My Nail Biting Compulsion
I have a little secret to share with you. For many years, I struggled with the most embarrassing problem you could imagine. Did I suffer from foul body odor or bad breath? No, my upsetting problem wasn’t something I could easily disguise with deodorant or a breath mint. Instead, I suffered due to the awful condition of my finger nails.
From the earliest time I can remember, I have always chewed my nails. At first, I found the sensation to be comforting and distracting. As I grew older, I found myself biting my nails without even thinking – a quick fix for my stressed out persona. “At least I’m not smoking!” I would rationalize to myself, completely ignoring the fact that my nail biting compulsion was damaging my hands as well as my self-esteem.
Then one day, I developed a severe infection in one of my nail beds – probably the result of bacteria transferred from my mouth during one of my nail chewing episodes. My poor finger nail (what was left of it) was surrounded by red puffy flesh, and pus leaked from underneath. I was mortified, trying desperately to hide my finger nails from view, while at the same time coping with the burning and stinging sensation that wouldn’t quit.
A trip to the doctor confirmed that the infection was actually quite serious and that all my other nail beds were at risk if I didn’t put a stop to my nail biting compulsion. Well, I tried some of the usual quick fixes, including that horrible tasting bitter liquid that you are supposed to paint on your nails, in order to discourage any nail biting behavior.
Unfortunately, in my case all this did was to leave me with a dreadful taste in my mouth – it didn’t stop me from chewing my nails, though! Contributing to my problem was the fact that my nail biting habit had become so entrenched, that I was totally unaware of when I was chewing my nails. One day that was memorable for all the wrong reasons, I found myself the center of attention at an important work meeting.
I suddenly realized that all eyes were fixed on me as I gnawed away, oblivious to the bizarre spectacle I presented of a grown woman with her hands stuffed in her mouth… The only method I knew that could successfully defeat my destructive behavior, involved hypnosis – a special type of holistic mind therapy that would alter the way my subconscious mind viewed my nail biting compulsion.
Even unconscious attempts to bite my nails ceased to be a problem – my entire mind was now convinced that nail biting was harmful and that I would never again participate in such a disgusting activity! This was five years ago – and I’m delighted to be able to tell you that I remain totally free from my previous nail biting compulsion. My finger nails have completely recovered, and I am finally proud of the way my hands look.