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(NPR)   Is nail biting a bad habit, or is it a mental disorder?   (npr.org) divider line 156
    More: Interesting, Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, hair pulling, DSM, American Psychiatric Association, habits  
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9614 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Oct 2012 at 11:29 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-01 12:11:20 PM  

david_gaithersburg: Fark has taught me that there no longer are any mental disorders, instead we should accept that people were born this way. Not only should these people have special rights we should also force out children to be like them.


I am so outraged by this post. Outraged indeed. You are bad man. Bad person. My outrage is growing by the minute.

/outrage
 
2012-10-01 12:13:54 PM  
No
 
2012-10-01 12:17:43 PM  

Karmacidal: My mother has photos of me as a toddler chewing my TOE nails.


Hahahaha!

On a side note, my sisters dog bites his nails... but he is a completely neurotic pup.
 
2012-10-01 12:18:22 PM  
It's probably both. Every serious nail-biter I have ever met was OCD or clinically anxious/depressed in some manner.

The upside? All of those germs ingested probably build immunity.
 
2012-10-01 12:21:09 PM  
I used to bite my nails like crazy ever since I was a kid. About two years ago I got sick and tired of it and just decided to stop. Haven't done it but maybe a handful ('natch!) of times since. I have no idea how or why I managed to shut it off that easily, but there you go.
 
2012-10-01 12:23:04 PM  

super_grass: It IS a mental disorder, and wil WILL make a pill for it.

/Ask your doctor if Nailbitinol is right for you.


Wheaton? Really?

/wow, that farkin guy does everything!
 
2012-10-01 12:23:06 PM  
Yes, it's a mental disorder. So is being shy. Or outgoing. Or choosing bachelorhood over family life. Or talking too loud, believing in God, preferring one race or gender over another in some aspect of daily life, or habitually tapping one's toes.

To put it simply, there are no normal people.
 
2012-10-01 12:25:03 PM  

The Wizard of Frobozz: jaylectricity: I'll bite my nails if they get really long, but it's never been a nervous habit, and only on accident have I ever bit off more than I could chew.

Kinda the same here. I bite my nails because I'm too lazy to use the nail clippers. I only bite them when they get long enough to impede typing, musical instrument playing, or fingering my wife.

Sorry if that last one was TMI.


I bite my nails and finger your wife, so I'm really getting a kick...
 
2012-10-01 12:25:50 PM  
1.bp.blogspot.com
Cure you of that problem.
 
2012-10-01 12:26:23 PM  
for all y'all that quit, I just bit all of my nails twice...and a couple cuticles.
 
2012-10-01 12:26:55 PM  

spacelord321: JackieRabbit: When I read this BS, I almost laughed. Nail biting is not a form of OCD; it's a mindless habit and nothing more. I used to bite my nails. I did it for decades. I wanted to stop, so I asked a gay friend, who used to bite his nails (and other things, too!) how he had beaten the habit. He said to simple start getting manicures and I'd stop on either the first or second one. He was correct. It was that simple.

Yeah...but now you're gay.

/I keed!
//good friend of mine is a nailbiter
///definately OCD related in her case


It's only gay if you get the manicure//manscaping/blow job package special from Sven, Lance or Steve. Actually, I don't get a manicure very often, since I don't want to be bothered. Once upon a time, most barber shops had a manicurist, but not any more.
 
2012-10-01 12:26:57 PM  

cgraves67: I do all the the neurotic behaviors described in the article. I bite my nails, I pull hair, and I pick at my skin. It's really not healthy. I can't grow a beard because if I do, then I can't help but fuss at it and pull loose hairs and then it gets all thin and ugly. I have pock marks all over my face because I couldn't help but pick at my acne when I was young.


My son does all this too, the leftover from being raised by a complete psycho who did even worse things (no not me). Yes, my son is neurotic, although he's getting better. But his father not only bit his fingernails, he'd get a razor blade and cut all his cuticles off, cut his callouses off. He picked at his hair, pulled the hair on his arms out, picked and scabs and blemishes until they bled, pulled his eyelbrows out. He wasn't even aware that he did this stuff; he'd go into some sort of zombie state where he wasn't even aware of his surroundings, but still he'd twirl his hair, pick, pick pick at something, get out his razor blade.....and then if you go just a little further, you get into "cutter" territory, and you know that just isn't right.

So if you do these sorts of things, something's wrong. I gradually stopped biting my fingernails, stopped all that shiat, as I got my life together (when I left the psycho, that is.) My kid is gradually stopping his fingernail-chewing and picking at at his skin. But if I run into someone who has those awful, ragged, chewed-off ends of their fingers, I still think, Beware. Because I've never met anyone who did that who wasn't a hot mental mess.
 
