Eating Paper and Test Anxiety for 02/17/2018
Dear Family Coach
Dear Family Coach: My 7-year-old son is always ripping the pages off of books and eating them. All the corners are gone and eaten. I have no idea what to do about this, or if I should even do anything about this. Is this normal or a problem? — Not So Sure
Dear Not So Sure: Well, it probably isn’t a problem, but it’s worth checking out. Eating nonfood items is a symptom of a disorder called Pica. One of the most common nonfood items ingested is paper. It’s so common is has a name: Xylophagia. There are a variety of reasons people do it. Your son may have obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Anxiety could be the culprit, as could simple boredom. It’s also possible that paper eating might be just tip of the iceberg. There are numerous serious medical concerns when people ingest paper, including intestinal obstruction, perforation and infections. So it’s important to double-check that this issue isn’t more serious.
Updated: Sat Feb 17, 2018