Is Biting Your Nails A Mental Disorder?

Is Biting Your Nails A Mental Disorder?
Is Biting Your Nails A Mental Disorder?

Is biting your nails a mental disorder? Most kids and teens today are habitually biting their nails, some of them grow out of it, and some aren’t. If you are still an adult and you find yourself biting your nails out of nowhere, you might have done it in the past and just never stopped. Today, many people still wonder about this kind of behavior, wanting to know what really causes it.

Is biting your nails a mental disorder? Nail-biting is normal behavior, but it can get drastic as you grow older. Most experts believe that more pathological forms of nails biting are an impulse control disorder. It classified under obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.

In this short read, you will have a brief understanding of the nail-biting behavior and what are the steps that you can do to prevent them from happening over and over again.

What Is Nail Biting?

Nail-biting is most commonly known by experts as Onychopgagia. It is the clinical name for people who shows fingernail biting behavior. For the most part, this is a normal stress-related or nervous habits to children and adults.

It involves biting the nail plate and sometimes the soft tissues of the nail bed and cuticle. Nail-biting is also known as Onychotillomania. It is a habit of picking or manipulating the nails.

Some scientists believe that nail-biting is an outcome of a delay or dysfunction in the oral phase of psychological development.

Reasons To Stop Nail Biting

Nail-biting is typical behavior of children and adults. But that doesn’t mean it should be applied for the rest of your life. There are plenty of reasons to stop nail-biting, and it has its downsides.

Nail-biting can affect how your nails will regrow. As you keep on biting the nail bed and your cuticle, you are damaging the soft tissues around it. They may stop growing, or it can give you abnormal-looking nails.

Biting your nails off not only will damage your nails, but it can damage your teeth too. Over time it can affect your jaw and can lead to serious jaw problems. Not to mention your nail is a landmine of germs and bacterias.

When you put your fingers to your mouth, you are jeopardizing your health by letting the germs go inside your body. One way to avoid biting your nail is to make sure that they are correctly cut, and there’s no excess nail for you to bite.


Overall, nail-biting is not a very alarming type of behavior. But it can get pretty drastic and dangerous if it keeps on happening and you see blood. It can lead to infection and will get you sick. It might not be the same as other mental issues, but it can get you pretty dire if you do not take action immediately.

As always, you can consult your doctor about this particular behavior. They will be the ones who will provide a set of medications and therapy to lessen this type of behavior.


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