nail biting - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 34 Old 08-19-2002, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
USAmma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Arizona
Posts: 18,573
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Has anyone ever successfully stopped biting their nails? I hate the fact that I do it. It's not down to the quick or anything, and I don't care how my nails look, I just hate having this habit. Any tips?

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
USAmma is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 34 Old 08-19-2002, 09:03 PM
 
tara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: lost in space...
Posts: 2,612
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ugh. Me, too. I have chewed my nails as long as I can remember, and it is an incredibly addictive habit. I hate it. I also don't care what my nails look like, I just hate that I don't appear to have control over it. I have quit a few times, for a few months at a time. My most effective method was carrying a rock around in my pocket and playing with it instead of chewing my nails. I also will commit to stopping anytime I catch myself doing it (part of the problem with nailbiting is that you can do it entirely subconsciously). But, it's hard...
tara is offline  
#3 of 34 Old 08-19-2002, 09:05 PM
 
simonee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Where the sun don't shine
Posts: 4,867
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd done it my whole life, and 5 days after dd's birth I realized I hadn't done it yet. Since then I've bitten down a couple, but it's mostly under control.

The first 4 or 5 days are the hardest. After that, you can file them smooth, so they don't stick behind everything. And the biting has really affected my teeth ~ it's been an incentive to not do it anymore.
simonee is offline  
#4 of 34 Old 08-19-2002, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
USAmma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Arizona
Posts: 18,573
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the support and "confessions." :-) It's starting to affect my teeth too. The front ones are getting sensitive because they are getting worn down. I've gone 3 days with very little biting. I once "cured" it for 6 mos. by getting sculptured nails. I got just very short ones in a natural color and style, and they were so hard I couldn't bite if I wanted to. But then it got expensive to keep refilling them and the fumes in the salon were not pleasant either. So after 6 months of not doing it at all I started biting again!!

Simonee that's great that you are getting a handle on it!

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
USAmma is offline  
#5 of 34 Old 08-31-2002, 10:42 PM
 
fw5blue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Personally, I've accepted the fact that I have to do something with my fingers so I twirl my hair. I'm sure it looks dumb, but I've seen other people bite their nails and I think that looks worse. It works for me...exept when i'm at the movies. i get out and my nails are all bitten down! How'd that happen?:
fw5blue is offline  
#6 of 34 Old 08-31-2002, 11:45 PM
 
LiamnEmma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 2,103
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've given it up a few times...I guess it's like smoking. I just have to be really really aware of it when it's happening. Plus, in my job, people look at my hands A LOT and it helps me to focus on how I prefer them to look. It's those stressful times that are hard! I notice my ds does it too, I can't believe I passed such a frightening habit on to him.
LiamnEmma is offline  
#7 of 34 Old 09-04-2002, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
USAmma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Arizona
Posts: 18,573
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Okay I've been trying something new and so far it's working as long as I have the will power. I carry a pair of dd's tiny nail clippers in my pocket or the diaper bag and when I get the urge to nibble I clip instead. My nails are so short right now but at least I cut them, I didn't bite them. I don't bite down to the quick so this is one way to curb it.

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
USAmma is offline  
#8 of 34 Old 09-07-2002, 09:34 PM
 
GruppieGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,476
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I chewed my nails down to bleeding nubbies right through middle school. What stopped me was that I got really into nail polish. It was kind of my "thing." I know this sounds funny but I would completely change my polish every afternoon. Red, white and blue for flag day, orange and black for Halloween, green for St. Patrick's day...you get the picture.


Painting my nails still allowed me to focus on my nails but in a more positive way. It only took me a few months of painting to stop nail biting. I haven't painted my nails in years....I haven't even thought about biting for longer.

Good luck to you!
GruppieGirl is offline  
#9 of 34 Old 09-13-2002, 03:42 AM
 
Lisalee2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Department of Redundancy Dept.
Posts: 1,892
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have had the nail-biting habit for as long as I can remember. I bite them down to nothing, sometimes so much to the point that I peel off the layers of nail...yuck!

When Dh & I were dating, we made a deal, he'd stop smoking and I'd stop chewin' my nails. It worked! I just took it day by day and didn't bite them for about 3 yrs or so. Then I started back up again.

Now, I get acrylic nails done every so often (for about 5 mos. at a time). I have found that after I wear the acrylics for a while and the natural nail grows underneath, once I'm sick of the fake nails, I'll take them off and I'll have long nails again.

At that point, it's all about will power not to bite them down to nothing but actually having regular length nails there keeps me motivated to let them grow and not chew them. It's a pretty yucky habit! OT but...I had a friend who chewed her toenails.....eeeewwww!!!

Anyways, painting them helps, you don't really want to eat nail polish. I know that I bite my nails more when I'm stressed (duh!), doing something to help relieve that stress might take the pressure off to bite your nails a little.

