Thank you all so much! You've been such a great help. I know that you're not all "qualified to diagnose," but that's alright, all I really wanted was opinions. I read the wiki on dermatophagia, and I think what I have is a mild case of that. I bite them every day off and on. I mostly just bite them a little when I'm bored, sitting in class, watching tv... sometimes I make myself bleed, but not often, and my fingers don't look as bad as the pictures, so I don't think its a form of self mutilation... However, when I'm worried or nervous, (for example, when I was waiting backstage at State Competition, about to perform, and then when I was waiting to hear our ranking) it escalates to me biting a LOT (still not bleeding, but a lot more skin ripped off) and biting my nails down to nothing. I hope that helps, and I'm sorry everyone is getting spammed with my problems! I'm just really curious, is all. You all have been so wonderful! Thanks again! :D
It's nice that everyone has an opinion on the nail biting situation... but the first rule of anything: never assume anything about any behavior unless you have a client/patient actually talking to you about it. We can all speculate as much as we like, but it will remain just that: speculation. Saying it's even "probably harmless" or having any opinion on that matter is entirely unqualified. I'm not saying this to start any trouble. I'm saying it because they teach you this when you approach any therapeutic situation. Just thought I'd throw that out there since the responses have been pretty numerous.
I have to say, it's great that everyone is putting in their two cents about this nail biting behavior. Remember folks, an undergraduate degree in psychology doesn't qualify you to diagnose! :) If you are really worried, talk to your PCP or a therapist.
Always good to remember this.
oh my god! i'm not alone! i just started following you guys yesterday and already, you're my favorite blog. not just because i'm a psych major, but because i totally thought i was the only sufferer of dermatophagia out there. hell, i didn't even know it was a real thing until you posted that stuff just now. seriously, you rock.
I agree with anon and tirra-lirra, it depends on how harmful it is to your day to day. It is quite possible it is OCD Dermatophagia, but we would be unable to tell you this because we do not know how often you do this, (ie more than a certain number of hours a day, or how disfigured your fingers are now) It could also be self hate. But. Probably just stress, and shouldn't worry too much about it. But
With the person who was biting their nails/cuticles - it's not a problem unless it's causing significant disruption in your everyday life. E.g. If you bite until you bleed, or if the feelings causing you to do it are also causing you severe emotional distress. Everybody has nervous habits, though, so it's more than likely that what you're doing is harmless.
Biting the skin around the fingers falls into the category of self-mutilation. I know that much. In my psych studies I have found that most people who bite their nails are under a great deal of stress. Kind of like people with Trichotillomania (pulling of the hair) except I don't believe biting the skin around the nails is a disorder, more like a habit.
To the question: Hey! Since (most of) you are all psych majors, I was wondering if you could tell me something. I constantly bite the skin surrounding my nails on my fingertips and the sides (cuticles?) whenever I'm bored, and when I'm nervous, it'll escalate to biting my nails to almost nothing. Is there some sort of deeper psycholodical issue, or is this simply my bad habit? ____ The answer: Likely not. If anything it's just reinforced behavior because it's probably soothing or something. Worst case is that someone could pick up the fact that you're nervous/bored/distressed simply by your outward behaviors. But no I don't think you have any deeper psychological issue.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermatophagia To the person who bites the skin around their nails. It's a type of OCD.
To "did you ever answer my why is it stuffed question": He did. Something along the lines of him not being able to find a picture of an actual one facing forward.
Hey! Since (most of) you are all psych majors, I was wondering if you could tell me something. I constantly bite the skin surrounding my nails on my fingertips and the sides (cuticles?) whenever I'm bored, and when I'm nervous, it'll escalate to biting my nails to almost nothing. Is there some sort of deeper psycholodical issue, or is this simply my bad habit?
Hey :) Just wanted to let you know that I really love your blog! And I'm not even studying psychology, but media and communication studies - but I have some psychology classes and use the same methods (SPSS...), so I can relate to most of it. Even though I don't get all of them ;)