biting, is related to skin picking and hair pulling. Skin
picking, hair pulling, and nail biting are labeled as
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders. Nail biters often keep their
hands hidden behind their backs. Nail biters often feel
social embarrassment and experience out-of-control feelings
at times. At times they may wonder why they can't stop and
they also question whether or not they are crazy.
Biting usually happens when
people are in one of two modes. Some people do it in an
automatic way, as if they are in some kind of altered state
and not really thinking about what they are doing. Usually,
they are immersed in some other activity at the same time
such as watching TV or working on the computer, etc. For
others, their main activity at the time is the actual
picking or biting, and they will frequently interrupt their
other activities to engage in it.
There is a strong
commonality in the various purposes behind hair pulling,
skin picking, and nail biting. At the most basic level,
these symptoms satisfy an urge. Many people report an
uncontrollable feeling of needing to do them. Pulling,
picking or biting also seems to deliver a pleasurable or
sufferers feel stressed, pulling, picking or biting has a
kind of soothing effect on their nervous systems, and
reduces levels of stimulation. On the other hand, when they
are bored or inactive, they seem to provide a needed level
of stimulation to the nervous system. This may account for
why so many people who have these habits find it so hard to
stop. It simply "feels good" at the time, no
matter no matter what the outcomes are.
Even if you suffer from
more than one of these habits, do not despair. These
symptoms can be overcome if you have the motivation. More
important is learning to "de-stigmatize" yourself.
You are not crazy, helpless, morally weak or totally out of
control, even though you may feel like you are at times.
Once you become aware of the fact that you are just a person
who simply happens to have a problem, you can make serious
Skin picking and nail
biting are chronic problems, so there currently isn't a
'cure', but you can find a recovery if you are willing to
work at it. Treatment for nail biting consists of three
For People Who Bite Their Nails
To start with, nail biting
is a stress related habit. So the first part of the
hypnotherapy is to teach the individual how to be more
relaxed at all times. To that end, I have found that
traditional hypnosis, Ericksonian hypnosis, and
Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques are usually quite
effective. That's because the
very essence of hypnosis is relaxation. The biter can
learn to apply several different methods to enhance both the
relaxed state, as well as his/her overall feeling of
relaxation and well-being.
The second part of the
treatment teaches the individual to become aware of this
unconscious habit. Suggestions can be given to the
subconscious mind to make the conscious mind aware that you
are about to bite your nails. Then you get to consciously
decide whether or not you are actually going to bite them.
There are also several
other powerful techniques. As an example, we can help the
client to set up an "Anchor" or trigger so that
he/she can momentarily mentally step outside of him/herself.
This is an excellent technique that will effectively relieve
the compulsion to bite.
The third part of the
hypnotherapy is to eliminate the compulsion to bite. There
are NLP techniques that actually program the client with a
compulsion to reject biting his/her nails.
With this particular
behavior, being realistic is very important. First, you have
rehearsed the unwanted habit hundreds or even thousands of
times. You will need to accept that the urge to bite your
nails will not be overcome in a few days.
Second, you are fighting
the fact that it feels good to do, and it offers a lot of
short term satisfaction and either stimulation or soothing
feelings. It can take a little time to overcome, but I
believe it is well worth it. Experience has shown a number
of techniques to be quite effective!
B. Densky, CH opened his hypnosis practice way back in
1978. He has worked with thousands of clients to overcome
these types of negative behaviors. He can be contacted
through his website at www.Neuro-VISION.US
where he offers Self-Hypnosis CD's and books. Visit his FREE
hypnosis article library, or subscribe to one of his
FREE hypnosis newsletters.
© 2007 By Alan B. Densky.
This document may NOT be re-printed. All Rights