just an alter. I suck my thumb, not parts of me (well they do, too.) I'm wondering if any of you share this experience. Thanks again for the warm welcome!! :) Amy

Yes, I do. Well not exactly thumb. I suck my fingers. I am 23 and I still do it occationally. Mostly when I am trying to fall asleep and can't. I too hide it with a blanket. I have also tried to quit. My teeth are all crooked. They were once straight. I had braces. But I couldn't stop so as soon as the braces came off the teeth went back to being crooked. :( I hate it now. I want my nice straight teeth again. Now I will have to go through 3 more years of braces...If and when I ever get the money. Oh and I know one alter sucks her thumb...My SO has seen her. I hate this (sucking my fingers) The one thing that almost made me stop was taping them together. Perhaps I will try that again. An embarassed- Eponine

I suck my thumb too. In order to get to sleep at night I have to have my blankie and suck my thumb. When I am really stressed I do it to. I try to hide it so no one will see me. Sometimes I get so stressed that I end up sucking my thumb in my car. Rose & Co.

Posted by Jenifer on March 09, 1998 at 21:57:18:

In Reply to: Re: Daughters Thumb sucking posted by Carl Koopman on August 05, 1997 at 10:43:45:

I don't mean to sound like I am against your efforts, but I feel the need to tell you about myself. I am a 26 year old wife and mother of two, and I suck my thumb on a daily basis. I don't know why, but I always have. I have tried to stop, but I can't. I do know that I was not allowed to have a pacifier as a baby and was taken off of my bottle at a very early age. I suck my thumb every day of my life, mostly when sleeping, and find it to be very comforting. I am a successful writer with a college education, and I have no emotional problems. I have also never had a cavity or a bit of dental work in my life and my teeth are perfectly straight. I never needed braces. I have tried to fight this "problem" and have come to the conclusion that I am a thumb-sucker and always will be. My husband and children know about my thumb sucking, and they never give me a hard time about it. Please go easy on your children...they may just need more time to give up this habit, but if they don't give it up, please don't ridicule them. It will only make matters worse.