Why Does Compulsive Nail Biting Occur?
Compulsive nail biting is most often a habit that you are completely unaware of while you are doing it. You see the results, of course, in your damaged nails and embarrassment at the way your hands look, but you have no awareness of when you are actually biting your nails. It is not enough, then, to try to get rid of compulsive nail biting by using will power or other “tricks” to stop the habit.
Some of the symptoms of and signs of compulsive nail biting include:
- Cuticles that bleed
- Sore, red finger tips
- Frequent infections in the mouth and fingernails
- Deformed and misshapen nails
- Dental problems affecting the teeth and gums
Even more damaging than the physical impact of compulsive nail biting is the emotional impact is has on your life. It is common to have strong feelings of guilt or shame about the habit, even though it is an unconscious behaviour that can affect anyone at any age. Compulsive nail biting is based in an automatic thought pattern that you learned at some point in your life, so if you want to eliminate this problem then you have to eliminate the faulty thought pattern.
You have to re-train your mind with a different thought pattern, one that is positive and constructive, and make it part of your deep inner resources. Once it becomes an automatic part of your unconscious mind, the old behaviour disappears the new, more desirable behaviour takes over.