Nail biting now a type of OCD


My son is a nail biter. I have always believed it would be something he would eventually outgrow. Now there is new research which may change our perspective on nail biting from irritating habit to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). By next year, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) will officially classify nail biting, or pathological grooming, as a type of OCD.

Not only unhygienic

According to the Mayo Clinic, not only is nail biting unhygienic but it can also be hazardous to health. Severe nail biting can lead to infections, increase the risks of colds and spread germs among others.

But also an anxiety disorder

OCD is classified as an anxiety disorder. It manifests itself by trapping people in an endless cycle of repetitive behaviors as the sufferer tries to gain control of his or her environment. Outside anxieties drive the nail biter to chew the nails. And unlike more conventional OCD sufferers, many nail biters report a sense of reward after indulging in their compulsion.

Some tips to help you stop

If you are concerned about your nail biting habit, you can now talk to a health care provider or a psychologist about possible treatment as an anxiety disorder. There are things you can try on your own:

    - Identify the triggers for nail biting and then avoid them by anticipating their occurrence
    - Keeping a diary could help
    - Find healthy ways of managing stress so that the temptation to bite can be averted
    - Keeping nails trimmed and manicured also helps some people
    - Keeping your hands and mouth busy could block the attempt to bite

Additionally, chewing gum, playing computer games or writing might make it more difficult to take out anxieties on your fingertips.

Source: MedicalDaily

My nephew is very use to this

My nephew is very use to this thing and even does not stop after getting scoldings from all of us. I will make him read this article hope he get's to understand and stops it.

ocd self test
Do you or a loved one feel like you might have a problem with OCD? Take the Self Test now to get more information.

The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Click here to read our complete Terms of Use.

Sign up for our newsletter to receive mental health Information & Inspiration

Email Social