Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I have Onychophagia. It sounds so much better than saying I'm a nail biter. Onychophagia plagued me as a kid. I always envied the girls with nice nails but I had a hard time giving up the habit. I finally stopped biting when I discovered boys and my nails have been looking good ever since. I even went through a period of visiting the nail salon every week but the fake nails were just too damn annoying. I type better with short nails.

Well, this morning I looked at my stumps and realized I was back to square one. It started a few years ago when I was in cubicle hell and hating the day job. I spent my lunch hour blogging and writing but it wasn't enough and I had constant interruptions. I was bored, frustrated and unhappy. I started biting my nails again. When I retired it was already an annoying habit. Now I'm not even conscious of doing it. Whenever I'm bored or stressed I just start gnawing. Bad habits can come back to bite you in the ass. I used to suck my thumb; I hope I don't start that again.

How the heck am I gonna stop this? I read somewhere about the rubber band method. You put a thick band around your wrist and whenever you start biting, you snap the band. It hurts, you stop biting. Has this ever worked for anyone? Any better ideas out there?



Rachel Lynne said...

Hey! I don't bite my nails but they are not pretty; turn under and have a tendency to snap. I feel for ya though, it sucks not having nice nails esp. when everyone does nowadays; though they're mostly fake!
I would suggest figuring out what your trigger is. If you do it when frustrated or bored or stuck on a story ...replace it with something else, though I wouldn't recommend food, lol. They say to do that to quit smoking. HTH

GPS said...

The trigger idea is a good one but I don't know what to substitute. I gave up smoking years ago. I watch my calories, are there any good vices left? LOL

Riley Quinn said...

Gale, go to a local Sally's Beauty supply store (or something similar). I believe they make something that you swab on your nails that tastes awful. The bad taste discourages you from biting.

Maeve said...

I'm just impressed you can SPELL it! Now that you've named your demon, you hereby have the power to destroy it. Give yourself a REWARD for every BIT of time you manage to go WITHOUT gnawing on your nubbins. Would that work?

GPS said...

I like the reward idea but the bad tasting stuff would probably work better. I'll try them all something is bound to work. Thanks.