Biting fingernails?

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by heyshazza, Jan 24, 2010.

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  1. heyshazza

    heyshazza Member

    I just joined a new DBT group and was told that biting ones fingernails is considered self harm. Personally I think this is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. I haven't cut in just over a month, and I don't normally bite my fingernails, but when I'm really anxious and overwhelmed I bite the nail on my right thumb. Just that one for some reason. So if I forget myself and do that in group I could be in trouble.

    Has anyone else heard of biting fingernails being considered self harm? :confused:
  2. molotov

    molotov Well-Known Member

    I sat by a guy on a transcontinental flight who turned out to be a psychiatrist who specializes in OCD and related behaviors.. he saw my nails (bitten down to absolutely nothing, I've been doing it since I was five) and told me that it was the same kind of compulsion thing that makes people pick their skin or pull their hair out or things like that.

    I guess it depends why you do it.. like if you do it consciously, to make yourself bleed and feel pain, then it could be considered a form of self-harm.. if not, I would say more of a compulsion. I may not know everything about self-harm psychology, but I don't think you generally do it accidentally and without noticing..?

    Anyway, he recommended a B-vitamin called inositol.. I went for fake nails instead :)

    How is your group other than that?
  3. Tobes

    Tobes Well-Known Member

    I bite my right thumbnail when I'm anxious too. And no, I don't think biting fingernails is a form of self harm, in fact that sounds utterly ridiculous.
  4. heyshazza

    heyshazza Member

    I can understand how it would be self harm if my intent were to injure and make myself bleed. That makes sense.

    But when I bite my thumbnail I don't even leave marks on it. It's the same length as the rest of my nails. And I am almost always completely unaware that I'm doing it.

    So thank you for confirming that I'm not the only one who thinks this is ridiculous.

    Other than that, I guess the group is okay. I'm not really a group person, but I have to go so I try to make the best of it.
  5. Synesthetic Soul

    Synesthetic Soul Well-Known Member

    I slide my teeth across the tops of my nails because I like how the ridges feel. I'd say I do it because of nerves too. The more upset I am, the more I chew. The feeling is soothing to me. I don't see it as self-destructive or self-harming myself, like someone else said: If you're doing it to bleed and feel pain then it can be condsidered self harming.
  6. dreaminghome

    dreaminghome Well-Known Member

    Try to google "Dermatillomania" then rethink about the word 'ridiculous'.

    Probabily what whould have been better explained is that not all biting is dermatillomania, but plenty is. Now, if i see a cuticle on my finger and want it off it's not dermatillomania. If I keep on biting till it bleeds that is.
    They have probably given a definition too wide. As much as wide as your evaluation of 'ridiculous'.
  7. heyshazza

    heyshazza Member

    Like I said, I understand the self harm aspect.
    The ridiculousness I was referring to is getting in trouble at group for chewing on my thumb nail.
    I'm sorry if that was misunderstood....but thanks for all the feedback!
  8. Vangelis

    Vangelis Well-Known Member

    Anything that is considered harmful by stereotypical jerk offs is considered self harm to some degree. Hell piercing and tattooing is considered self harm. Pulling your hair out or plucking your hair is self-harm. Biting nails falls in the same category I think....most ppl I know who did it, did it because they were nervous or anxietal.
  9. Lost Disciple

    Lost Disciple Well-Known Member

    I realize this has already been said multiple times but after reading all that I kinda want to put my two cents in, since the conversation seems pretty close to done and I want to pretend I didn't waste that time :p

    The latest definition I've read for Self-harm is doing destructive things to your body for sake of pain or sometimes self-destruction.

    Therefore--could be but isnt

    Like I said, I know everyone already said that, but...
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