Okay so I am a notorious nail biter.
It is by far my worst habit, but I’ve never been able to shake it!
Well, needless to say I’m not alone.
Did you know that 3 percent of the population have body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs).
This means that they constantly engage in self-grooming like nail biting, hair plucking, and skin picking.
Guilty, guilty GUILTY.
Anyway, I’ve never really given to much thought into the reason I bite my nails (and pick at them incessantly).
I’ve always just thought it’s a habit, nothing more.
But recently I discovered that there might actually be a lot more to it.
BFRBs (nail biting et al) share characteristics of a range of issues, from anxiety to OCD.
Professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences Tara Peris recently wrote a blog post for Psychology Today where she explained the link.
“There are some noteworthy similarities between OCD and BFRBs.”
“First, both behaviors involve repetitive actions that cause problems for a person. Second, some people with BFRBs do indicate that they have beliefs about their hair that sound more ‘obsessive’ or ‘perfectionistic’ in nature.”
Tara Peris explained that defining BFRBs as compulsive or impulsive can help with treatment, but ultimately it differs from person to person.
“Treatment must be mindful of these differences and not make assumptions about what is driving the behavior for any individual.”
“Mental health professionals must approach each individual as unique; seek to understand the functional nature of BFRBs for each client; and prescribe interventions that are personalised for that individual.”
This might just be the secret to stop my nail biting, or at least an explanation for it.