Finger nail biting

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Peyton, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Peyton macrumors 68000


    Feb 2, 2006
    OK, I my old room mate and now friend constantly bites his finger nails. I tell him its gross, some girls have even turned him down for it, but he just won't stop. What can I tell him to make him stop (I've threatened him, told him he'll die of a weak immune system (I don't know) and other things.)

    Does anyone else have this problem? how did you stop?
  2. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816


    Dec 24, 2005
    i don't have it.

    one way that you could make him wear gloves for several weeks.

    another method is to put some sort of bad tasting substance on the nails.

    finally, you could put some bad tasting poisonous stuff on his nails. (<- don't recommend that last one though:p )

    good luck!
  3. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    I bite my nails and I hate it. It's a compulsion. I can't stand that I do it and it's an unconscious action, I'll snap to and notice that I'm standing there biting my nails. I've tried awful tasting coatings, cold turkey, everything.

    Right now I've made a pact with myself to take really good care of my nails, buffing them, trimming them with scissors, anything to stop me biting them - so far it's been a day, well, I think it has cause most of the time I don't really know that I'm doing it.

    As for a weak immune system, nah, he'll probably get a stronger immune system from all the nasties he's ingesting. Same deal with picking your nose (eeeeewwwww) snot's like a little anti-biotic factory, all the little germs in there build up our resistance to them.

    But it is gross, I hate that I do it and I don't want to do it. Hopefully I'll find something that can stop me - most likely it'll just be me waking up in the morning and deciding not to bite anymore.
  4. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    I've been biting my nails for 30 years, since I was 7. My mom tried using that "Thum" stuff that tastes nasty, but it didn't stop me. And I've tried willing myself not to do it, but it's a subconscious thing that I bite them. I suppose I could try hypnotherapy, but I'm not sure I want any tinkering with my psyche to prevent me from chewing on my nails.
  5. cycocelica macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    Redmond, WA
    I do unconciously. I used to be really bad but I have gotten better. I try not to do it in front of people.

    My mom suggested a bad tasting cream to put on my nails. I have yet to try it.
  6. mrwildguitar macrumors regular


    Dec 8, 2005
    Glenwood Projects
    I use to always bite my nails like crazy. From about 6 years old to 15 years old.

    I think one day I just stopped, I don't know.
  7. iBS23 macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2005
  8. macEfan macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Forbidden, you do not have access to that server
    no i have never bitten my nails.... Is he really nervous or something? Tell him something to take his mind of doing nothing...
  9. killuminati macrumors 68020


    Dec 6, 2004
    Offer him a hundred bucks if he can stop for a month (or at least not when you're around). I know someone whos tried that and it worked for them.
  10. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    I used to bite my fingernails in a major way. Never used a clipper on them. But I stopped in college because I didn't like the way they looked and the constant hang-nails. I bought a fancy fingernail clipper and have not bitten them since.

    I still don't like the way my nails look due to the years of biting -- they are a bit mis-shaped -- but they are infinitely nicer than when I was younger.

    Maybe buy your friend a super cool clipper.
  11. w_parietti22 macrumors 68020

    Apr 16, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    I think theres something called "Sour Apple" and its used for thumb sucking and otherthings like that.
  12. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    Go out and buy some nail polish remover (acetone) that has an added bitter chemical.

    Hopefully, the bitterness, stench, and thought that these toxic chemicals would be ingested could help wean your friend of his nail biting habit. :p
  13. hayduke macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.

    Tell him that getting *laid* is ***way*** better than biting his nails. If that doesn't work he's a lost cause and, heh, more chicks for you!
  14. nightdweller25 macrumors 6502

    Mar 2, 2005
  15. ahunter3 macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2003
    I have nice beautiful oval fingernails.

    Well, OK, most folks' ovals are longer than they are wide. Mine are about twice as wide as they are long. And most people have a kind of strip of white between where the nail bed ends and where the fingernail ends. And most folks have nails that go out at least a millimeter beyond the end of their finger. Mine stop about 3-4 millimeters before the end of the finger. I have fingerprint-whorls on the skin on the top of my fingers, the skin between end of nail and end of finger. My nail beds (what's left of them) go all the way to where the fingernails end, and a good portion of the time a bit beyond (drying out and dying & retreating).

    My teeth are shortened and flattened on the ends. If you look at the ends they look like tree stumps with rings.

