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distractions for pica?


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sooo... i've been stuck with pica for basically as long as i've been able to put things in my mouth. supposedly as a tot, it was lead that i kept eating (probably from pencils, since i seem to be particularly hung up on wood-based objects, but of course i'm not the one who would remember it exactly at that age) since then i've pretty much gone the last two decades eating paper, tissues, bark, twigs, wood chips, matches, those compressed sodder/gas logs they use to kickstart woodstoves, and less often, things like wax, fabric, or hand-sanitizer...

i've noticed since moving south a few years ago and working around animals that i've also been getting the same compulsion to eat their feed. oats, hay, alfalfa, creeper, the rats' grain mix... which is probably not a great thing if my "menu" is getting longer, but atleast the oats and grain mix are actually edible. and lately i've been finding that as long as i have a pile of rat food out in the open somewhere, i end up chewing on that instead of putting paper or pencils or other crap in my mouth. it's not stopping it per se but atleast it's redirecting it somewhere healthier, so i'm feeling a little optimistic about it. i'm thinking about looking into rawhide chews, since i'm attracted mostly to fibrous/bland-tasting objects i'm hoping i might be able to encourage it to focus on actual chews and stop eating into my rat's dinner.
...and if the obnoxious little brainbug doesn't find the rawhide particularly interesting, we do have a dog, so it's not like it'd go to waste /shrug


does anyone else have pica, or have ideas on other things that might be used to curb it?

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It's not something I have thought of, but I remember when I was young I used to eat most any kind of food, such as animal feed pellets, chicken food, dog biscuits, even raw meat etc. I did get problems with parasites then so it was somewhat dangerous. I do have a habit of eating things directly out of the garden or countryside, just brushing them down. Even now I tend to eat a lot of food which by most people's standards is somewhat past it's best. It is probably not quite the same thing, and nowhere near as risky. Luckily for you lead in pencils has no actual lead metal in it. It's not something I have not entirely grown out of, and people do look in horror at some things I eat, but I think the main thing is to take care and avoid things that would obviously cause problems (hence I no longer eat raw meat). Carrying some kind of placebo to chew if ever the urge comes to eat something that is risky would be a good idea, enabling you to avoid or give time to evaluate the risks.  My opinion is though, that if you feel things are getting worse, rather than better, it would be a good idea to seek professional help.



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i do have a therapist, not for gender, but in general that i could bring it up with. it's never occurred to me to talk to her about it before, but now that you mention it it would probably be a good idea. i don't suppose they make some kind of pill that magically makes the habit go away...

to be honest, i've felt a lot less regularly gross physically and a bit more mentally stable since moving down here, and while most of it is probably due to just getting away from old stressors, it occurs to me that not having been eating the same way could be playing a big factor in it. aside from finding new things i like to chew on, my urge to eat things that are outright awful has been dwindling over time. 


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