2012-10-01 12:27:45 PM  

JackieRabbit: When I read this BS, I almost laughed. Nail biting is not a form of OCD; it's a mindless habit and nothing more. I used to bite my nails. I did it for decades. I wanted to stop, so I asked a gay friend, who used to bite his nails (and other things, too!) how he had beaten the habit. He said to simple start getting manicures and I'd stop on either the first or second one. He was correct. It was that simple.


I think for some it IS OCD. I have various habits that I seem to rotate. Nail biting. Playing with my hair. Pulling my eyelashes. Scratching my ears. It's one of the reasons I don't wear makeup. It'd be yet another thing to pick at. I assume it's all due to my personality. For others, I suspect it's much easier to quit.
 
2012-10-01 12:29:07 PM  

cryinoutloud: So if you do these sorts of things, something's wrong. I gradually stopped biting my fingernails, stopped all that shiat, as I got my life together (when I left the psycho, that is.) My kid is gradually stopping his fingernail-chewing and picking at at his skin. But if I run into someone who has those awful, ragged, chewed-off ends of their fingers, I still think, Beware. Because I've never met anyone who did that who wasn't a hot mental mess.


I think this is mostly true. I think some people are naturally more stressed than others. And then... I think some people are a hot mental mess. So yeah. :)
 
2012-10-01 12:30:20 PM  
So, uh, when do I go down to Uncle Sucker and see how much he's going to pay me for my incurable disease? Maybe it'll be enough for me to quit working so I don't afflict others with my disability. But, if it's only enough so that I can afford a new pair of latex gloves every day, that will be fine. Because I will then spend that on booze and hookers. 'Cause everyone knows that when you are drunk and slobbering over strange wimmen, you are 50% less likely to chew your finger nails.
 
2012-10-01 12:32:27 PM  

Sentient: To put it simply, there are no normal people.


They'll eventually make a drug for that too.
 
2012-10-01 12:32:58 PM  

bborchar: I also twig my hair.


What does "twig hair" mean? you twist it, pull it out, chew on it?

Hermione_Granger: anybody got the ear scratching one? I have that effing bad.


How do you "scratch your ears"? Scratch them inside the hole, inside the shell, behind the ear with a hind leg?
 
2012-10-01 12:33:32 PM  
I bite my nails precisely and trimly, in private, about once every 2-3 weeks because I absolutely cannot stand the feeling of nail clippers on my fingernails. I've been like that ever since I was about 12 or so, and very rarely does anyone ever comment on the appearance of my fingernails. I've got it down to a science.
 
2012-10-01 12:33:57 PM  
I've always wanted to be a mental mess. My art finally as some legitimacy.

/I can't sit still
//but what is the doctor gonna say? take this prescription drug. f*ck that.
 
2012-10-01 12:34:11 PM  
I bit my nails for years, starting as a kid up til about 7 or 8 years ago...and I would chew until they bled...chewed the skin and cuticles too...hated how my hands looked, so I made a New Years resolution to stop and I did....for about 5 years, then started up again...dammit!

/I don't think it's an OCD thing, but yeah, I do have some "issues" that have never been fully resolved, so maybe there's something to it?
 
2012-10-01 12:35:11 PM  
I have OCD and I bite my nails so...I guess I am getting a kick out of this?

/I'm getting better
//I have nails now mostly
///OCD getting worse
 
2012-10-01 12:38:04 PM  

Pocket Ninja: nihilestnefaspermeism


This is already indexed on Google and links back to your comment.

O_O
 
2012-10-01 12:38:13 PM  
Eventually every damn human behavior will be a symptom of some disease or another.

The problem is, even if the DSM has strict diagnostic requirements (for example, biting your nails isn't enough - it has to be obsessive and result in damage or something), that won't stop a commerical at every break on TV from saying "do you bite your nails? You might suffer from chronic nail-biting disorder. Ask your physician about Bite No More" or whatever.

Mental illnesses are real, but so is GlaxoSmithKline's profit motive.
 
2012-10-01 12:39:09 PM  

cryinoutloud: Yes, my son is neurotic, although he's getting better. But his father not only...etc etc



Out of all the guys you could have picked to breed with, you chose that?
 
2012-10-01 12:40:12 PM  
I used to bite my nails when I was a teenager, then one day they tasted bad and I was like "What could that taste be? Think of all the gross stuff that could be beneath your fingernails. Your poop, gross stuff from other people, etc." I immediately stopped and haven't done it since. Gross habit.
 
2012-10-01 12:41:37 PM  
I've always done it and it brings some kind of great internal satisfaction. I tried to quit a couple of times but I found I really hated feeling the ends of the nails being longer than 'bit back to within an inch of their life'. But they certainly would look nicer if they were trimmed short with clippers. It's amazingly hard to quit, and now I have some sympathy for people trying to quit smoking, drugs, soda, fast food or whatever your addiction is.

