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Rocking Back & Forth-Underlying Psych Issue?

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,
When I try to sit still, a lot of the time I start rocking back and forth...I guess it could be from my underlying psychological/mental health issues or something...What's wrong with me?
Signed: Rocking Back & Forth-Underlying Psych Issue?

Dear Rocking Back & Forth-Underlying Psych Issue?,


It is true that rocking can be a sign of mental health issues. However, it can also just be a nervous habit, something you do when you feel fidgety or restless. Next time you catch yourself rocking, you might try asking yourself how you feel - are you feeling restless, like you have some extra energy that needs burning off? Or do you feel nervous or uncomfortable, like there is something else going on that is causing your rocking? Rocking can be soothing when one is feeling upset.


If you do feel that the rocking is the cause of a problem, you might try talking to someone you trust - a parent, teacher, or counselor, for example. Maybe confiding in someone could help you get at any underlying causes of this habit. But FX wants you to know that rocking, in and of itself, is not a sign that there is anything wrong with you.


If you continue to have concerns, you could speak with a therapist. In northern NJ you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888.247.1400 for help in finding one. Outside of this area, you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's website to locate services in your area.

Signed: TeenHealthFX