This behaviour is also known as Onychophagia or pathological grooming. It is a chronic condition that can be repetitive and compulsive in nature as with trichotillomania (hair pulling) or dermatillomania or excoriation disorder. It affects both children and adults alike.
The underlying emotions are usually include fear, insecurity, uncertainty, etc. Unlike physical reactions, like a pounding heart or hyperventilating, which can result in the fight-or-flight response, nail biting is a way of “releasing” stress and anxiety because it can may feel as though it is creating a “soothing” effect for the person. This habit can give someone something to do, so to speak. Boredom and frustration can also contribute, a feeling of “doing something” rather than “nothing”. Often there is a connection to a perfectionist personality. Behaviours of this type can interrupt a person’s day-to-day activities and personal interactions, most of all their self-esteem.
Other situations which the nail biter may have include –
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Oppositional defiant disorder (when an individual is defiant and disobedient towards people of authority)
Separation anxiety disorder
Some studies indicate that if someone is a nail biter they have more than likely taken that on by genetics rather than observation.
Physical and psychological side effects of nail biting include:
Damage to the cuticle and surrounding skin; redness and pain
Possible bacterial infection in your nail beds and mouth
Psychological issues with self-esteem, shame, depression
Problems with relationships
Long-term, habitual nail biting can disrupt normal nail growth and result in deformed nails. In some cases, extreme nail biting down is down to the nub.
Some home remedies may be of benefit. Even though they are of course all natural there are some aspects to be mindful of, please read carefully –
Aloe vera gel – as it has a very bitter taste. Please connect with this link https://youtu.be/4CFme7Y9YmU as it shows the way to process and use the “safe” part of the aloe vera plant. No responsibility is accepted for the reader’s preparation/use of the plant. If uncertain, suggest purchasing from a Health Food store or similar supplier.
Bitter aloes – painted on the nails
Pepper – once again this is to be used with caution in case it comes in contact with eyes.
Garlic – unless of course the person likes the taste or smell or garlic, otherwise this could be counter-productive.
Bach/Australian Bush Flower Remedies/Homeopathics –
The concept of underlying emotions such as fear, overwhelm, frustration, over-thinking, etc and so many more create behaviour patterns. A subconscious reoccurring habit which has the illusion of “relief”, “soothing”, “resolve”. In the moment there may be some distraction to what the subconscious is processing. Such situations such as nail-biting, hair-pulling, etc are very challenging of course for the person experiencing this and can be a form of self-sabotage, self-harm, self-punishment.
Natural Therapies, in particular Bach/Australian Bush Flower Remedies/Homeopathics/Past Life Regression can open opportunities for transforming these self-destructive concepts in to empowerment. Please click here to learn more.
Amazing Australian Bush Flower Remedies such as Bauhinia (openness to change, interestingly on a physical level assists with hair, skin and nails), Hibbertia (helps those who have high expectations of themselves/”perfectionism”) and many more. Taken in the form of drops under the tongue or applied topically to a pulse point eg. wrist.
If this is something you would love to clear, feel welcome to organise a Free 20mins Introductory Consultation today so we can discuss how the beautiful Modalities I am privileged to work with can help transform how you feel “inside and out”.
My contact is either phone by phone/sms on 0413 933 814 or email – email@example.com.
As always for those under the care of conventional or complementary Practitioners, any changes, etc are to be under supervision.
Grateful as always of your time and energy.
Namaste Chris x