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Avatar universal

Body rocking

Hi,

I wonder if anyone could help me figure out something... Up until about 4 years ago I would body-rock. Im now 34, from the age of I realy dont know when... since my memory started at the age of say 2 i would body rock. I'd lie on the floor and rock for between a few minutes up to 6 hours or more. I'd rock on the floor and day dream and it seems that the rocking motion would help me day dream and I'd end up in almost in a trance. It completly messed up my education... instead of studying I'd body rock and dream whenever possible.... I mean I was totaly addicted to it, it may seam strange but it got worse from childhood. Im my teens and twenties i spent most of my spare time doing this, once I got to the age to start listening to music I'd body rock with music playing, with the different type of music depending one what i wanded to dream about or vice versa. It could be for the whole weekend and I've lost so much my life doing this.... You would'nt believe. I don't believe I'm autistic... i dont seem to show any other signs... I have a good career now and live a happy life but I'd like to understand what happened to me for all those years.

I'm not entirely sure this is the right forum, maybe it should be mental health but if anyone could help me understand I would much appreciatre your thoughts! If not i will try the other forums. Thanks for your time
376 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi,
   Oh my god, I had the EXACT same thing! (And I still don't understand it either. Sorry.) I'm a 49 year old woman, and I "rocked" my youth away, just like you're describing! There are probably millions of us out there, but we don't know about each other, because we like to do our body rocking in private. (I always made sure I locked my bedroom door, because it was mortifying to "get caught" rocking!) Yep, I know exactly what you're talking about: the lost time, the trance like state, the different kinds of music to "dream" or "fantasize" to, the hours and days on end spent rocking back and forth to music. My favorite method was standing up, although when I'd get sore after hours of furiously rocking back and forth, I'd switch to rocking in a chair for a while (NOT a rocking chair, though. I like to be able to control the force of the rocking, which is easier in a regular chair), or lying facedown and rocking by banging my head against the pillow. And guess what? I STILL rock back and forth even now as a middle-aged woman, although it is more of an occasional thing these days, when I'm especially stimulated by either happy excitement or a bout of anxiety. But I rarely ever missed a day of rocking for about the first 35 years of my life. I don't know this for sure, but it's possible that my rocking behavior developed in response to all of the chaos and anxiety producing "stuff" that transpired in my childhood, and then it became a permanent part of me. All I know is that my rocking used to be an overwhelming need that was like a type of hunger or thirst. Thanks to the internet, people can now discover that none of us is as unique as we thought we were (a fact which is both comforting and irritating at the same time. After all, we want to know that we're not total freaks, yet on the other hand, we kind of liked knowing that we had this bizarre behavior which was all our own!) Take care, Pauledh!
1 Comments
Hello fellow rockers, omg me too. I in the other hand do the rocking in a sitting position on a chair or sofa.. when I sleep I rock in bed laying down or rock legs. As a child and teen I even rocked back and forth hitting my back against a soft sofa. Don't give me a rocking chair because I'll be glued on it all day with music playing abd me in a trans for HOURS LOL
Avatar universal
I have OCD and when I was very young I use to shake my hands in a certain way that was really weird.  I would do it out of excitement and it sort of just carried me away.  When I was little I didn't even realize I was doing it and someone would make fun of me and then I realized what I was doing.  As I grew older, I remember a few more odd behaviors I liked to do to sort of ease my mind.  Continually shaking something back and forth, always using the same item.  As I got older, I either grew out of it or decided it was best not to do and now no longer have the desire.  
Avatar universal
Your stories about body-rocking are exactly like mine.  To the letter.  I could have written them.  In fact I had to check twice to see if the first one WAS mine!  Identical.  Body rocking to music as long as I can remember up until the age of 31.  I am 43 now and would LOVE to know what the term for this would be.  There are a lot more people out there that do this than I thought!  I would like to have a web-site for this one day.  It was like the best natural high in the world.  It was what I needed to get through a day.  I listened to music and was in a trance-like state and the hours would FLY by!  Amazing.  I would love to hear more...
Avatar universal
I currently do the same thing. I am 26 and listen to music. It makes you dream about everything that you want to be in your life. I have been doing it since before I could remember. I do it in the car too. My mom said the crib would move around the room. Anyway, now my head shakes acutely all the time. So I probably should get that checked out.
