How many "nail biters" are on this Board?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by jaltair, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    Just curious about this. I'm terrible about biting my nails and clenching my jaw! It's like a really horrible habit. I've tried to stop so many times and have actually stopped biting my nails for long periods of time. Contrary to what I hear, I started biting my nails during middle childhood. I can remember when a nail-biting friend told me how much fun it was and I tried it. That's when I started. I am so ashamed of this habit; it's really difficult for me to write about it.

    Does anyone else have the nail biting habit or clenching habit? Has anyone been successful with stopping these habits? I did find something about causes of the habit, "Nail biting can be a sign of anxiety, chronic tension or uncontrollable compulsion." I know that I have a very compulsive personality and that's probably my problem with this habit. Any suggestions? HELP please!

    I'm going to bed now (10:15 PM), and I'd appreciate having this bumped for responses. Thank you.
  2. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    I was a chronic nailbiter until after my daughter was born, so until age 33. I wish I could tell you what made me stop, I know I had tried the nasty tasting stuff you can paint on & it makes you not bite---but it didn't deter me!

    I remember going for job interviews and trying to almost hide my hands so no one would see them.

    I think that nailbiting can in some cases be "anxiety, chronic tension, or uncontrollable compulsion", but I don't believe that's true for everyone. If that were the case, I (and everyone else who's quit nail-biting) would have quickly replaced it with some other compulsion for relieving anxiety. I really believe that a lot of nailbiting is simply a habit that becomes so much a part of daily routine that it's almost impossible to break.

    I did stop, it's been 16 years now, and I just wish I could remember exactly HOW...I just know that the products on the market like the nasty goo didn't work for me. Maybe after my daughter was born I became more focused on her than on my habit, I really don't know....

    I didn't do this, but I know others who've had great success with hypnosis, for smoking sessation. Now of course, that's also a physical addiction, but years of nailbiting can SEEM like a physical addiction.

    I sympathize, Jaltair, as one who's been thru it, I'm sorry I'm not more help, but I wish you luck with finding some way that works to stop it.

  3. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

    I have to confess I am a nail-biter and have been from my teenage years! I have stopped for short periods of time, but always took it back up again. I usually bite my nails in the car on the way to work. So I guess it could be due to anxiety!

    I finally gave up quitting and decided that it was such an ingrained habit, that must give me some type of relief, that I don't worry about it anymore. It probably helps that I have a profession where long fingernails are a no-no. When I go to weddings or special events, I put on Lee nails with the polish already on them.

    I have no suggestions on how to quit. I have just given up and accepted it as a part of me. So, know that you are not alone in this!

    Take care, Sally
  4. JPach007

    JPach007 New Member

    I have always been a nail biter, and I bite my cuticles now too. I'm not sure when I started that wonderful habit! I tried "gel nails" and acrylic nails and would chew them as they started to grow out right before I would need a fill. So now I have gone back to just biting my nails and cuticles!
  5. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    doxygirl, I've had acrylic as well an enjoyed them until I developed problems with the beds due to the prep that required. Now I have permanent "lumps" under the nails. I doubt that acrylic would be able to adhere any longer. Taking off the acrylics was torture!

    pam_d, thanks Pam for the feedback. Perhaps the hormonal changes made a difference (?) after your daughter was born. I agree that it's probably a "habit" for most people (a bad one). It does seem like a physical addiction, as a matter of fact, I was able to give up smoking over 10 years ago - still can't give up biting the nails!

    matthewson - Hi Sally, seems like I bite my nails when I'm away from others. I never bite during work. I think I just don't want people to see me. I've bought nail care products and keep my nails filed down, really short, and buffed. I know people see my very short nails and that they realize that I bite them. Like you, I'm in a profession where long nails are also a "no no." Does help.

    jpach007 - I've also bitten my cuticles. Usually, only when I get a snag. Never bit the acrylics when I had them . . however, the nails always found my mouth when I watched movies, etc!

    Stormyskye - The idea of germs also really grosses me out. Especially when I see people use the public restrooms and then not wash. I won't even touch a doorknob after I've washed in a public restroom, I use a paper towel. I carry an alcohol hand sanitizer to clean my hands when I'm away from home. I've found that I really don't bite them when I'm away from home except in the movies. Mostly I bite in the evening while relaxing, etc. Also when I read. I won't bite my nails unless I've really washed my hands! Imagine that!!


    I guess there are no easy answers to stopping the misery of nail biting. Willpower? Seeing a manicurist about something other than acrylic and getting very short nails of some type? What I'm trying to do is just be more aware of the fact that I have a problem. However, the more aware I am, the more the whole thing bothers me.

    Anyone else have suggestions? Thank you all for the feedback. I appreciate it, plus it's good to know that I'm "not alone" in this!

    Warm wishes, Jeannette

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