Stop nail biting?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by James T, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. James T

    James T Screenwriter

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    It's a bad habit I developed young, but I stopped biting my nails because I kept cutting my nails extra short, to the point where there was nothing to bite. Now, I've developed a worse habit. The partial nail as well as some skin is what gets chewed off. Any tricks to stop this filthy habit?
     
  2. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    I don't know what it's called here, but when I was little (in Sweden) there was this clear fluid that tasted really really bad that was applied to the fingertips to stop nailbiting. Maybe you could ask at the drugstore if they have something like that and see if that'll help. Or maybe you need to see a shrink. [​IMG]
     
  3. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    I used to bite my nails nearly constantly, but have gotten a bit better. The bitter stuff didn't make a difference for me.

    The big thing I had to do was figure out *why* I bite my nails. For me, it boils down to 2 major things:

    1) I *hate* nails. I think of them as an annoyance, on me or anyone else. I can't stand long nails on anybody and on me they drive me to utter distraction. If I can feel nail over the top of my finger, I just have to get rid of it. Because of this, I carry nail clippers with me everywhere. I have some at work, at my computer desk, by the TV, in my purse, in my gym bag, and in my car. I use them constantly but having them handy in case I get annoyed has helped tremendously. The thing that helped me come to this realization is that I have to keep my toenails supershort also (no I don't bite those) and I can't stand my husband's fingernails and toenails.

    2) Nervousness. When I'm stuck in traffic and feeling panicky, when I think I'm going to get caught doing something "bad", when I'm going to be late for work, etc, I bite my nails. I get fidgity and my nails are the closest thing. This is perhaps the hardest habit to kick but keeping "fidgity" things nearby has helped. I have silly putty on the coffee table and a stress-relief silicone ball in my car. I still bite my nails in these situations but it's gotten a bit better.

    The bitter stuff didn't help because it didn't solve the underlying problem. It didn't take away my annoyance of nails or my nervousness. Only when I found alternate methods for relieving my annoyance or nervousness have things improved.
     
  4. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

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    I'm with Leila... I do it absenmindedly, when I'm bored, but it ratchets up when I'm stressed... I've done it since I was a kid, and I understand it's why I started chainsmoking as a youth. Kicked that habit, but I still munch the nails. Nothing I've found can get at that underlying problem.
     
  5. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    I do it absentmindedly as well...moreso when stressed. Like Justin, I kicked smoking (over 1.5 years now!) but still chew my darned nails. Ugh. I've even tried that horrible tasting nail-polish stuff, and it didn't stop me. *sigh*

    Has anyone tried anything else? Like hypnosis or anything?
     
  6. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    I did it through sheer willpower. If you want to stop badly enough, you can do it.
     
  7. JayV

    JayV Supporting Actor

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    You know how a clean kitchen or desktop can encourage you to keep it clean? Maybe you should get a manicure and see if that stops the urge.

    -j
     
  8. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    My roommate does that. It's really quite disgusting.

    However, I do taunt him by filling a bowl full of snack food (popcorn and other finger food), then tell him he can't have any because he's chewing on his nails. [​IMG]

    Well okay I only did that once. Next time I'll probably tell him to wash his hands first. If he chews his nails AND eats the snack food then no more snack food for him!
     
  9. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    Just use a lot of self control. Every time you start to do it just force yourself to stop. Then again it's easy for me to say because I don't have an addictive personality at all.
     
  10. Tony-B

    Tony-B Producer

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    I had that habit too. What I did was use a lot of self-control, as Steve_TK stated. It was REALLY tough to do, but in the end it was worth it.

    Good luck on your quest to stop!
     
  11. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    I stopped that at age 40, so don't give up. For me it was just a matter of deciding that I didn't want my nails to look like THAT anymore. Really, it just looks deranged. [​IMG]
     
  12. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    Just think of it this way, anyone that chews their nails in public looks disgusting and childish.

    Plus it's terrible for your teeth.
     
  13. James T

    James T Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the replies. Since I used to cut my nails down to nothing failed to work after years of success, I may have to rely on self control. I think I'm more like Leila now in that before I used to cut it short just to stop me from biting and now I cut it short b/c I can't stand nails.
     
  14. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    I chewed mine for years. Then, I was able to just stop about 5 years ago. I still keep mine very short, but I use nail trimmers. It came down to not liking how they looked chewed.

    The amazing thing is how strong the nails are. When I was chewing them, I couldn't use them to pry up a pop top or anything like that. Now, even though they are just as short, I use them all the time.

    The nail coating that tasted bad didn't do it for me, either.
     
  15. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i used to bite mine until i was a teen - not sure exactly when i stopped. not sure why or what caused me to stop. i just...did.

    but i do like them pretty short. just barely any of the white "tip" showing. my girfriend always thinks they're too short.

    someome mentioned you just have to have the willpower. i gotta agree with this. it's your mental prowess that will win this battle. really, everything else is just a 'quick fix' - you gotta get inside your head and nip it in the bud.

    as soon as you realize what you're doing - STOP!.

    now that i've plugged the mental side, how about chewing gum? [​IMG]
     
  16. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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    Get braces![​IMG] I used to bite my nails as a kid, but after wearing braces for 3 years as a teenager, Iended up having to quit and have never started again. That was 20 years ago.
     
  17. Tony-B

    Tony-B Producer

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    I agree with Ted! Chewing gum is definitely worth a shot! That way, if you try to bite your nails when you have chewing gum, then you will get that gum stuck on your fingernails. [​IMG]
     

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