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Addictive Behaviours Discuss and receive support for addictions not related to substance use, such as gambling, Internet, sex or work addictions, in this forum.

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Picking my nails - April 19th 2014, 06:57 PM

I don't bite my nails but I pick them a lot. I do it when I'm bored or anxious mostly. It can get to the point where they start bleeding. My nails always look awful because of it too. I need to stop doing it >.> I've done it since I was a kid so it will be hard to stop myself. Can anyone else relate? What can I do to stop myself?


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Re: Picking my nails - April 19th 2014, 08:05 PM

Hey there!
I can relate a lot! I did this as a kid and only stopped because I started bleeding a lot once and it scared me. My toe nearly got an infection. I would think this is similar to my skin picking/lip peeling problem and also some people might consider this SH. I would say to take a look at the alternatives list. Also having something such as a stress ball or play dough to keep your hands busy can help.
   
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Re: Picking my nails - April 19th 2014, 08:19 PM

Aah, yepyep, I can definitely relate to that! I don't bite mine either, but picking them, oh yes. I noticed that if I have nail polish on, I don't pick as much until all of the polish has chipped off considerably, because I don't want to waste the polish by just picking it all off. I also agree with Susan about maybe trying to find things to do with your hands, so if you notice yourself starting to pick your nails you can switch to that, or even asking someone to politely tell you if you're picking so you can find something else to do.


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Re: Picking my nails - April 19th 2014, 08:20 PM

Hey.
My sister too used to bite her nails.Its common in many people these days.But now as she grew up,she doesnt do it.You must try harder not to do it.
   
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Re: Picking my nails - April 19th 2014, 09:32 PM

I pick skin too. I get dry lips and pick the skin off them, they sometimes bleed too. I did have a plan of wearing fake nails so I wouldn't be able to pick my real ones but they fall off easily

LOL I managed to break a stress ball before :')


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Re: Picking my nails - April 19th 2014, 09:34 PM

That addiction of yours is quite strange but I do hope that you'll be able to manage it and deal with so you can give no further damages to your nails. Do something that could divert your attention when you feel bored.
   
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Re: Picking my nails - April 19th 2014, 09:48 PM

Hey there!

Biting ones nails and/or lips can be a nervous thing caused by stress. Sometimes it becomes an impulse where you just do it without thought. I have a few suggestions and idea's that might help.

Biting/picking nails/lips:
  • Wearing gloves can help you from biting your nail and/or picking them.
    This helps because a) You don't have a direct contact from your hands/teeth to access b) There is a barrier there which stops you c) a lot of mothers put mittens on their babies to prevent possible scratching where the baby isn't aware of.
  • There are many old tales about putting things on your nails to prevent the biting due to the taste. Some really don't work.
  • Biting your lips you can try to keep them from peeling by applying lip-chap to them to keep them well moist.
  • By finding a lotion for your skin this can prevent the peeling of your skin and this allows you to not pick dead skin because it has been moisturized.
Some of these may or not help. Sometimes, knowing we are nervous about and identifying what that is can help us to understand what triggers us to bite our nail and lips. In stressful situations this can also happen.




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Re: Picking my nails - April 20th 2014, 12:11 AM

I bite my nails like crazy, so much so I barely have any left
   
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Re: Picking my nails - April 20th 2014, 11:03 PM

I used to bite and pick my nails a lot. I painted them in different colours, depending on my mood and instead of picking on my nails, I picked off the nail polish and then I was always really bussy to get the colour out from under my nails^^ That really really helped my stopp it and now that i got out of the habbit I don't even need the nail polish anymore.
What also helps, is keeping your nails really short and clean, so it's easier not to start picking on them. (I always made the excuse that the nail is damaged and I just want to get the damaged part of, before it gets worse^^)


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Re: Picking my nails - April 22nd 2014, 12:31 AM

I don't bite either and I pick at my nails/cuticle too. not so bad anymore because hair pulling got worse. but both were pretty bad as a kid. I have like, permanent hangnails on several fingers and the nail beds on a few digits are completely destroyed and open. You can't really tell with the nail beds, but they always burn if I put anything on my hands... alcohol, acetone, some lotions... My left thumb bed has something that looks like a dried up gash. I have no clue on how to stop. Its a nervous habit.
   
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Re: Picking my nails - April 22nd 2014, 09:35 AM

Hi there. I can relate to you - I pick my nails, skin, lips, you name it.

One thing that could help you is to identify your triggers. Does something specific happen before/when you find yourself picking at your nails or skin or lips? Is it just a nervous habit? Does the fact that they are there to pick cause you to pick more? Is there a certain time of day that you do it?

Once you identify why you do it, or if there's a certain time that you're more likely to do it, you'll be better equipped to fight the urge. If you do it because the opportunity is there, try keeping your lips and skin moisturized. Keep lip balm around you and use it often, and the same with lotion. Try painting your nails, or cutting them short (not too short, of course). If there's some kind of stressor that increases your urge to pick, try to eliminate or manage it. Also, find something for your hands to always play with. Tangles (tangle creations) are good options, as well as porcupine balls, and those squishy toys with all the strings attached. There are a lot of fiddles out there, and they're actually quite fun to look for. If you do it more at a certain time of day, pay more attention to not doing it it then. Get somebody else involved, and have them tell you and stop you if they see you doing it.

If you injure yourself while picking, make sure to clean it and put on a bandage. You wouldn't want to get an infection!

Good luck!


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Re: Picking my nails - April 23rd 2014, 11:30 AM

Hey there,

What helps me is painting my nails in pretty colours or doing nail art so that they look good and then I don't bite them. You can also try to get one of those nail polished that smell bad/give nails a bad taste if bitten. For lips you can try and use lipsticks of colours you like.

You can also keep incentives for yourself, for example, you can't watch your favourite tv show if you've bitten your nails during the day.

Let your friends and family know that you are trying to stop and ask them to point out if you are picking your nails.

When you feel like picking your nails you can use your hands somewhere else like scribbling/doodling or drawing.

Good luck!



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