Nail Biting Causes

It has been said before a thousand times before:  in order to fight something you must get to know it first.  And in the case of nail biting we must get to know the possible underlying circumstances that draw us into this habit and maybe we can get a better understanding of what we should do.

Nail biting is mostly linked to periods of nervousness, stress, hunger or boredom.  All of these circumstances have in common that they produce anxiety.  You may notice that you not only start biting your nails but develop other ticks as well that reinforce your anxiety levels like nose-picking, hair-twisting, or thumb-sucking.

On the other hand, nail biting is also a sign of other mental or emotional disorders, like obsessive compulsion.  In this state people are not even aware that they are biting their nails – not even when they have reached the flesh!  Of course these are the most severe cases of nail biting.  Other people bite their nails while sleeping as an unconscious habit.

All of the explanations have in common that they set this behavior in the realms of the subconscious mind (according to Sigmund Freud, this is a symptom of oral fixation), and that is why the hypnosis treatment has become so popular – it is a treatment that works on subconscious levels.

So, where does all this lead us to?  This leads us to the conclusion that a habit is hard to quit by the use of sheer will.  It can be done, but only by a few.  Once it has become a habit, will is our weakest weapon.  We have the need to un-develop this habit and manage our stress levels and anxiety in a better way