Avatar universal
I have the exact same problem as well. I am 27 years old, and it seems to be a genetic thing in my family. My grandmother rocked in her crib, my father rocks standing up and I rock sitting down while listening to music. My 2 siblings also rocked or what we called "bounced", until they were both about 8 or 9 years old. I have never stopped and I wish I could!
I too feel like I've wasted SO much of my life and did not do very well in college because of it. My mother always thought it was a meditative, nice thing for me (she's very liberal), so she didn't discourage it but I find it to be an isolating, destructive behavior. I'd like to know how PauledH, or others have stopped rocking. I've tried everything. The only thing that has seemed to decrease the frequency is just keeping extremely busy or surrounding myself with people that I would be embarressed to rock around. (the older I get, the more uncomfortable I become rocking around people. I used to be fine around family and close friends but now that's even becoming uncomfortable.)
I want to stop!!! Please help with suggestions or stories!
Avatar universal
Also, coming from a very bohemian house hold where there were not many rules or very much discipline, I wonder if this acceptance and "loose-ness" encouraged my rocking habit.
My question to other rockers: do you think that if my parents had enforced more discipline in my life that I wouldn't be doing it this until the age of 27?
Do any of you come from similar backgrounds such as mine?
I also, like  SuzeeCueZee, felt a certain chaos in my environment that I needed to escape from.

I would also like to know if any of you "body-rockers" out there have tried hypnosis to stop.
How did you; mishymoto, and Pauledh, stop?
Avatar universal
Hi, Yes I used to do the same thing body rock to music on the couch and then go into a trance and image my life differently. I did this up to the age of like 20. It so ruined my schooling although I still got by, but still could have done so much better. My parents knew about it and they just let me - I wish they helped me to stop as a child. As far as I am concerned I am perfectly healthy mentally and so, so I dont understand still what it was. I am now 37 married with 3 children. Once I married and moved out of home I then stopped rocking, dont know how but I did. Its weird cause the only time I would rock was at home, never anywhere else where I lived. My youngest son at a year I noticed signs of him rocking, and immediately I would stop him. Scared that he would end up like me, I would distract him and get angry at him. I know it sounds harsh but it is for his best. Sometimes now when times get tough I would go to bed early and tell everyone I am tired and I would just listen to music and go into a trance but without the rocking. It helps me take the pressure of everyday life. Please if anyone knows this condition please write. Its great to know I wasnt the only one, I used to think I was the only one in the world with this. But thanks for writing everyone - and knowing that I am not alone. Thanks
Avatar universal
I am 38 and I have rocked as long as I can remember. My mother said I did it in my crib. When I was a child I used to do it really bad in the car. I mean we are talking I would bring my head down to my knees and slam myself against the car seat over and over again. It was so bad my grandmother refused to take me anywhere in the car.  I still rock in the car today. Even when i am driving. people look at me like I'm nuts.. It drives my husband crazy.  When I became a teenager and got a headset I started rocking to music.  I still do this today. I have a chair on my back porch and I sit out there several times a day and rock for at least 15 minutes each time. I have worn a groove into the wall and permanently injured my back and my sciatic nerve  from rocking. I have brusies on my back all of the time.. I dont like anyone to see me rock.  It is a private thing.. It is definitely a compulsive behavior.   I have never tried to stop.  My shrink says it is a symptom of an anxiety disorder. My sons have been diagnosed with various disorders  within the Autism spectrum although neither of the rock.  Since Autism spectrum disorders are often hereditary I wonder if my rocking is a symptom of a disorder within that spectrum.. I am also glad that I am not the only one who does this..
Avatar universal
I am 38 and I have rocked as long as I can remember. My mother said I did it in my crib. When I was a child I used to do it really bad in the car. I mean we are talking I would bring my head down to my knees and slam myself against the car seat over and over again. It was so bad my grandmother refused to take me anywhere in the car.  I still rock in the car today. Even when i am driving. people look at me like I'm nuts.. It drives my husband crazy.  When I became a teenager and got a headset I started rocking to music.  I still do this today. I have a chair on my back porch and I sit out there several times a day and rock for at least 15 minutes each time. I have worn a groove into the wall and permanently injured my back and my sciatic nerve  from rocking. I have brusies on my back all of the time.. I dont like anyone to see me rock.  It is a private thing.. It is definitely a compulsive behavior.   I have never tried to stop.  My shrink says it is a symptom of an anxiety disorder. My sons have been diagnosed with various disorders  within the Autism spectrum although neither of the rock.  Since Autism spectrum disorders are often hereditary I wonder if my rocking is a symptom of a disorder within that spectrum.. I am also glad that I am not the only one who does this..
