Nail biting?

by Madeline
(Michigan )

For years I've been biting my nails. I'm sixteen and I've been trying to stop for years...

2 questions

1. Is this at all related to SPD?

2. How can I get myself to stop?

Years ago I tried bands... But they didn't work. Gum distracts me sometimes, but not all

PS and unrelated. I also haven't taken drivers training as I'm kinda freaked that I would close my eyes because of the lights or some things like that. Any driving tidbits or things to make me want to try it?

Thank you so much

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Sep 10, 2018
Tentative Yes to Sensory Processing Disorder
by: 35-year-nailbiter

I realize this question was posted last year, but considering that I've been biting my nails for about 35 years, I'm not sure a year matters.

I've *just* started researching the link between nailbiting and Sensory Processing Disorder/ADD/Anxiety Disorders/OCD, but I believe there *is* a link - based on my own experience.

The urge to bite (for me) is not based in grooming behavior, but in anxiety, and a need to self-soothe. It is compulsive, and produces increased anxiety/spiraling when ignored.

As you said, gum helps - sometimes. The need to chew, as well as the need to do something with my hands, has made me interested in "chewlery" and fidget tools.

Hope you find some answers. There are many more options now, than 20 years ago! :)

Sep 10, 2017
Nail Biting
by: Audrey Ciccarelli

Dear Madeline of Michigan,

I have written a book nail biting (Truth About Nail-Biting)

Nail biting is a learned behavior, and yes,it is sense oriented. I would not call it a disorder, but instead a condition. It falls under Behavior Response Conditioning(BRC) along with other titles, but I like BRC the best.

To answer your questions:

#1.Is this at all related to SPD?

I don't know much about Sensory Processing Disorder. I was researching terms used with nail biting and I came across your questions. I am qualified to answer question #2.

#2. How can I get myself to stop?
Its time to talk to your hands. Seriously.
We have trained or conditioned our hands to go to our mouths for a manicure.

Nail biting is a form of manicuring. Because we have manual dexterity, our hands and fingers work for us effortlessly. We feel something we pick it up, or we acknowledge what it is with out looking at it.

Our fingers are like our second sight. We do the same thing with our fingers before we bite or pick at them, we feel them and then we head for the chop shop and get a manicure, only to realize we have destroyed all of our finger nails.

1. You have the desire to quit. You sound like you are ready

2. You will have to retrain your hands to reach for tools.

One Truth is you have to start using tools instead of your teeth or fingers to manicure your nails.

Our hands are fast learners. If you reprogram how you take care of your fingers. You will find your hands making fewer trips to your mouth. You will also have a game plan and You will know what to do with that rogue finger once it hits your mouth. You will remove it and fix the damaged nail with a nail file. Bingo.

You are on your way to healthy hands.

Audrey Ciccarelli

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