Nail biting (onychophagia) is a nervous habit I know all too well. I’ve been biting my nails since I was a child, and as much as I’d like to say that I’ve learned to stop biting my nails now that I’m an adult, I’m embarrassed to admit that my wish to quit biting my nails is still a problem for me.
I’ve been researching the causes and consequences of nail biting, as well as searching for a cure for nail biting. Everything I’ve read so far says that nail biting occurs in times of stress, anxiety, excitement, boredom or inactivity and can be a learned behavior from family members. If you bite your nails too, and you’re habit is anything like mine, you also bite your nails without realizing you’re doing it.
It seems that no matter what it is that I’m doing, such as reading, watching television, talking on the phone, researching and writing articles for my websites, I bite my nails without thinking about it or realizing I’m doing it, and then I notice my fingernails are nearly bitten down to the quick.
Nail Biting Cure
My parents tried everything they could think to try and get me to stop biting my nails, including painting fingernail polish on my nails, which I’d just bite off anyway. Soap, shampoo, jalapeno sauces, iodine, spankings and grounding me didn’t work either. In my opinion, the quickest way to turn your child into an extreme nail biter is to start smacking or spanking them for biting their nails, which only makes a bad habit worse. Just don’t do it.
I’ve tried to stop biting my nails on my own many times over the years, even managing to grow my natural nails for several months and enjoy caring for my nails myself by filing and painting them so they look nice all the time. Until, suddenly and without warning, I’ll be reading or watching t.v. and I’ll catch myself chewing on my fingernails, but it’s too late. They’re gone, and I have to start all over again.
According to the statistics and studies done on nail biting, 28-33% of children ages 7-10 years old, 44% of adolescents, 19-29% of young adults and 5% of older adults (like me) are nail biters. One study showed 45-60% of children between the ages of 8 to 11 have a habit of biting their nails, which tends to peak between the ages of 10 and 18.
Opinions on what causes nail biting vary widely, with some believing it is due to high levels of stress and anxiety, while others say the habit appears during quiet, solitary, inactive moments such as when relaxing watching television. My experience tells me it’s the latter of the two.
How To Stop Biting Your Nails
Fingernail biting is a habit that is not easy to quit or control. I’ve read statistics and research on how to stop nail biting, including the findings that say nail biting doesn’t have any long lasting negative effects, but chewing nails occasionally or regularly means you and I have ugly, unsightly fingernails and that’s just not okay with me.
I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of money paying for manicures and fake nails over the years, but I just want to quit biting my nails once and for all. I’ve researched “nail biting”, “nail biting cure” and “nail biting treatment”, because this adult nail biting habit of mine has got to stop. If you’re ready to stop nail biting like I am, I’ve recently found a couple of options that just might be the perfect solution for you too.
I’ve read some stories from other nail biters who’ve said nail biting hypnosis helped them stop biting their nails, but I’m not ready to go that route quite yet. That’s not to say that hypnosis treatments for nail biting doesn’t work, because maybe it does, but I’m more inclined to try MAVALA Stop For Nail Biting or the control it nail biting cream to help me stop chewing on my nails.
Some have suggested trying the “rubber band” method, where you wear a rubber band around your wrist, and every time you start biting your nails you’re supposed to snap the rubber band hard enough on yourself to make you stop. Sorry, but that just sounds silly to me. The other thing I’ve done in my efforts to quit biting my nails is that I’ve ordered the book, Stop Your Nailbiting!: Permanently by Gilbreth Brown, and it should be arriving any day now.
Do you bite your nails or did you used to bite your nails but have since quit? Does one or more of your children bite their fingernails and you’re trying to get them to stop? If you used to be a nail biter, what helped you to stop?