Avatar universal
And I thought I was the only one in the entire world who did this. I rocked from a young (elementary school) age up until I was engaged (age 26), when I spent so much time with my fiance that I didn't have time to do it. I would look forward to it all day - get home, put on some music, pillow on the floor, and rock and daydream the evening away. Truthfully, there are days now (I'm 55) that I wish I could still do it - it was so relaxing, and so wonderful to be caught up in that romantic world of my fantasies where all was wonderful and I had no anxieties, fears, or negative thoughts. the down side is that none of my real life ever matched up to those "rocking" fantasies, and I missed out on so much of learning what real life should be about.
Avatar universal
I am going to try an experiment, I am going to start a rocking diary, I am going to keep track of how many hours I spend doing this in one week. Also do any of you feel this behavior is having a negative impact on your life? If so why? In my case I have been up since 8 this morning and the time I have spent rocking  so far :45 minutes. I could have accomplished alot in that 45 minutes. Other negative effects for me include, back problems and constant bruising on my back. I would like to hear from all of you :) How long do you spend rocking each day?
Avatar universal
OMG I have the exact same thing that you have. I am a 50 year old African American woman and have bounced my entire life. I remember when my cousins and I would all line up on the couch and bounce together to Nancy Wilson records. So far I have had no negative side effects physically from bouncing but I feel like I have bounced my childhood,adolescence and young adulthood away. Now that I am middle-aged I see no point in giving up this bouncing because I feel like the best years of my life are over now and there is no going back. I love bouncing,listening to music and retreating into my fantasy world where I can be whoever I want to be and with whoever I want to be. Sometimes my real life is so hellish I consider bouncing a safe haven for me. Personally I often wondered why my mother didn't do something about my bouncing when she saw me ruining my childhood and teenage years spending hours and weekends alone in my room just bouncing and listening to music. Could other people with this bouncing tell we if and what their parents did to make them stop or did they have a parent like mine that refused to admit there was a problem and looked the other way. I have been to mental health professionals but not about my bouncing. I think bouncing is a coping mechanism for me as I grew up an abused child of a single,angry mother.
Avatar universal
I am 46 and have rocked my entire life. My mother hated it but could not stop me. I now spend several hours a day rocking to music and reading. If I don't have this time to rock, read, and listen to music I will have the mother of all anxiety attacks.
My rocking is due to several things, lack of affection of any kind from other humans. Neither of my parents were affectionate people. We were not hugged or comforted as children regardless of the circumstances. Even as an adult I go years without being touched in any way by another person if I can. But everyone needs some form of comfort. The rocking is my comfort for the lack of affection and human interaction. I also use it as a coping mechanism for anxiety. Lastly it is hereditary. I understand that the man who fathered me also use to rock.
Avatar universal
My aunt was telling me that children in war torn Afghanistan bounce due to a lack of love. I personally don't know what to do about my bouncing and it's gotten worst since I've been on disability from my job. Now I have all day to bounce and I notice that my social contacts except for my sister are non-existent. I don't think there is any cure for this and I have accepted the fact that I'm going to continue the rest of my life bouncing and living in a fantasy world. It's kind of creepy thinking that all I did with my life was bounce and I'll be bouncing until Gabriel blows on his horn. What a wasted life.
