Could nail biting or picking the skin around ones nails be one of the most common habits? It is certainly one of the habits that I had to break as a child. For me, like many people with the habit, it was the discomfort caused by roughness or “catchy” nails that drove me.
Some Nail Biting Boarders on Self Harm
Nail biting or picking can become severe with the ends of fingers becoming red and sore. Chewing or picking off those little pieces of skin that lift off below the nail bed can produce extreme soreness and might even be considered to be bordering on self-harm.
All Habits Have a Cue and a Reward
As with all habits, there is a cue (or cues) that starts the process and makes one crave an expected reward. The process could be as simple as, (cue) finding a rough nail causing anxiety, chew the nail to make it smooth leading to removal of the anxiety (reward). In reality, the process can be more involved.
Stopping Biting Your Nails Can Be Easy
If you want to stop nail biting, or stop picking the skin around your nails, the process is usually quite simple. There can, however, be complications. Sometimes nail biting can be linked to something called a secondary gain. A secondary gain is a benefit, or perceived benefit, that occurs as a result of an unwanted behaviour. People rarely realise when their habit has a secondary gain.
When Stopping Biting Your Nails Can Be Hard
To illustrate a secondary gain, I will use the example of Mr X. Mr X came to me to address his nail biting. Mr X had bitten his nails for as long as he could remember. As a tax exile he had visited me on one of his regular visits back to the UK. Having taken early retirement he was biding his time while he waited for his £100,000 a year pension to kick in. Mr X had run a successful investment company in the City. The clue to his secondary gain came in a casual “throw away” comment. The comment was, “a lot of the top people in the City bite their nails”. Having worked “in the City” myself I do not believe this to be the case but he did and in some way his nail biting identified him as “something big in the City” in a way that his considerable wealth did not. Subconsciously if he stopped biting his nails, it would mean he was no longer a member of that elite group.
Fortunately, hypnotherapy can be extremely effective in helping you to stop biting your nails or stop picking your nails.
Stop Biting Your Nails or Stop Picking Your Nails Now
Book a hypnotherapy appointment with Stephen Rigby at his Guildford or Woking, Surrey practice now! For priority treatment ring Stephen Rigby at your selected location: