Common "problem" behaviors and
speculations about their causes

Ruth Myers, MD, James Salbenblatt, MD, Melodie Blackridge, MD

"High pain tolerance"

  • A lot of experience with pain.
  • Fear of expressing opinion.
  • Delerium
  • Neuropathy (disease of the nerves)/many causes

Fist jammed in mouth/down throat

  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Eruption of teeth
  • Asthma
  • Rumination
  • Nausea

Biting side of hand/whole mouth

  • Sinus problems
  • Eustachian tube/ear problems
  • Eruption of wisdom teeth
  • Dental problems
  • Paresthesias/painful sensation    (e.g., pins and needles) in the hand

Biting thumb/objects with front teeth

  • Sinus problems
  • Ears/Eustachian tubes

Biting with back teeth

  • Dental
  • Otitis (ear)

Uneven seat

  • Hip pain
  • Genital discomfort
  • Rectal discomfort

Odd unpleasurable masturbation

  • Prostatitis
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Candidal vagina
  • Pinworms
  • Repetition phenomena, PTSD

Waving head side to side

  • Declining peripheral vision or reliance on peripheral vision

Walking on toes

  • Arthritis in ankles, feet, hips or knees
  • Tight heel cords

Intense rocking/preoccupied look

  • Visceral pain
  • Headache
  • Depression

Won't sit

  • Akathisia (inner feeling of restlessness)
  • Back pain
  • Rectal problem
  • Anxiety disorder

Whipping head forward

  • Atlantoaxial dislocation (dislocation between vertebrae in the neck)
  • Dental problems

Left handed or fingertip handshake

  • Frightening previous setting
  • Pain in hands/arthritis

Sudden sitting down

  • Altlantoaxial dislocation (dislocation between vertebrae in the neck)
  • Cardiac problems
  • Seizures
  • Syncope/orthostasis (fainting or light-headedness caused by medication or other physical conditions)
  • Vertigo
  • Otitis (thrown off balance by problems in the ear)

Waving fingers in front of eyes

  • Migraine
  • Cataract
  • Seizure
  • Rubbing caused by blepharitis (inflamation of the eyelid) or corneal abrasion.


  • General: OCD, hypothalamic problems, history of under-stimulating environments
  • Cigarette butts: nicotine addiction, generalized anxiety disorder
  • Glass: suicidality
  • Paint chips: lead intoxication
  • Sticks, rocks, other jagged objects: endogenous opiate addiction.
  • Dirt: iron or other deficiency state
  • Feces: PTSD, psychosis

Back One Page