    It's probably the toenails that do the worst damage, they're so much thicker than fingernails. Also, the biting angle is more awkward.

    Oh, and to answer your question: nothing you can do unless your friend wishes to quit biting. Lots of us have no interest in stopping and you won't make a dent in the behavior if that's the case here.

    Well, OK, I suppose you could offer to finance the surgical removal of the nail-remnants. That would probably end it.
  16. MacEffects macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2005
    I have done it on and off though my life, mainly because I am nervous, and I do have Anxiety (A HORRIBLE Disorder), it in my opinion is not a bad thing, unless you have a disorder that doing things like that upsets you, there seems clinically nothing wrong with it, and there seems to be no scientific facts to suggest otherwise. I mist say since I don't do it often I can still say it would be hard to stop the older you are and the longer you have done it. But I really can suggest anything to help stop it as I'd have no idea.
  17. Peyton thread starter macrumors 68000


    Feb 2, 2006

    Um, no offense, but this is gross.
  18. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    it's way beyond willpower, it's a bad habit and it's very hard to break. don't totally fault him for it; i am sure he'd rather not bite his nails.

    reminders and associations:
    he can try a rubber band around his wrist and snap it when he catches himself biting his nails. *ouch* it becomes a negative association (nail biting = pain. therefore: don't bite nails) it's simple but it works.

    the polish that tastes bad can be a good reminder, that is some awful tasting stuff. that in combination with the rubber band maybe?

    idle hands:
    he might need something to do with his hands. give him those meditation balls that you roll around in your palm, and or one of those stress dough things. (i have no idea how to explain what those are. like play-dough with a strong rubber covering) perhaps some hard candy too, in case there is an oral fixation thing going on here too.

    having too much time to kill will certainly leave more opportunities for him to "eat nail" so that's something to think of as well.

    i know all this from experience. :eek: i'm lucky though, i'm a girl and i can wear acrylic nails to aid me in solving the problem. i have such a bad affliction with nail biting however that i have even bitten my acrylics. it is not an experience i recommend. ouch. my acrylics now look good thanks to most of the tips i mentioned above. it's wonderful to have pretty hands, for the first time in my life.

    hope that helps your friend.
  19. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    I've never actually cut my finger nails – I've bitten them ever since I've had teeth. Yes, I know it's not exactly the most pleasant habit in the world to have, but at least I don't go biting my toenails as well...
  20. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2003
    my friend wasn't able to stop biting his fingernails until he started smoking. Then he quit smoking and he started biting them again. Maybe buy him a pack of marlboros?

    I bite my fingernails on occasion when I don't have clippers. The worst is when people bite off their cuticle and all that stuff. That's just disgusting.
  21. Lau Guest

    I was reading a book when I was about 8 or 9 and one of the characters bit his nails. I was intrigued, and thought, "Why would someone do that? What's the attraction?" and so gave it a try to see what it was like for research purposes.

    It took about 10 years to quit that one. :p

    I think I just stopped though - similar to when I gave up smoking, when I really wanted to give it up I just could, but nothing could have made me do it when I didn't want to.
  22. JasonReid macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2006
    I've been biting my nails for as long as I can remember. I am 18 now.
    I wish I could stop, but it is so hard.

    I wonder what would be harder, stop smoking or stop biting nails.
    I don't smoke, so I don't know how hard that would be. But I think it would be easier than to stop biting my nails.
  23. cslewis macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2004
    40º27.8''N, 75º42.8''W
    How about the skin around the nails?

    I've seen it done.
  24. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603


    Aug 20, 2005
    Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
    biting nails=nervous breakdown.....dip your fingers in some vegimate(or poo..same thing) and you will never bite again:)

  25. mintlivedotcom macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2004
    "Hello, my name is Jeff and I am a nail-biter."

    I have been trying to stop for years - even asking a doctor about it (he suggested a Prozac-type drug). Sometimes my fingers bleed. I've tried just about everything and nothing seems to work.

    My wife told me if our infant son catches my habit, she will be totally pissed as that is the worst thing about me that she does not want to be passed on.

    The following photo is not meant to gross anyone out (as previous posts have already done that). It probably just to help myself out in trying to deal with this obviously strong habit. My fingers were NOT bleeding at the time I took this (a few minutes ago) and every mark on them is due to my biting habit (not just nails). To keep this Apple-related, my Powermac G5 is being blocked by my hideous fingers.

    Attached Files:

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