It is impossible to reduce and stop nail biting, unless the real original 'Root-Cause' is dealt with first. Then the situational triggers are dealt with secondly. Some people bite their nails so short that they bleed, this is often accompanied with persistant biting of the skin around the tips of their fingers. The most common daily and current triggers to stimulate nail or finger biting are: past and early trauma, loneliness, isolation, anxiety, stress, bullying, relationships, strict parenting, poor parenting, boredom, need to return to the safety of early stress-free infancy e.g. replacing the dummy/soother.
Often the child, teenager or adult client will only connect finger and nail biting to possible current daily worries, challenges, symptoms or triggers. However, when we assist the client to slowly and carefully go back in time, we can suprisingly and effectively identify early 'Root-Causes'. This method has a theraputic name of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. Here within this method, we guide, assist and support the client to move back in time, to identify then release, these early 'Root-Causes'. This approach discovers and treats: the when, where, why, who and which early memories may influence present day-to-day triggers.
Most of the standard DIY, online or pharmacy treatments, rely on phsyical methods to try to distract, create aversion, etc. These may involve application of Bitter Almond finger or nail solution and/or slow breathing techniques and or wearing gloves and/or wearing bandages at night, etc. Unfortunately, these old fashioned methods rarely work and if they do, the success is usually very short lived.
Other stressful events can often trigger the symptoms which we observe are: separation anxiety (from parent or carer), staring nursery, attending school, bed wetting toilet training, child abuse, past trauma, playing truant, exam and test stress, studying stress, family relationships, parental relationships, bereavement and fear of further loss, confidence and sel-esteem.