Avatar universal
Mudpies, I would have to agree with your thought on this being hereditary. I am 38 and I did not meet my biological father until last year.  I had always assumed that my rocking was a form of Add or OCD. These tendencies run in my mom's family and there were many relatives with OCD type tendencies  on my mom's side. Well then I met my Dad and he has 2 other Daughters. I found out recently that one of my sister's on my dad's side had also rocked in exactly the same way I have all of her life.  Allbahain Girl, I too had a VERY traumatic childhood with abusive parents. My mom was mentally ill and a drug addict throughout my childhood.  My sister (although we have different mothers ) had a very abusive childhood as well and she had similar experiences with her mother.  The fact that my sister who  had never met also rocks is a serious indication that this is definitely something hereditary. However the fact that we were both raised by drug addicted mentally ill mothers has to be taken into account as well. So is this behavior hereditary or is it a coping mechanism  that we developed from being brought up in such a traumatic environment?      In my case (since according to my mother  my rocking started in my infancy and from what I can gather from other family members this was a  relatively  happy time for us)  I think its a little of both..  I get extremely anxious and suffer from anxiety attacks if I go to long without my time to  rock.
Avatar universal
I thought I was the only one! For the longest, I thought I was crazy and I still think I kinda am! I'm 19 and I can't remember not ever doing it! It takes over my life! I want to be normal for once! Growing up ppl thought I was retired! My family was ashamed of me! I got beat up constantly for rocking! When I rock, it relieve stress, I go into my own world (Day-dreaming)! I become very irritated when I can't not do it! I believe it is a form of OCD!! Plus on top of that I have anxiety disorder! So yes I'm all messed up! From the outside I'm a normal person but really ppl don't have no idea
Avatar universal
At 50 years old I don't think I will EVER stop bouncing. I feel like why stop now since I messed up my childhood,teenage years,early adulthood and now middle age bouncing?  I feel like I may as well continue to bounce until the Second Coming of Christ. Can anyone else tell me on this message board if their parents were aware of their bouncing and were any measures taken to stop this bouncing? My mother knew I had issues as a child but she was so strange herself that she probably felt like my bouncing was "normal". I feel like if maybe something had been done about this bouncing when I was younger I might have stopped and not become addicted to bouncing up to 7 hours a day like I do now. Even when I went to Brazil in 2003 I still had to go back to my hotel room and bounce for a couple of hours. Even when I'm doing other things I'm still thinking about going home and bouncing listening to music on my Ipod. I LOVE the fantasy world that I can retreat into while bouncing cause my own life is HELLISH!!!
Avatar universal
Now I think about, my mother never tired to stop my habit! WIRED! Reading everyone else made me realize my own story! I believe my mother ignored it..she simply did not talk about! She ignored all problems! She still ignores my anxiety disorder,and that started at the age of 5 and now 19! Guess she will always be in denial...
Avatar universal
I never understood parents who see their children have problems and never try to intervene. Surely a parent can see a child sitting on the couch bouncing for hours has a problem. I know if I was a parent and had a child that did nothing but sit on the couch and bounce for hours that I would have to take that child for a psychiatric evaluation. I know a man who is severely autistic but for some reason his parents refuse to accept the fact that there is something wrong with him although his disability is readily apparent to other people. The man is now 40 years old and there's no hope for him at this point because his parents stayed in denial during his formative years when maybe something could have been done for him. As a 50 year old bouncer I feel like it's too late to break the habit because I've been doing this for half a century now and it is deeply ingrained.
Avatar universal
Hi, its called Maladaptive Daydreaming. Check it out it doesnt seem as bad as we all think our condition is. Finally I know what its called and that i am not alone. Thanks everyone for being honest.
Avatar universal
I am very concerned by the comments made about bouncing because of no love or human interaction. I have an 11 year old boy who has rocked/bounced on the couch, in the car, etc. and I am constantly pouring love on him. I am the mushiest mom ever. Probably too soft, I'll admit. I 'love' more than I 'discipline'. He started bouncing at 9 months old and at that time I just thought it was a 'baby' rocking thing, but it progressed into a self-soothing mechanism. He wasn't very cuddly and affection as a baby, even though I nursed and cuddled him. He just didn't like to be held much. He also doesn't like covers on him when he sleeps. He became violent and out of control at age 5 and I have taken him to psychiatrists, counselors, doctors, but they all say to let him do it. They say he will grow out of it and if he doesn't do this, he'll do something else, possibly more destructive. I have talked to him about it and he sometimes says he wants to try to stop doing it, but when I bring it to his attention as he's bouncing, he feels attacked. Sometimes we just distract him with other things, but he will sometimes just outright say, "Mom, I just want to go bounce." He HAS to bounce to music before bed, so I've switched his music to softer, classical music. That worked for about a day. He said he hates it and wants his rock/pop music to bounce to. He has been put on Abilify for his mood disorder so his rage episodes have diminished dramatically, but he still bounces to calm himself and to 'escape', like many of you have said. So, I am asking you fellow adult bouncers this...How should I handle it , what would be a good way to help him stop so he is not humiliated as an adult.
