I know I shouldn't do it. I tell myself to stop all the time. And, then 5 minutes later....I'm biting or picking again. Most of the time, I don't even realize I'm doing it until I really stop to think about it. Its become a 2nd nature thing....like blinking almost! But, Its gotten worse over the last 6 months.....I used to not pick my skin so far down my fingers but my hands look awful. I'm pretty sure its stress related.... and I am an overly anxious person by nature...then you add in the outside factors of being a single full-time working mom....my brain is on super overdrive all the time!
I used to get my fingernails done with fake nails because I wouldn't bite those, but I'm a single mom and its just too expensive to get my nails done....even once a month (which is what I would do....let them grow out as far as I could and even break a few before getting them re-done instead of the token "every 2 weeks" thing)
For any recovered nail biters.....how did you stop? What can I do to get rid of this habit. I hate it...and I hate the way my hands, fingers, and nails look..... is there even any hope for normalcy for this problem? I've heard they actually consider it a type of OCD disorder behavior....
And, yes...I know there are a TON of germs and bacteria and God knows what else that spreads with nail biting...I've read all the horror stories online and it hasn't deterred my behavior.... I need concrete ideas to help me stop because reading all of the "Why not tos" doesn't seem to work for me....
[This message edited by She11ybeanz at 9:38 AM, November 21st (Thursday)]
ME - BW - 34
HIM - XWH - 38
D day: November 15th, 2009
Married: 5 Years, together 8
Divorced: December 13th, 2010
New Beginning: Piper/8-3-12
It will all be ok in the end. If it's not ok, it's not the end
Happily remarried to a wonderful man (Aussie). I think I found the right guy and the right finger this time.
I like the idea of allowing just one finger per hand.... that might work....
The other thing I'd recommend, but may be difficult to manage give your sitch, is therapy to do longer term anxiety management work. But that's longer term.
What helped me was always keeping my nails polished. I was much less likely to bite in that case.
Married 2.5 years
Reconciling after divorce
It's an anxiety disorder called dermatilomania (sp.)my nails look lovely but my cuticles are a mess. It's a vicious cycle, they are dry so I pick them, then they bleed and get scabby so I pick that too.
Cuticle oil with gloves at night, slather that stuff on and go to bed, after about a week everything should heal up.
You also need to find out what your triggers are, what are you thinking about when you start to chew?
It's all shits and giggles until someone giggles and shits.
I stopped by using good cuticle scissors every night and keeping then with me at all times. The smallest hangnail causes me to start picking, so I had to keep trimming away hangnails and extra skin. It took a long time to break the habit.
It took years for the skin to truly heal and my hands to look normal. Years.
I still pick when nervous or stressed.
I've never bitten my nails, so no advice.
Honestly, breaking this habit was harder than quitting smoking. Good luck.
I can believe that...even though I've never smoked.
She explained that it is a form of OCD, but is also considered self-mutilation.
I kind of went cold turkey and quit picking my blemishes and then set up rules to only pick at my thumb cuticles. My hands used to be really torn up so I restricted myself.
Awareness of the behavior and triggers helped a lot. I can feel my fingers gravitate to my thumbs when I start to feel anxiety or stress. A lot of that behavior is unconscious so paying attention to your feelings as it's happening can help break the cycle.
She explained that the picking is anxiety driven/boredom driven. So when dd is anxious, it helps to calm her down, when she is bored, it gives her "input". The goal is to keep her more "level" and not too high (anxious) and not too low (bored).
The first recommendation has been to put bandaids just on the thumbs, it prevents you from picking the other nails.
The second is to find something else she can hold that gives her the "stimulation" of picking. Sounds totally crazy, but she is obsessed with balloons filled with flour. You tube/Google it..they are strangely relaxing to just hold in your hand and fiddle with, a cheap "stress ball".
Then we use Cetaphil creme to help heal.
It is slowly working….
I find that the artificial nails help to heal everything up, because I can't get in there and pick, but I have been known to pick off the nails as well. My friend who's daughter did this as well as many other OCD issues took SSRI's and she stopped completely. Something to consider, but I don't want to be on a med for it. But hey there are times they are so sore, that it would probably be a smart option.