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Constructive Tips for Rhinotillexomaniana – Also Known as Compulsive Nose Picking

rhinotillexomania Snotty Art Therapy

Med Bottle: I had a relapse of my Rhinotillexomania.  I was able to focus it constructively and make you a gift.

Caption: Snotty Art Therapy

Rhinotillexomania is one of those anxiety disorders that many would rather NOT talk about.  It can be embarrassing and others may feel shame over the habitual need to pick that booger!  I should know, because when I was a kid I PICKED… Night and day, with every finger and a few toes, I picked me a winner each time.  When you’re 8 years old, you may not understand that your shirt sleeve is not meant to be a tissue or a ‘snot rag’!

“It’s a filthy habit!” Mom always said – and she was right.  Yet, is it just a habit?

Rhinotillexomania, also know as compulsive nose picking, can lead to nose-bleeds (epistaxis) not to mention exposing the picker to all sorts of virus and colds. When anything becomes so compulsive that it affects you, then in my book, it is not a habit – it’s a psychological issue.

I know this is a subject that some may have wished I just PICKED something else to talk about, but it’s important and not something we should LOOK DOWN OUR NOSE AT.  It is serious and I know I should remember “You can pick your nose and you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.”  So if you suffer with Rhinotillexomania, or compulsive nose picking… here are a few constructive tips that helped me.

  • Tip One: Wear mittens.  It’s hard to get a covered finger up there in the mucus cavity.
  • Tip Two: If you must pick, pick with a tissue and use Purell or Germ-X hand sanitizer.
  • Tip Three:  Get caught in the act of Picking your nose – embarrassment can be used for a good control method.
  • Tip Four: Trim the bushes!  If you have a lot of hair in the honker, trimming them down may reduce the dry mucus build up.

It can be done.  So poke your nose out and put those fingers away!


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Constructive Tips for Rhinotillexomaniana – Also Known as Compulsive Nose Picking

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). [email protected]

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2011). Constructive Tips for Rhinotillexomaniana – Also Known as Compulsive Nose Picking. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 11, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Nov 2011
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