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My 7 year old ds keeps pulling his nails off

(7 Posts)
Peaceflower Tue 18-May-10 21:20:21

He's been pulling his nails for around 2 years. His fingernails are short but plus, but recently his toe nails have been pulled so much they bleed. I've repeatedly tried to stop him (dire warnings/bribes etc) but he says he feels compelled to do it.

He keeps pulling even though it hurts and he cries. What can I do to stop this?

Latootle Wed 19-May-10 23:45:17

you must get help there is obviously something bothering him deeply.

RedTartanLass Wed 19-May-10 23:52:43

peaceflower didn't want to pass without posting although have nothing helpful to add to latootle's post. Hopefully someone else may be able to offer up some advice, sounds distressing for you both.

Peaceflower Thu 20-May-10 06:52:50

Thank you for replying, I was beginning to give up on anyone replying.

I have decided to make an appointment with this GP as I think this is probably OCD. His sister is being assessed for ASD and I think this OCD is one of many pointers that he may need assessment too.

tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 20-May-10 07:02:41

Yeah, it's a compulsion, and it probably won't respond to bribes or punishment or anything. I have tricotillamania which is a hair pulling disorder, and I also bite and pick at my nails till they bleed, and have done since I was very young.

I wear false nails now, which I loathe doing but it's the only way I've found to stop the behaviour. Obviously that's not a solution for your son, I just wanted to agree that it's something that's worth checking out medically. It also doesn't necessarily mean that there's an underlying SN issue; I'm NT except for the tric.

good luck.

Latootle Thu 20-May-10 17:16:26

good luck peaceflower. when one's child is hurting themself it is so painful for a parent, but it never ceases to amaze me what bothers a child so dont worry it may be something quite silly that is easily over come.

Peaceflower Thu 20-May-10 22:08:03

Thank you both. My ds knows it's not right to pick at his nails and we have agreed to put a plaster on one finger and one toe every night to remind him not to pick. So far so good. He tells me he misses picking as he enjoys peeling off thelayers of nails and looking at them against light! I promised to try to come up with something he can peel and look at it against the light........

So far can only think of sticky tape on a nonstick surface!!!

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