T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 37929
posted 04-07-2009 11:58 AM
Hi i have a small problem,
I bite the skin around my thumb nails quite a lot, sometimes to the point where it bleeds and is quite sore. It's a habit that i've had for quite some time now, 2 or 3 years at least, i've tried using plasters so i can't get to the skin and also that chemical stuff that makes it taste horrible, meant for people who bite their nails. I know this isnt sex related, but i was wondering if anyone could help. it would be much appreciated.
Member # 40442
posted 04-07-2009 09:03 PM
I was a nail biter for ages (like, oh, until age 28) and it's a super hard habit to break! Do you have a sense of what triggers you to bite at the skin? Some people might do it out of stress, anxiety, whatever. If you have a better idea of when your hands move toward your mouth you might be able to do a different behavior to replace that one. If you're used to putting something into your mouth you might be able to find flavored toothpicks or something along those lines to chew on instead of your fingers.
But I think a lot of what allows us to change habits we've had for a really long time is to figure out what it is that they do for us: what need is being fulfilled by doing it? Once we figure that out, we can start to be more conscious of what we're doing. What happened when you tried using plasters and that stuff that makes your nails/skin taste gross?
Member # 37929
posted 04-08-2009 07:22 AM
I can only use fabric plasters and they tend to get dirty quickly and dont stay on for very long.
and the nail biting stuff that tastes gross just didnt work at all because i just ignored the taste completely. I usually do it when im nervous/stressed/bored. I've tried just not doing it when i feel like that but i cant help it. I think it is an anxiety type thing, but i don't know why i do that and not something else, if you know what i mean.
Member # 41699
posted 04-19-2009 11:41 AM
amychaos, I have a similar problem -- I chew my nails, but am unaffected by any attempts to stop it, as you are with your biting. So far what's been most affective for me is wearing thin gloves most of the time -- but that can be pretty annoying (trying to open doors with wooly gloves on doesn't work), and it can get rather hot. It does mean I can't get to my nails, though, and if you wear them enough, you just adapt to not being able to chew at your hands, and thus you stop. I actually first used that as an attempt to stop myself from sucking my thumb as a child, and it worked! Still working on my nailbiting, though
CJT - I'm an insane nail biter, have been for as long as I remember, and my parents and boyfriend keep bugging me to stop, but I don't even realise when I DO do it. Plus I don't hate it enough to stop doing it -- not motivated enough, ya know. And you need a lot of will and motivation to stop a habit you've had for so long. I think it'd be easier for me if I had something else to do instead, and I've tried using pens, but I just end up ruining the pen (and that started a problem of my teeth being stained LOL), and I don't always have a pen on me. Tooth picks splinter in my mouth, which isn't fun, nail polish just flakes off because I ignore it and keep chewing, plasters get chewed through, and bad tasting stuff just doesn't phase my mouth. The habit doesn't bother me at all (except when it means I can't open pop cans or something) but I want to stop because everyone ELSE is bothered by it, and their nagging is just constant and annoying. I've tried to just NOT do it, but it's hard because half the time I don't even know I'm doing it -- and when I do, it's already too late and I just HAVE to get rid of that jaggedy nail. Nail files never work, as they end up ruining my nail and I have to go and fix it with my teeth anyway, nail clippers don't seem to work for me, as I really hate the feeling as they attempt to cut through my nail, and the edge of my nail is really sharp when cut with clippers or scissors. I think my main problem is that I do it whenever. Nothing really triggers me to chew my nails, though I do begin to chew them even more in situations of tension/nervousness/etc. But I mainly just do it, ya know? When I'm concentrating on something else and not paying attention to what I'm doing with my hands. So I don't KNOW what I'm replacing with nail-biting, I don't know what need is being fulfilled, and I don't know what other habit to replace the nail-biting with!
Member # 28780
posted 04-27-2009 04:49 PM
Ah, nail biting. I've been biting my nails and peeling the skin away just like you described, amychaos, for as long as I can remember and I still do it like crazy.
Like CJT was saying though, it's a really good idea to find out what triggers you to bite your nails/skin and find little fiddley things to do with your hands instead when the trigger happens. I always do it when I'm bored, stressed, or anxious. So I've started to try and start scribbling in a journal or notebook (not even words, like, literally scribbles) when the craving hits. It's really hard to ignore the urge though. One thing that really helps me though is when I realized how I was opening myself up to infection by having open wounds on my hands all the time. If you think about all the different stuff you touch during the day and how that stuff can end up in the wounds on your hands that was kind of a wake-up call for me. I'm also an art student, and one day I absentmindedly grabbed one of my photos out of the developer in the photo lab and some chemicals got into a fresh cut on my finger and I was like "YEEEOUCH!" But try flavored toothpicks, try sugar-free gum, try scribbling in a notebook like I do, try ripping up some paper (which is oddly satisfying), try bending some paper clips, taking a walk, listening to music, playing with a rubber band, calling a friend, etc etc. Don't put your fingers in photo developer though Good luck.