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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Okay. I just found out this isn't as uncommon as one might think. Personally it's becoming increasingly bad for me. Better to stop it early. I always pick them off whenever my fingernails grow the tiniest amount. So they are all really short, sometimes I even pick the entire nail off. And I also pick at the cuticles around my fingers, sometimes to the point that they bleed. A lot of the time I don't even realize it until I see the blood. I have some ways that might help others, from experience, what others who do this have said, and advice I've been given. Here are some ways to attempt to control this.

If anyone else has anything to add, just comment. I'll edit this post and add your tip, giving you credit for it.

Catch Yourself
Stop and think. Realize what you're doing, and stop. Make an effort to consciencely tear yourself away from this.

Substitute
Fumble around with a pen, or something, anything else that distracts your hands from picking at your fingernails.

Wear Nail Polish or Fake Nails
If you have access to this, I've found it generally stops you.

Wear Gloves
Usually I don't compulsively rip off my nails in public places. So this doesn't really aplly in public. But at home or when you're outside if it's cold, definitely stops you.

Sit on your Hands
Yeah. If it comes to that it does help. Lol.
 

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The problem for me is that I do this when I'm not nervous. It's very subconscious and happens without realizing.

The only way I have really tried to stop is through willpower but I can't really recommend that. The other ways I have heard other people stopping (mainly for women) is wearing nail polish. Other than that, you could try wearing thin gloves........yes it could look silly at first but once the urge to bite is gone you could remove them. Less desirable ways include putting a substance on you finger tips that you associate with a bad taste (I wouldn't go with this one)
 

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Coasting Through
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YES! I always pick at my hangnails when I'm nervous or even bored, to the point where they're bleeding sometimes. It's become such a habit that I'm finding it hard to break :(
 

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I don't pick I literally chew the f uck out of them. Right now as I take a pause in between typing this I just went to bite the skin off my thumb... you can always get false ones put on, but they're too expensive and superficial (in my opinion) and they need to be regularly redone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I tend to just pick at them when I'm bored too, as some people said. Not very much in public but all the time at home. As someone else said before, wearing nail polish or fake nails helps but that's not always possible.
 

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Yeah I pick them off sometimes, I never bite though. And it's not subconscious cause I always know when I'm doing it, I just don't care :b
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah I pick them off sometimes, I never bite though. And it's not subconscious cause I always know when I'm doing it, I just don't care :b
Yeah, I guess I worded the first post wrong in that respect. I know when I'm doing it but it's really hard not too. :yes
 

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Its tiring to try to stop something all day. So for 5-10 min a day maybe, make the urge worse saying stuff like " I really want to pick at my nails, I need to do it" "if I dont pick at my fingernails I will die from this anxiety" , run your fingers over your nails etc and then force yourself to not pick them. So you just practice for set periods of time, not doing it.

im assuming its some sort of ocd thing. *from wiki: some people claim to have compulsions but not obsessions. ie obsession is subconscious.
 

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This is a big problem for me when I'm stressed. You can tell how stressed I am just by looking at my hands sometimes. I once had a doctor who thought I had some kind of skin disease (didn't catch what he said it was), and I had to explain that I did this to myself. I couldn't believe in all those years of medical school he'd never seen that.

What I end up doing when things get bad are two things. First, I trim any hangnails, since that's usually where it starts. Second, when I'm at home I wrap clear first aid tape around the fingers I pick at the most. I just peel it off when I need to go somewhere. I had one thumb bandaged this way most of the holidays to keep me off it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, the councellor I had last year saw me doing this once and subtly hinted I should "look more into" OCD but I don't think that's the case for me, at least not completely.

I'll have to try the tape thing. That makes sense. :)
 

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Unfortunately I don't have any advice. Every time I end one nervous habit or compulsion, it gets replaced by another lol. Which leads me to believe that I need to deal with the real root of the problem (anxiety).
 
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