Many of us have a bad habit or two or maybe more. The bad habits can be something silly like biting your nails up to something major that could be life threatening. But bad habits are just that bad in some way. Some bad habits we do somewhat unconsciously at times. Some bad habits are done as more of a coping mechanism.
I admit I have had a few bad habits in my life and still do have a couple. One of my bad habits that I broke is biting my finger nails. This bad habit honestly is kind of gross. If we look at the amount of things we touch every day and all day long then to put our fingers in our mouths and bite the nails. Nail biting even has a medical name of Onychophagia and is seen as a way of dealing with things such as anxiety, ODD, and ADHD. Nail biting is actually in the DSM-5 which is crazy to me to think that something I had done most of my life could be considered a destructive behavior that can belong in a book many people have no idea about.
I honestly only broke this bad habit over the last few years and I still do have to watch it so I don’t start biting them when I get a chip or tear in one of my nails.I still catch myself putting my nails in my mouth and biting at those nails. I use to get acrylic nails every 2 – 3 weeks just to keep me from biting my nails. When I would bite my nails I used the excuse that I have weak nails and when they chip I just have to bite them to get the snag out of them.
I never use to really understand why I would bite my nails all the time. I was pretty much daily biting my nails. But since i really started dealing with my anxiety/panic issues and dealing with issues of my past I am not as tempted to be a nail biter. I cannot say that my anxiety/panic issues was the cause of me biting my nails or if it was the issues of my past. Maybe I was just a nail biter but I honestly think it was more than that. I think it was truly a coping mechanism especially as a young child and a teen.
I do believe I had to deal with my mental health in order to stop biting my nails. I did not get on medication or go to therapy because of my nail biting. I went to deal with the issues I was going through. I I did not see my nail biting as a correlation to my mental health issues. Even though I was not wanting to bite my nails I had just kept doing it. But looking at research into nail biting it has dawned on me that my nail biting could easily be lead to my mental health. But it could be genetic too they say.
All I know is after I faced my issues head on and talked to someone about what I was feeling and going through I stopped biting my nails. I still get snags and chips in my nails. I still have to be conscious of not biting my nails. But I do know my nails go to mouth way less often then at any other time in my life. I do sometimes bite at the dry skin around my nails but i am actively trying to make sure I do not do that. My nails look so much better now that I do not bite them and they are even growing out. Not biting my nails has saved me a lot of money when it comes to getting my nails done since I do not go to the nail salon for acrylics any more.