Yes, it’s true. I’m a grownup and still bite my nails. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I am a very tactile person. Even during those rare times when I tried to stop, I couldn’t handle not being able to feel things with the tips of my fingers. I started piano lessons at 8 and took typing lessons in junior high school and have done both these things extensively throughout my life. Clicking and clacking on keys (no matter what type) makes me crazy. I need to feel them. Of course, I could just cut my nails short but then I would be depriving myself of immense joy. I do so love when new white strips of growth present themselves for annihilation.
Nail biting is described in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as a symptom of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). It has also been described as a form of self-mutilation which I really don’t think applies to me. Thankfully, I am not one of those who chew their nails down to the nubs and then go to work on the fingers. I just bite them as they grow out and then wait for the process to repeat itself. Most people outgrow the habit by the time they are adults and, interestingly enough, more males bite their nails than females. Beating the odds on these statistics is not something to be proud of. By the time you are my age, the percentage of women biting their nails is infinitesimal. It is a stress reliever and something I do when I’m bored but at least it’s calorie free and better than smoking for sure.
Some of the suggestions on how to quit the habit are non-deterrents for die-hard nail biters. We’ve all tried the bitter polish routine and many of us have had the acrylic nails put on in an effort to see how it actually feels to have nails. Personally that was a disaster for me. I hated the weight and thickness and, believe it or not, I bit them off. Imagine the tenacity involved in that! I hate to even think of the stress I put on my teeth.
Unfortunately, after all the years of nail biting, the damage has been done. Recent attempts in letting them grow out have proved futile. Even though they get long, they are quite damaged and do not look good in their natural state… a lame excuse to keep doing what I’ve always done. I have it somewhat under control for now and don’t bite as much I used to. I recently read a post where a woman claimed it was a deal breaker if her date bit his nails because it showed his lack of personal control. It’s not exactly something one can hide and it got me thinking. Maybe that’s why a “second” date for me has remained oppressively elusive. If that’s not a good reason to stop biting my nails, I don’t know what is.
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