I'm a wolf biter - but what do I do now?

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Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#1
I tend to bite my nails quite often but it doesn't seem to be enough - I always find myself biting the skin around my nails, my fingers and sometimes even my knuckles. I know it's wrong, I see the effects it has - it looks horrible and I feel awful when other people have to see this, but I don't know how to stop - I find myself doing this subconsciously sometimes. I have no idea who I need to talk to about this
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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#2
Report 6 years ago
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It might just be a habit. Wear gloves and that should draw attention to when you're doing it. If you CAN'T stop, that's different, and you should see your GP as people can develop all sorts of behaviours for many reasons, but if it's just a habit you've got into then just trying to alert yourself when you do it by wearing gloves could be enough to break the habit.
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racheatworld
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#3
Report 6 years ago
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I tend to bite my nails quite often but it doesn't seem to be enough - I always find myself biting the skin around my nails, my fingers and sometimes even my knuckles. I know it's wrong, I see the effects it has - it looks horrible and I feel awful when other people have to see this, but I don't know how to stop - I find myself doing this subconsciously sometimes. I have no idea who I need to talk to about this
Hey, I also suffer from this - it's officially called Dermatophagia. When I found out it had an official name it was such a relief! I used to do it really badly around 2 years ago, to the point that my fingers were ripped to shreds, would bleed, and I became totally desensitized to the pain. I most often do it when I'm stressed, hungry or bored but it's definitely a habit I've picked up from my father, who I also noticed does it (although to a lesser extent than me) when he is bored or stressed.

I stopped doing it by becoming consciously aware of it and realising how nice it is to wear nail polish without looking at shredded fingers! At first what helped me was to use nail clippers to cut off any of excess skin, because I found that I would only start biting if there was a little bit of skin sticking up, almost like I had to bite to removed the skin, which only made the problem worse. Using nail clippers made sure that there was no excess skin there tempting me to bite and got me out of the habit of putting my fingers in my mouth. After I had done that for a few weeks and started to see the skin heal, it made me less and less likely to do it until after a few months they had fully healed. They're not perfect now with a few bits of excess skin but so much better than what it was!

Just realise that it's quite a common stress-coping mechanism and it can be overcome
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Anonymous #1
#4
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
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(Original post by racheatworld)
Hey, I also suffer from this - it's officially called Dermatophagia. When I found out it had an official name it was such a relief! I used to do it really badly around 2 years ago, to the point that my fingers were ripped to shreds, would bleed, and I became totally desensitized to the pain. I most often do it when I'm stressed, hungry or bored but it's definitely a habit I've picked up from my father, who I also noticed does it (although to a lesser extent than me) when he is bored or stressed.

I stopped doing it by becoming consciously aware of it and realising how nice it is to wear nail polish without looking at shredded fingers! At first what helped me was to use nail clippers to cut off any of excess skin, because I found that I would only start biting if there was a little bit of skin sticking up, almost like I had to bite to removed the skin, which only made the problem worse. Using nail clippers made sure that there was no excess skin there tempting me to bite and got me out of the habit of putting my fingers in my mouth. After I had done that for a few weeks and started to see the skin heal, it made me less and less likely to do it until after a few months they had fully healed. They're not perfect now with a few bits of excess skin but so much better than what it was!

Just realise that it's quite a common stress-coping mechanism and it can be overcome
It's great to hear from someone who can relate to this! The nail clippers thing seems like a great idea - I can never seem to find one - I guess that triggers off the nail biting. But I need to find an incentive to stop - I know that it looks horrible from other people's point of view but I still do it anyway, I think it's a good coping mechanism when I'm stressed/anxious/hungry. Nail polish does look good with shredded fingers, but I'm a guy so it's not quite the same

There was this one time I was persuaded to wear nail polish by a friend, but that's a story for another time...
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