I don't have any other OCD patterns that I'm aware of, other than a weird paranoid brain block about whether or not I closed the garage door so I end up driving around the block most mornings to check again on my way out. People are funky!

--M
 
2012-10-01 12:43:24 PM  

rocketpants: Pocket Ninja: nihilestnefaspermeism

This is already indexed on Google and links back to your comment.

O_O


yeah, obviously a made up word, which I am guessing references killing sperm via bunk sessions, amirite?
 
2012-10-01 12:43:33 PM  

Walker: I used to bite my nails when I was a teenager, then one day they tasted bad and I was like "What could that taste be? Think of all the gross stuff that could be beneath your fingernails. Your poop, gross stuff from other people, etc." I immediately stopped and haven't done it since. Gross habit.


Your poop? Just how close are you getting your fingers to your poop hole when you wipe? I like to get a huge hand full of toilet paper so my fingers are at least 6 inches away from the business end when I wipe. So what if I have to buy toilet paper every two days?
 
2012-10-01 12:46:06 PM  

WeenerGord: cryinoutloud: Yes, my son is neurotic, although he's getting better. But his father not only...etc etc
Out of all the guys you could have picked to breed with, you chose that?


I paid for it, and I paid dearly. I also learned from my mistakes and fixed my own head. So there is nothing to do now but move on. How about you?

www.luceperformancegroup.com
 
2012-10-01 12:46:19 PM  

Cythraul: Walker: I used to bite my nails when I was a teenager, then one day they tasted bad and I was like "What could that taste be? Think of all the gross stuff that could be beneath your fingernails. Your poop, gross stuff from other people, etc." I immediately stopped and haven't done it since. Gross habit.

Your poop? Just how close are you getting your fingers to your poop hole when you wipe? I like to get a huge hand full of toilet paper so my fingers are at least 6 inches away from the business end when I wipe. So what if I have to buy toilet paper every two days?



You can buy latex gloves by the hundreds to use on your hand when you wipe. then you only have to worry about the asbestos in the talcum on the gloves
 
2012-10-01 12:46:38 PM  

rocketpants: Pocket Ninja: nihilestnefaspermeism

This is already indexed on Google and links back to your comment.

O_O


Wow, that wasn't the case when I googled it earlier this morning. Must have been enough queries for Google to go a lookin' for it.
 
2012-10-01 12:47:11 PM  
When more than 50% of the population is diagnosed with OCD, is it still a disorder? Or is it normal? And all the normal people are then diagnosed as having a mental illness of non-OCD.
 
2012-10-01 12:47:31 PM  

Cythraul: Walker: I used to bite my nails when I was a teenager, then one day they tasted bad and I was like "What could that taste be? Think of all the gross stuff that could be beneath your fingernails. Your poop, gross stuff from other people, etc." I immediately stopped and haven't done it since. Gross habit.

Your poop? Just how close are you getting your fingers to your poop hole when you wipe? I like to get a huge hand full of toilet paper so my fingers are at least 6 inches away from the business end when I wipe. So what if I have to buy toilet paper every two days?


If fold it correctly, you only need one piece. The tough part is keeping the corners sharp, for the detail work.
 
2012-10-01 12:50:43 PM  
When I took Welbutrin, I stopped biting my nails.
 
2012-10-01 12:51:20 PM  
Nail biting is definitely one of those awkwardly rewarding behaviors. Definitely triggers some sense of accomplishment in your brain..followed by horror and shame at how your fingers look. OCD is not really a big thing for me, I don't worry or obsess about much: I am clinically depressed and diagnosed by a doctor, not the internet. I take a low amount of Celexa for the depression that broke me in my 20's, which seems to have fixed those things, but nothing has ever broken the fingernail biting. I may try getting a manicure and see if that can somehow break my habit, nothing else has worked so nothing wrong with trying I guess.
 
2012-10-01 12:51:49 PM  
Just let me know when I can start collecting my government check for it?

// Used to bite nails constantly
/// Stopped to see if I could
//// Started six months later when I decided the Pros > the Cons.
 
2012-10-01 12:52:58 PM  
I bit my nails for years, as long as I can remember. I would bite them as far down as I could.

Finally managed to curtail the biting a few years ago. I bit only my thumbs, then eventually stopped biting. I still bite them to trim them (I have an innate fear of clipping my nails - an irrational fear of having them accidentally ripped off).

One of the neatest things I got out of it was the feeling of my nails being longer than my fingertips. And being able to actually use my fingernails. Scratching is cool!!