Avatar universal
I never thought rocking was as wide spread as it seems to be. It makes me feel a little better personally, know that I know I am not the only one who spends time doing this ackward behaviour.

I am 24 and I have been rocking for as long as I can remember, and I remember doing it even when I was about 2 years old.
I have had quite a tumultuous childhood, being molested, neglected, placed in a variety of foster homes ect, the list goes on. After about age 5, my life took on some normality and I was given a stable home, with people I concider my family. I used to rock on our family couch around my family, not caring that anyone saw, and my mother would yell at me to stop, trying to discourage this behaviour, telling me I looked slow when I did it and that people would think there was something wrong with me if they saw me do it.
It didn't take me long to become ashamed of my rocking, and ever since I was about 6, I did and continue to do it in private. I notice a lot of people wrote about rocking while listening to music and 'daydreaming', I too do this. I don't always daydream, but sometimes I do. I was in a 3 year relationship with a man that I lived with, and he never once saw me rock, or was aware I has this secret behaviour, and the same goes with the man I am with now, also a 3 year relationship. Noone in my family knows I still do this either. It is a total secret and I like it that way. Although I am ashamed of my rocking, I continue to do it because, one, its become a 20 year HABIT, and two, I find it brings me an amazing sense of comfort, a comfort I have known since I was very young. It relaxes me greatly, almost to an extent of the way yoga or meditation would for someone else.

I am a very intelligent woman and I do not have any other form of 'different' behaviour, such as OCD, Autisum or Tourettes. I do know if I will ever stop rocking, or if I will ever tell anyone in my life that I do. It does not interfere with my daily activites, such as cooking, cleaning, working, sex life, being a mother or anything else. It is something I do in my spare time and ONLY when I have time alone. I can go days without doing it if I have NO other choice, but I would perfer to do it. It is not causing any form of harm to my body (maybe my knees over time, because I sit like an "Indian", with my legs crossed while rocking, sometimes rocking until the point of pain) But when I owned a rocking chair I would rock in that instead, and be able to feel comfortable doing so in front of people.

I would like to read on, and see if it is a habit that people were successful stopping due to will power....
Avatar universal
I'd like to know if there is a "cure" for this maladaptive daydreaming". I've gone to several psychiatrists and psychologists in the past and none were able to help me with this body rocking and maladaptive daydreaming. Of course for some reason I was too ashamed to bring it up because I thought I was the only one that did this. I feel like it is too late for me since I am 50 years old and have been bouncing since childhood. Has anyone ever been cured of this and how?
Avatar universal
I remember how I started rocking: it was on the couch in my parents' house. I was about eight or so, and I was sitting on the couch and grabbed hold of either side of the cushion and starting rocking back and forth and said, "This is FUN!" I've been doing it ever since. My dad used to tease me about it (he was very cruel and abusive). I even broke springs and wore holes in the back of the couch because of it. I would do it while listening to music, also. And while standing, talking on the phone, or just standing in the middle of a room, thinking. (Although always alone). I have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety, dysthymia, social anxiety, and PTSD. Now my therapist thinks I might have Adult ADD as well, what do you know. I've taken citalopram and buspirone for depression and anxiety. As I said, my dad was both physically and emotionally abusive with me when I was a child. I'm 31 now and still do it, but only while I'm alone. My boyfriend doesn't know I do it, although sometimes he rocks while holding me when we go to sleep (very sweet). I'm rocking now as I do this! I need to get a rocker/recliner so I can rock openly without looking like a freak. My theories, based on what I've read, is that it is a comfort/coping mechanism, and helps me deal with the inner tension and anxiety I feel on almost a continual basis. I also meditate and study Buddhism and have very vivid dreams. I think I am a very inward person, with a vivid imagination, but also worry excessively. I often feel like I have this intense internal energy and I just have to MOVE. I'm very restless. Maybe I do have ADD. My psychiatrist is looking into it. But I was delighted and laughing to read all these posts!
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