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Nail biting

(6 Posts)
MyBrilliantCareer Fri 17-Dec-10 21:25:23

I'm a nail biter. Not just the nails, but the skin around them until they bleed, and then some. I've tried the nasty tasting stuff, plasters around my fingers, fake nails (which worked mainly because they were too thick to be able to do any decent picking, but I don't want to keep fake nails), and everything else I could think of.

I even sometimes get scissors out to pick more. I've been humiliated often enough with them bleeding everywhere (including on the piano keys when I was studying music blush), which obviously is humiliating, but not enough to make me stop.

I think it's a nervous thing. Any tips on how to deal with this?

PlentyOfParsnips Fri 17-Dec-10 21:32:02

I used to bite mine really badly but not as bad as this sounds. I think CBT is supposed to be quite good for things like this.

What I found helped was

1) Really bad hyperemesis

2) stopping biting one nail at a time and putting all the nervous energy into nail care instead. As soon as you get a slightly ragged edge, file it smooth or you'll start picking at it again. It's a slow process though - they'll probably be weak for a year or two but my nails are now beautiful and strong.

MyBrilliantCareer Fri 17-Dec-10 21:38:04

What's hyperemesis?

I'm sitting here now chewing the skin at the first joint on several fingers blush

But I'll try leaving one alone at a time.

PlentyOfParsnips Sat 18-Dec-10 08:06:46

it's like extreme morning sickness that lasts all day.

I just reread your post and I think you should go to the GP with this - ask about CBT. It's usually just a few sessions but it helps lots of people control unwanted behaviours. Your poor hands must be so painful and could easily get infected.

Guacamohohohole Sat 18-Dec-10 08:21:20

Because you bite your nails and fingers to this extreme level I think you should see your GP, if you explain to him/her how much distress and pain it is causing and that you've tried everything maybe they can refer you for some help.
Do you know you're doing it? (if that makes sense)

MyBrilliantCareer Sat 18-Dec-10 09:18:37

Thanks. Have never thought about seeing the GP about it.

I think I'm doing it as a kind of release. I think it helps me feel connected somehow. I do it worst when I'm stressed, even though I can't see what I'm stressed about (ie am on holidays, work is pleased with me, not arguing with anybody - nothing obvious to stress about).

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