I still bite them whenever I am bored, which happens a lot. But I have learned not to bite them down as low as I had in the past. I always leave a little white at the end of the nail.
 
2012-10-01 12:54:26 PM  
Why don't all the nailbiters post images of their nail bitten fingers?

And their twigged hair and ear scratching behaviors. I still don't know what they mean by those last two.
 
2012-10-01 12:54:46 PM  
24.media.tumblr.com
If you keep eating your hand, you won't be hungry for lunch.
 
2012-10-01 12:55:10 PM  
Come in with the milk.

Come in with the milk.

Come in with the milk.

Come in with the milk.

Come in with the milk.

Come in with the milk.

Come in with the milk.

Come in with the milk.

Come in with the milk.
 
2012-10-01 12:55:37 PM  

Mitch Taylor's Bro: I bite my nails and finger your wife, so I'm really getting a kick...


As you (and I'm sure most farkers) know...she hates the long nails when getting fingered.
 
2012-10-01 12:55:51 PM  

halotosis: JackieRabbit: When I read this BS, I almost laughed. Nail biting is not a form of OCD; it's a mindless habit and nothing more. I used to bite my nails. I did it for decades. I wanted to stop, so I asked a gay friend, who used to bite his nails (and other things, too!) how he had beaten the habit. He said to simple start getting manicures and I'd stop on either the first or second one. He was correct. It was that simple.

Yeah, that's kind of along my line of thinking. Nail biting is a natural way of trimming your nails down. Nail trimmers do not exist in the wilderness. For farks sake, my cats chew on their claws all day long to keep them short.


I can only assume they mean compulsive nail biting, the kind where people chew their fingernails right down to the quick, like meth heads only without the fun of getting high first. OCDers will often wash their hands till they bleed, so I can see OCD nail-biting as being potentially harmful.

Ordinary nail-biters are just annoying.
 
2012-10-01 12:57:27 PM  

brainitch: karmaceutical
Is this in the same spectrum as deep butt scratching?

If you are doing this, please wash your hands before biting your nails!


No no... I don't bite my nails. That is gross.
 
2012-10-01 12:57:28 PM  
I keep my nails bitten down to the quick so I can dig deep into my nose without any damage.
 
2012-10-01 12:57:55 PM  

Aidan: JackieRabbit: When I read this BS, I almost laughed. Nail biting is not a form of OCD; it's a mindless habit and nothing more. I used to bite my nails. I did it for decades. I wanted to stop, so I asked a gay friend, who used to bite his nails (and other things, too!) how he had beaten the habit. He said to simple start getting manicures and I'd stop on either the first or second one. He was correct. It was that simple.

I think for some it IS OCD. I have various habits that I seem to rotate. Nail biting. Playing with my hair. Pulling my eyelashes. Scratching my ears. It's one of the reasons I don't wear makeup. It'd be yet another thing to pick at. I assume it's all due to my personality. For others, I suspect it's much easier to quit.


You are describing neurotic behaviors, but none of them are OCD. OCD by definition is repetitious, ritualistic, conscious behaviors, which if not performed cause distress. I'd be willing to bet that when you do the things you do, you don't even realizing you are doing them most of the time. Pulling of the eyelashes (trichotillomania) is a compulsive behavior, but it does not rise to the standard of OCD, since an OCD victim would also have another element such as there has to be an exact number of lashes or that the lashes have to be plucked at a certain time of day, without fail.
 
2012-10-01 12:59:37 PM  
When I was maybe 6 my mother bought some advertised fluid to paint on my nails to stop nail biting (I don't think I was a bad case but more a victim of advertising).

Anyway it had hot pepper essence in it which was supposed to keep me from sticking my fingers in my mouth. Instead it made me like spicy food.
 
2012-10-01 12:59:47 PM  

JackieRabbit: such as there has to be an exact number of lashes or that the lashes have to be plucked at a certain time of day, without fail.



Time for Wapner
 
2012-10-01 01:00:35 PM  

cgraves67: I do all the the neurotic behaviors described in the article. I bite my nails, I pull hair, and I pick at my skin. It's really not healthy. I can't grow a beard because if I do, then I can't help but fuss at it and pull loose hairs and then it gets all thin and ugly. I have pock marks all over my face because I couldn't help but pick at my acne when I was young.


I'm right there with you. Everything you said applies to me too. I'm 24 and I've yet to break the habits.
 
2012-10-01 01:01:00 PM  
I have a friend that is addicted to chapstick; probably 20 - 30 times per day. I wonder if it is a bad habit or mental disorder? Seems like it could be both fear based and rewarding.
 
2012-10-01 01:02:05 PM  

otto the bull: I keep my nails bitten down to the quick so I can dig deep into my nose without any damage.


How do you get the boogers out without a nail to 'shovel' with?
 
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