This nervous habit is very common and is related to emotions. There are some people to whom this behavior accompanies them all the life, and others in which it appears in certain periods of stress or anxiety.
The persistence of bad habit
Continuous repetition of nail biting is the problem that we are going to address in this article. Some people have a serious imbalance and can not perform any activity because their fingers are always in the mouth. When this happens, it is called onychophagia."
This goes beyond something aesthetic, since it is embarrassing to have to shake hands, show fingers, etc. Fifty percent of the population, for the most part, women , Suffers from this problem. It appears between the 10 and the 18 years and can extend all the life.
Most people who perform local treatments to stop eating nails fail . The reason? The cause of onychophagia (ie, anxiety, nerves, depression, stress, boredom, problems or sadness).
Nervous or negative habits begin with a change almost imperceptible in the day to day. As the person becomes accustomed to that attitude, increases the number of times he practices it.
The main cause of biting nail Is the lack of awareness. People do not realize what they are doing until someone notices them or until they get hurt. Then, it could be said that onychophagy is an automatic response to a problem, an escape, a way to evade or express feelings, etc.
Those that are part of the person's environment are also involved. Yes, because, although at first they can tell you that it is wrong to bite your nails, then you will see it as something normal and you will ignore the situation.
On the other hand, who suffers onicofagia is accustomed to eat the nails and relates certain activities with this habit, like, for example, to watch TV , Reading, speaking, etc.
What are the reasons to bite your nails?
Psychologists have made a kind of list with the main causes of onychophagy. Pay attention, because they may be demonstrating what your personality is like.
When we are stressed, with many problems or anxious, we are more likely to eat our nails. The need to find a way to escape from the situation makes us suffer from onicophagy. Sure, because they bite the Fingers Has a calming effect on the nervous system.
The fact of not doing anything in particular, inactivity and boredom are also causes to bite your nails. The habit of eating your nails Is a stimulation pathway for the nervous system , Which helps, for example, not to fall asleep.
People who bite their nails can spend many hours a day looking at their hands and examining that there is not a slight irregularity in their fingers. If this happens, then try to polish it. It is also good to know that this habit causes problems in the teeth, hands And skin.
Many children who bite their nails do it when they see their parents with the same bad habit. In the specific case of patients up to 18 years of age, the onset of onychophagia is due to the anxiety , Or also by tics, hyperactivity or obsessive compulsive disorder.
There are many cases of people who bite their nails to cause pain, self-injury, etc. This can appear in violent families, in too severe cries, as a way of drawing attention, etc.
Shyness and low self-esteem, as well as the pain of a divorce or the death of a loved one, can lead to onicophagy. The habit may disappear if the person feels more confident and confident Of itself and the environment.
Children with onicophagy: what to know
A recent study indicates that those who eat or bite nails have fewer social skills than those who do not have onychophagia. This condition affects 45% of children in industrialized countries (compared to 10% of adults). It is a nervous disorder that limits anxiety but, at the same time, Brings negative consequences for both your body and your self-esteem.
There are several factors determining nail biting and can become an unconscious, reflex and automatic act. The children They do not realize that damage is occurring and, over time, it is very difficult to abandon this habit, experts say.
The small ones that have problems in the school, like they can be bad companions, poor performance in the subjects, etc. Or those living in an unhealthy environment are more likely to have oncaphagia.
In situations of stress , Nervousness, anguish or personal dissatisfaction, eat the nails, as a way to escape from that situation. While it is not a serious problem if treated in time, it is also good to indicate that if it appears in children under 10 years, we can opt for psychological assistance.
As usual, This bad habit is abandoned when they are ashamed to show their hands Or, in the case of girls, when they want to start putting on make-up, combing, etc., that is, at about age 13.
That is why it is indicated that onychophagia is related to social problems, since young people first feel sad about something in particular and are isolated from the rest, while biting their nails. And this becomes a vicious circle, since, not having hands beautiful, makes them even more introverted.