Why Is Nail biting So Addictive? Many individuals worldwide are suffering from self-mutilating and often painful addiction to nail-biting. It is a lot harder to quit than smoking a cigarette, but it is most common to overlook as it can pose a benign habit. Now, a lot of medical experts are taking this disorder seriously and have decided to change its category from a habit to a full-fledged obsessive-compulsive behavior.
Why is nail-biting so addictive? Some experts believe that this is part of perfectionism and stress relief. It is linked to being stuck with the oral stage of psychological development, leading to nail biting to get the rewarding aspect of getting each nail just how they want it.
In this short read, you will understand the theory behind nail-biting and why people are obsessed with this uncertain behavior.
The Psychology Behind Nail Biting
Everyone bites and picks to a certain degree. It will always get to a point where people are damaging themselves. It is the point where, from habit, it becomes a disorder, and this applied to a different group of people.
Although there are a majority of people who keep on doing this, experts only started to research it in the past decades. They are still trying to figure out the biggest question of many people. It is given the fact that some part of the brain wants to quit it, but why still people bite their nails.
They hypothesize that nail-biting helps to clear out emotions. Where they are bored, it provides stimulation, and when they are stressed out of frustrated, it gives them a temporary calmness.
Helps To Balance Emotions
Experts believed that nail-biting provides a temporary escape, distraction, and a bot of relaxation to people. Many people have the urge to bite their nails when they are understimulated, which is bored, or overstimulated, which is excited.
When they are bored, this particular behavior provides them stimulation, and when they are excited or stressed out, it provides serenity to help them calm down.
Like the nicotine effect, the idea of nail-biting can have a biphasic outcome. It can stimulate the brain under certain circumstances and provide a relaxation effect.
How To Quit This Behavior
It might be easier said than done, but there are different techniques to quit. It mostly boils down to a common strategy. You need to figure out the trigger that leads you to bite and then change them or avoid them as much as possible. Try to block them or find a substitute so you won’t find the urge to bite your nails.
Regardless of what you do to stop it, the vital thing to keep in mind is breaking your addiction might not be done overnight. So if you break down and bite, it doesn’t mean that you fully surrender. Abstaining from time to time can teach your body to limit it. It will eventually break down the habit until someday, you’re not thinking about it, and you spare your nails forever.