Lisa ~ Homeschooling mama to 9yo ds and 7yo dd both born at home and expecting #3 in November!
Lisalee2 is offline  
#10 of 34 Old 09-15-2002, 08:08 AM
 
emmaline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: melbourne, australia
Posts: 1,914
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
my name is P*** and I'm a nailbiter

painting nails doesn't work for me I hate the feel of the polish, it makes me super aware of my nails so I scrape it off with my teeth

the one thing that has worked for me is... when I'm going to visit my father I can not bite for about 6 weeks and they will look fine, but once the visit is over I'll be sitting in traffic somewhere and.. nibble nibble I HATE THAT I DO THIS!!

what if we all named a day to stop AND JUST DID IT how about tomorrow? that would be Sept 16, then checked in every few days to post progress?

I promise to stop tomorrow

anyone think up a good stick or carrot for this donkey??

e
emmaline is offline  
#11 of 34 Old 09-15-2002, 02:20 PM
 
tara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: lost in space...
Posts: 2,612
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hey, I'll quit tomorrow with you! At least, I'll try... I work best with small goals and frequent rewards, so I want to try and reward myself daily for not biting... Trouble is, I want to reward myself with sugar!!

Hmmm... I'll keep thinking of a suitable reward...
tara is offline  
#12 of 34 Old 09-15-2002, 08:18 PM
 
emmaline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: melbourne, australia
Posts: 1,914
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
great tara! let's get growing (nails)!

small reward of nonsugar variety.... hmmm.... I'm thinking of getting my kids to give me stickers on a chart, then at the end of the week I get to choose a delicious tea from a (normally off limits due to price) tea shop nearby

good luck
emmaline is offline  
#13 of 34 Old 09-15-2002, 09:28 PM
 
emmaline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: melbourne, australia
Posts: 1,914
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I blew it already!! sitting in heavy traffic... think a sign in my car might help... no special tea this week
emmaline is offline  
#14 of 34 Old 09-15-2002, 09:33 PM
 
indiegirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: The land of Nod
Posts: 2,952
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I bite my nails and have since I was in the third grade. It's a nervous habit and I also HATE HATE HATE HATE the way long nails feel. It really bugs me, so when they get longish (like to the tip of my finger) I bite them down. They look nice and shapely but I bite them. My cuticles are also pretty ragged.

I had fake nails for awhile but since I hate long nails, that drove me nuts, too.

You know what would help me? Talking about all of the gross stuff beneith your nails that you put in your mouth.

I'll stop tomorrow with y'all.
indiegirl is offline  
#15 of 34 Old 09-15-2002, 09:41 PM
 
emmaline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: melbourne, australia
Posts: 1,914
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
gross stuff under nails worked wonderfully for me for the years that I worked fulltime in hospitals... but the work I do now is occasional and hands off and the magic is gone...

what gets under your nails indiegirl??

do you clean cloth nappies bareback?
emmaline is offline  
#16 of 34 Old 09-16-2002, 01:10 AM
 
indiegirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: The land of Nod
Posts: 2,952
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
LOL no, I mean I want scientific proof that gross stuff is under nails. Like, someone tell me what the average nail has under it.

I am a compulsive hand-washer (it's a new thing, and I am wondering if it is normal to wash hands once an hour) so I don't know if my nails are cleaner than most or what. They are so short I don't see how much could get under there, you know?
indiegirl is offline  
#17 of 34 Old 09-21-2002, 03:04 AM
 
emmaline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: melbourne, australia
Posts: 1,914
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
day four of no nail nibbles
emmaline is offline  
#18 of 34 Old 09-21-2002, 06:56 PM
 
tara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: lost in space...
Posts: 2,612
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Really?? That's awesome - good for you! How have you done it?

I, on the other hand, have failed four days in a row. It's the damn car that does me in - I get in the car, start driving and start chewing. It's subconscious...
tara is offline  
#19 of 34 Old 09-23-2002, 06:25 AM
 
emmaline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: melbourne, australia
Posts: 1,914
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
yes tara the car is the worst for me too

what else can we do in the car?? esp in heavy slowmoving traffic - some boppy music so we play steeringwheel drums all the time??

I found today, driving over an hour to see my FIL thru hideous traffic, and back, that having told my 11 yo ds of my latest anti-chewing campaign was enough to keep on track! don't want to look spineless in front of the next generation...

and even telling here has power ...

try again tomorrow - good luck

did you think of a nonsugar reward??
emmaline is offline  
#20 of 34 Old 09-23-2002, 12:05 PM
 
Clarity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 4,409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I bite too...I'll try to find the website someone pointed me to with a free self-hynonsis program for nailbiting. It's kinda ugly, but I don;t smoke, overeat much, and it keeps me from compulsively "picking" at other things like scabs. So on the range, it's the least bad for me...

Unfortunately, long-nailed people are the ones with dirty nails. We're better off. Not that that should stop us! They keep trying to remind medical folks to keep nails short since it's hard to get the gunk out of them. When you have little or no nils past the nailbed, less place for germs to hide.
Clarity is offline  
#21 of 34 Old 10-03-2002, 08:57 PM
 
emmaline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: melbourne, australia
Posts: 1,914
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
anyone else still stopping???

I'm doing well, earned my fancy tea reward (madagascan vanilla it's called, mmm), am conscientiously filing my wee nails so there won't be any jagged edges I might be tempted to nibble off, trying to make sure they're kept clean with scrubbing!! and trying to keep cool while driving...

now for next week's reward... some organic east timorese coffee
emmaline is offline  
#22 of 34 Old 10-11-2002, 12:19 PM
 
sunbaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: lost in space
Posts: 838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
do you guys know WHY you bite your nails? is ther anything that could have helped you quit if it was dealt w/ earlier? my 23 mo old is doing it a lot and i feel like ther must be some issue of nerves or something i could help her w/. she used to guzzle insane amounts of water, in an urgent, compulsive way- it is possible to drink so much that it's harmful!- we stopped that and w/i a few weeks- nail biting.
i used to think i would be a success if only i could steer her clear of food issues like mine, but ........
advice? if this will take us too far off topic, please pm me.
sunbaby is offline  
#23 of 34 Old 10-17-2002, 03:10 PM
 
MarsupialMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: The Hundred Acre Wood
Posts: 144
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Dh and I both bite are nails. Dh is really bad; he's obessive!
When I got pregnant I just stopped. Maybe it was the change in hormones or something but I never bit them. But during my long and hard labor I started biting them again and haven't been able to stop. It's a nasty habbit. I thought that looking back to when you first started, you would be able figure out why you bite them and how to stop. But it didn't help me or dh. I started biting them when I weened (at about 2ish) and dh doesn't know, but he came from a very abusive home.

I don't know, maybe that will help somebody!
good luck everyone!
MarsupialMama is offline  
#24 of 34 Old 10-18-2002, 07:33 AM
 
emmaline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: melbourne, australia
Posts: 1,914
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have found a new and very effective means of staying bite-free (which btw I have been since 15 Sept according to this thread):

ds (nearly 5) has nibbled a few finger AND toe nails recently for the first time, even till they bled

now this is a guy who was bf till 3.5 yrs and stress kept to minimum!!

so it keeps me on the straight and narrow, providing a nonbiting role model

also he asked to have his nails painted - all I had was some purple from the last time I had long nails (never used it much) so I painted all finger and toe nails, his mates at kinder said "you're a girl!!!" which necessitated a discussion on gender and personal decoration
emmaline is offline  
#25 of 34 Old 10-18-2002, 01:38 PM
 
tara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: lost in space...
Posts: 2,612
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
emmaline - I've been trying to use that as my motivation, too. So far I haven't succeeded for an entire day, but I figure every time I stop because I think, "I don't want my child to do this!", it gets me that much closer to quitting for good.

Why is nail biting so damn addictive? It really is very, very hard to stop. I think part of it is that your fingers are, like, right there all the time. It's easy to do it unconsciously.

ps: Good for you, emmaline! You're doing great!
tara is offline  
#26 of 34 Old 10-19-2002, 07:23 AM
 
emmaline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: melbourne, australia
Posts: 1,914
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
thanks tara, I am

but it takes frequent reminders all day, every day - though I must say it gets easier after the first few days when you can start to see something for your effort

how can we help you get past those first few days?? how far into the day can you get? are you nibbling at low energy points - need some complex carbs??

I remembered one other method I used as a teen : get a big bag of unhulled sunflower seeds and carry them around in a bag in yr pocket, when you get theurge, crack a few
emmaline is offline  
#27 of 34 Old 11-07-2002, 12:22 AM
 
The Lucky One's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 2,429
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You know what made me quit biting my nails? This might sound silly, but I saw a lady with the most beautiful nails and polish one day and thought 'Man, I wish my nails looked like that'. That's all it took, after 20+ years of biting. I have no idea why that lady stuck in my mind like that, but I stopped cold-turkey.

I still chew every now and then, but I've found if I polish my nails, then I'm less likely to chew on them. Maybe you could try that.

lisa--mama to bright-eyed Aidan

~lisa~mama to 3 boys (1/02, 5/04, 12/06)
The Lucky One is offline  
#28 of 34 Old 11-07-2002, 12:52 AM
 
emmaline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: melbourne, australia
Posts: 1,914
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
lisa I have tried polish in the past and find it makes me hyper-aware of my nails so I gradually end up scraping it off with my teeth!!! but I know this method works for some - well done!! how long have you stopped for??

I'm still stopped and have lost track of how long now, but i can peel an orange without using a knife
emmaline is offline  
#29 of 34 Old 01-20-2003, 08:01 PM
 
Clarity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 4,409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
here's that site I mentioned...the toddler thread made me think of it.

http://www.psychresearch.com/nails.html
Clarity is offline  
#30 of 34 Old 01-23-2003, 02:43 AM
Kim
 
Kim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,776
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yammer,

May sound silly, but have you thought of getting a manicure? Not with polish and the whole bit, but just doing something so that you look at your hands in a positive way. I know it isn't as easy as all that, but it may be a trigger that enables you to quit. As far as the cuticles, you could invest in some good hand lotion that will keep the cuticles intact and less likely targets of your frustration.

I bit my fingernails down to the quick for almost 20 years until my dad (who was a farmer w/ rough, ugly, callous hands) looked at my fingernails one day and said, "That is disgusting". I was done that day!
Kim is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off