Any thumbsuckers around?

Few people know this about me: I was a thumbsucker until around the age of 11 when a dental retainer made my thumb not ‘fit right’, so I stopped. After years of my mother nagging me that it would ruin my teeth, my orthodontist said it had probably actually helped with my bite. When I was tiny and deeply thumb-addicted, my right thumb was even a slightly different shape to the other. If I owied it and had to wear a bandaid and so not suck, I was inconsolable (“No!! The other one doesn’t taste right!” whine)

These days, if I’m overtired or stressed or can’t sleep, very occasionally I’ll still suck my thumb. I’m a thirty year old man so it feels pretty stupid (and probably looks even worse) but it’s oddly comforting.

I would like to point out that it is only very occasionally that I still do this…

So, anyone else either with a history of it, or still having the occasional furtive suck when no-one’s looking?*

*Yes, I am still talking about thumbs.

I was one at an early age, but quit after being treated to a wonderful concoction with the happy name of Thum which my mother liberally applied to my favored thumb (I only used the right one). The taste was so bad that I would ask for castor oil or cod liver oil to get the taste out of my mouth, even soap.

My brother preferred his index finger, but he was given the Thum treatment, too.

yup, i’m 17 years old and still suck my thumb when i’m overtired. also, my best friend sucks her thumb in her sleep, without knowing about it. have to say though, with me it’s my left not my right…is that strange?

I don’t know exactly what made me stop my thumb sucking. I was an avid thumb sucker from as far back as I could remember until I was 10 years old), but finally I did. Maybe it was the braces I got when I was 10 to correct the overbite I had (from sucking my thumb, so my mother and the orthodontist-from-hell told me)?

When younger (before I got the braces), my mother tried putting some bad-tasting substance on my right thumb (the one I ALWAYS sucked) but it never worked.

I sucked mine until 16 or so… I was having a period of bad dreams and would ite it in my sleep… VERY HARD. So I forced myself to stop sucking it although I would be surprised to hear I still suck it in my sleep.

My son, who is 7, also sucks his thumb. I flat out refused to give him a binkie. Children don’t need that emotional loss at such a young age.

My little sister is 32 years old. It is embarassing to her but when she sleeps she still sucks her thumb. No one really knows why. My mom tried to break her of the habit. She just does it once she goes into a deep sleep.

“Hi my name is tram2 and I am a recovering Thumb-sucker.”

Being so far in denial I had not thought about my problem (that’s what everybody else thought) until reading this thread. The date of my last thumb-suck was in 1979. Twenty four years ago?

My thumb-sucking habit was broken (such negative terms associated with this activity) when a friend “busted” me. I still live with the toxic shame and guilt from this encounter. Guess that’s why I haven’t thought about it in so many years. Oh sweet denial.

Strange I am overcome with the urge to see if the old magic of the all comforting thumb is still there? /pause/

Nope! You really can’t go home again.

I sucked my thumb until I was about 9. My mother tried that awful tasting stuff you paint on your thumb to get me to stop, but I just got used to it. I even tried tying my hand to the bed post to stop, but when my mother found out about that she balked (wasn’t the safest thing to do…).

Not sure how I finally stopped but it took a long time before my thumb returned to it’s normal shape. I had created a large bump near the nuckle from years of sucking.

I remember years after I stopped trying it out again and it just wasn’t the same. But I do remember how comforting it was to suck on my thumb and hold my blanket when I was little.

Course by the time I stopped my teeth were so buck that I couldn’t even close my mouth with out them peaking through. 5 years of braces later they looked great, but I would have preferred never to have gone through the pain of headgears, braces, and retainers.

I started a thread about this a while back, but it died.
I am 19 and I still suck my thumb when I’m sleeping or tired, and I have no plans to stop however stupid it might be.

I was 8 when I quit. Nothing my mom did could stop me until I made up my mind myself. She tried the icky-tasing stuff too–I stilll remember the taste–but I didn’t care. Luckily I wasn’t so dependent upon it that I couldn’t keep from doing it at sleepovers. I avoided a lot of ridicule that way.

And the price I paid was nearly 3 years of braces! Yay!

I almost wish I was a thumb sucker. At least that’s something that you have to have a free hand to do. Unfortunately, when I’m at the computer or reading or doing something else which requires concentration, I’m prone to sucking on my tongue, a habit which causes the tip of my tongue to protrude from my mouth. I look like a complete idiot and I don’t even realize it.

I’d gladly trade for a thumb. My sucking would be greatly reduced. (Read that as you will.)

Ah, see, I had an underbite, so my thumbsucking actually improved things. Not that my mother every apologised for the years of threats that I’d turn out with teeth like Goofy’s.

I miss my thumb. It’s nothing like as nice as it used to be. Bah.

I sucked my thumb regularly until I was probably 15 or 16, and I’ve occasionally woke up and found I was sucking it as an adult. Old habits die hard, I guess. I used to be so ashamed and embarassed, but hey- I found it comforting, I had a lot to be comforted ABOUT, and it worked. Better then smoking, I guess :slight_smile:

Another avid thumb-sucker here. At least until I was a pre-teen. I don’t recall exactly when or why I quit but thankfully I did. A few years ago I also wondered if it would be as comforting as it was as a kid. Alas, the old thumb just ain’t what she used to be!

I never sucked my thumb as a small child. I do now though, when I get incredibly stressed and overtired. I’m 21, so I know it’s weird, but when I have one of those days that ends with sniffling myself to sleep, it’s just really comforting somehow.

I suppose in a way I am STILL a thumbsucker… just now I suck on the other fingers. Usually when I am reading, or thinking, or playing at the computer. I seem particularily fond of my left pinkie:D

Kristfer the Cat, I think you’re me. I find myself doing it more often and biting my nails when I’m stressed, so I think it’s a comfort mechanism.

For a complete treatment of thumb sucking in adults, go to:

I sucked my thumb religiously until I was 18, I don’t know how I suddenly quit (maybe because I picked up smoking)… but anyway, it drove my parents crazy, they could never get me to stop. It didn’t make me have an overbite either. Even though I quit sucking my thumb 12 years ago, in times of major stress now, I may wake up in the night sucking my thumb, kind of regressing back to childhood and my “safety net”.

A guy I studied with did this. 20 years old, good looking, really smart, nice, incredibly talented, the whole nine yards. As soon as he starts having a ponder, out peeps the tongue and off he goes. Cracked the whole class up. My baby brother used to do this as a kid so I think it looks incredibly cute, but I can understand where this guys friends were coming from when they tried to get him to stop, at least in meetings and in public! How such a smart guy could look so incredibly dumb is rather astounding. I still think it’s sweet though :slight_smile: