Obsessive fingernail, cuticle, and nailbed cutting?



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irikarah
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12 Feb 2009, 3:02 pm

Ever since I was a little kid, I've had this compulsion to cut my fingernails, cuticles, and the skin around my fingernails, to the point that I've come to identify it as a form of self-mutilation, . I often sit, sometimes for an hour, cutting away at my cuticles with a pair of fingernail clippers, to the point that they're just an awful-looking mass of hardened, brittle tissue and nail. My fingernails are so short, so whittled down, that I can't even open a can without having to grab my keys or a knife to flip the tab up enough for me to grab it. I couldn't find any decent pics, but my fingers look considerably worse than those of a typical nailbiter.

Not surprisingly, I often feel incredibly self-conscious and ashamed about it. When I have to stand while riding the train and hold onto a rail to steady myself, I try to grab it with one or two fingers and curl the rest into my palm so people don't see it, I'm wary of people seeing it on the rare occasions that I go out with people, try to hide it during job interviews or at work...it's really embarrassing, but I don't know how to stop. I've tried that stuff that makes your fingernails taste bad, but since I'm using fingernail clippers more than my teeth, it's completely ineffectual. The rare occasions that I've been able to stop doing it for a few weeks, the skin becomes even more hardened as it grows back, and I wind up cutting it away and resuming the habit because it's so painful.

Do any other adults struggle with this? How do you deal with it?



oomogi
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12 Feb 2009, 4:16 pm

ive bin biteing and ripping the ends of my cuticles since i can remember some times i accidently rip them with too much wild abandon and they bleed. i do it out of nervousness before or durring going out in public, some times they bleed and then i get more nervous going into the world. then i put on a bandade. have u ever noticed the human compulsion to suck the blood off of your bleeding wounds? whats that all about ? a primal canabalistic gene that we have ? a mineral or vitamin deficiency, dose our saliva carry antibiotic caractoristics like a dogs?probobly not theres more bactiria in a humans mouth than a dogs but. mabe its a carry over from when we were monkeys and we dont want preditors to smell our blood and track and eat us so we dont care that its simply vampirish to suck our own blood.wow did i go off on a tangent



RarePegs
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12 Feb 2009, 6:03 pm

I've developed a habit of using my fingernails to cut my fingernails. I seem to start doing it without realizing it and then have to finish the job. The most recent time was a few minutes ago, just before noticing this thread! I cut my right ring fingernail with my left index fingernail.



mitharatowen
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12 Feb 2009, 6:05 pm

Oh man. My fingers are often raw and bloody because I obsessivly pick my dry cuticles. My mom used to do it when I was very young and I used to tell her how it was disgusting lol :lol:



Dokken
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12 Feb 2009, 6:28 pm

i bite my fingernails and then i bite the skin around yhe fingernails


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irikarah
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12 Feb 2009, 7:22 pm

RarePegs wrote:
I've developed a habit of using my fingernails to cut my fingernails. I seem to start doing it without realizing it and then have to finish the job. The most recent time was a few minutes ago, just before noticing this thread! I cut my right ring fingernail with my left index fingernail.

Yeah, I do this too. Dunno why, maybe it's the sound or the feel of it?



MrMisanthrope
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23 Feb 2009, 5:20 pm

Hello Stimming...


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dnairn
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17 Apr 2009, 3:06 pm

I've had this cuticle-cutting problem for a number of years. I can't stop. I try nail polish to help but it only last for a few days. I have a pair of fingernail clippers with me all the time. It's horribly disgusting but I don't know what to do. I even try cuticle oil to smooth them out but it doesn't work.



MONKEY
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17 Apr 2009, 3:52 pm

I bite my nails, and the skin around them or I pick at them. Luckily my nails go very fast so I've always got enough to bite.
Is it classed as a stim? just wondering


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trollberry
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21 Apr 2009, 5:09 pm

I can't remember when I was not biting all my nails away. biting the skin from my fingertips. Scraping at the cuticles till a piece of dead skin comes loose, then biting it off. I spend a lot of time with bleeding broken skin in the sides of my fingers. I scrape my nails till there is a thin piece attached to skin, very painful. Then I have to pull this out as well, or get painful pulls whenever i put my hand in my pocket. Discusting. I have a nail cutter on my keychain now, and I cut away any nail long enough to bite, just just so I will not be tempted. That is how deep this pecular need goes. I have no idea where this is coming from. But I can't stop it.



makuranososhi
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21 Apr 2009, 6:39 pm

To the point where I almost lost the nails on a few hands; I have some nails now, albeit more lily pads than nails of any real sort.


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eataTREE
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21 Apr 2009, 11:09 pm

Oh man, yes. Almost exactly as you describe, except I'm not particularly embarrassed about it. I am concerned about permanently messing up my fingertips/nailbeds, though, or getting an infected cut. Mostly I use a metal nail file to push my cuticles and worry the skin around the nail -- it's still compulsive, but it does less damage than the fingernail scissors. And yes, just like you say, when I do manage to stop for a while, the skin grows back so hard, thick, and tough, I need to cut it away and thus resume the habit.

Fortunately I work on computers for a living, and typing seems to satisfy my "fiddle with my fingers" cravings, or at least keep them at bay while I'm at work.

I don't know why I don't feel very self-conscious about it. Probably because I'm sure people notice one or more of my other eccentricities long before they bother to examine my nails. :)

Good luck in trying to stop. Have you tried worry beads or some other sort of fidget-sink?



MONKEY
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22 Apr 2009, 4:45 pm

makuranososhi wrote:
To the point where I almost lost the nails on a few hands


M.


a few hands? How many hands have you got? 8O :wink:


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makuranososhi
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22 Apr 2009, 6:39 pm

MONKEY wrote:
makuranososhi wrote:
To the point where I almost lost the nails on a few hands


M.


a few hands? How many hands have you got? 8O :wink:


Why do they call them fingers when I've never seen them fing?

... ... ...

Oh, wait - there they go.

Aphasic moment; my apologies. Had nails that were only a quarter inch long from the cuticle on several fingers at one point.


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Kaysea
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30 Apr 2009, 12:35 am

Absolutely. I have been doing this since I was about ten years of age. I "bottomed out," if you will, around age twelve, at which time, the ends of my fingers were only as wide as the nail - all skin that would protrude outward from the sides of my nails (giving my fingers the normal, continuous curve in relation to the lower portions of my finger) had been removed.

I am still 'bad' about this, but at least my fingers are normal-shaped now.



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