OCD or just a bad habit?
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20-06-2014, 05:19 PM
OCD or just a bad habit?
My 9 year old bites on her hands. You know how some people will bite off a hangnail? Well, she's got all the skin around all of her fingers nibbled down, and is pretty focused on the web area of the thumb on both hands.

Her hands are calloused, and in couple places raw.

It started about the beginning of the school year (last September), I have tried to redirect her to gum, now we are doing hand lotion with gloves to try to soften them up and to put a physical barrier there. I had asked her teacher about it (thinking she sees many kids and might have some ideas), but her reply was that she bites her nails too. Facepalm At school she was allowed to chew gum.

So now the school year is over, and she is still at it. I was hoping maybe it was just a stressful school year and once it was over the need wouldn't be there.

We do have our house on the market to sell, and we will be moving, changing schools, etc but she doesn't seem all that bothered by it as long as she can keep in touch with old friends (which she does thru text,face time, and play dates).

So when does a habit become OCD? Suggestions on how to manage this?


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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20-06-2014, 06:00 PM
RE: OCD or just a bad habit?
I don't think it's OCD, it's something that falls closer into the category of cutting, self harm.

Something is wrong. I think you may want to go to a psychologist with her. It's good that she is so young still...

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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20-06-2014, 06:05 PM
RE: OCD or just a bad habit?
I bit my nails so bad that my fingers would bleed. I am sure it was a nervous thing that became a nearly impossible habit to break, in fact it took five years of wearing acrylic nails to finally break the habit. I had the fake nails taken off in January...so far, so good.

Hopefully a doctor will have some advice.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

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20-06-2014, 07:06 PM
RE: OCD or just a bad habit?
(20-06-2014 05:19 PM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  My 9 year old bites on her hands. You know how some people will bite off a hangnail? Well, she's got all the skin around all of her fingers nibbled down, and is pretty focused on the web area of the thumb on both hands.

Her hands are calloused, and in couple places raw.

It started about the beginning of the school year (last September), I have tried to redirect her to gum, now we are doing hand lotion with gloves to try to soften them up and to put a physical barrier there. I had asked her teacher about it (thinking she sees many kids and might have some ideas), but her reply was that she bites her nails too. Facepalm At school she was allowed to chew gum.

So now the school year is over, and she is still at it. I was hoping maybe it was just a stressful school year and once it was over the need wouldn't be there.

We do have our house on the market to sell, and we will be moving, changing schools, etc but she doesn't seem all that bothered by it as long as she can keep in touch with old friends (which she does thru text,face time, and play dates).

So when does a habit become OCD? Suggestions on how to manage this?

I dunno, but you might want to schedule an appointment with her ped. There might be something else going on.

(20-06-2014 06:05 PM)Anjele Wrote:  I bit my nails so bad that my fingers would bleed. I am sure it was a nervous thing that became a nearly impossible habit to break, in fact it took five years of wearing acrylic nails to finally break the habit. I had the fake nails taken off in January...so far, so good.

Hopefully a doctor will have some advice.

I used to be a nail biter too (horrible, embarrassing habit). I find keeping nail polish (even clear) helped keeping me from biting them, it especially helped when I gave up acrylic nails and after many months began slipping into that habit.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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20-06-2014, 07:18 PM
RE: OCD or just a bad habit?
It's the move from the nails to the webs that worries me.

You know, we have an "ask the doc" thread here somewhere. With two opinions. May be a good idea to ask there, maybe they will both answer.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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20-06-2014, 07:23 PM
RE: OCD or just a bad habit?
(20-06-2014 07:18 PM)Dom Wrote:  It's the move from the nails to the webs that worries me.

You know, we have an "ask the doc" thread here somewhere. With two opinions. May be a good idea to ask there, maybe they will both answer.

There are some skin conditions that can cause that. I totally forgot about that thread.


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And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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20-06-2014, 08:37 PM
RE: OCD or just a bad habit?
I have this problem too, but not quite to the same extent. I get this way with any peeling skin. I'll pick/chew at it until either I'm happy there is no more peeling skin to pick at, or I've done damage. Luckily I'm able to stop at those points (more often than not before I've done damage), and it doesn't happen too often. I'll do it to the area around my fingernails (those spots are the worst !!) or the skin on my lips.

The worst part about it is the act of doing this causes the skin to be all peely again when it starts to grow back creating a vicious cycle.

I can tell you that for me the act is completely compulsive. Feeling the peely skin rub agains other skin, or against fabrics can drive me mad until I fix it. I MUST be rid of the problem, and will only feel better once I've done so. It is easy to get carried away before you realize what's happened.

Now, saying all this, I can't guarantee this is what your daughter is going through, and I'd definitely see a doctor. She is doing some serious damage. Has she been able to tell you why she started doing it? If this is the same issue, it'd make sense that trying to deter her with other forms of chewing didn't help. I can tell you it was much worse for me when I was younger. I don't know whether I'm just able to manage the compulsion now that I've grown up and am aware of my compulsion, or what.

Hug keep us posted. You got this, momma. you're a great mom, and you two will figure this out Hug

I hope that the world turns, and things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you. - V for Vendetta
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20-06-2014, 09:03 PM (This post was last modified: 20-06-2014 09:06 PM by Bows and Arrows.)
RE: OCD or just a bad habit?
(20-06-2014 08:37 PM)Smercury44 Wrote:  I have this problem too, but not quite to the same extent. I get this way with any peeling skin. I'll pick/chew at it until either I'm happy there is no more peeling skin to pick at, or I've done damage. Luckily I'm able to stop at those points (more often than not before I've done damage), and it doesn't happen too often. I'll do it to the area around my fingernails (those spots are the worst !!) or the skin on my lips.

The worst part about it is the act of doing this causes the skin to be all peely again when it starts to grow back creating a vicious cycle.

I can tell you that for me the act is completely compulsive. Feeling the peely skin rub agains other skin, or against fabrics can drive me mad until I fix it. I MUST be rid of the problem, and will only feel better once I've done so. It is easy to get carried away before you realize what's happened.

Now, saying all this, I can't guarantee this is what your daughter is going through, and I'd definitely see a doctor. She is doing some serious damage. Has she been able to tell you why she started doing it? If this is the same issue, it'd make sense that trying to deter her with other forms of chewing didn't help. I can tell you it was much worse for me when I was younger. I don't know whether I'm just able to manage the compulsion now that I've grown up and am aware of my compulsion, or what.

Hug keep us posted. You got this, momma. you're a great mom, and you two will figure this out Hug

^^^ This is how my daughter describes what she does. She doesn't bite the nail …its the skin. a little spot that isn't smooth gets her biting, then before you know it, she has nibbled a large area and now the whole thing has parts that aren't smooth and she keeps coming back to it.

ETA: I mentioned it to the pediatric doc on our last visit. She didn't seem overly concerned, tried to take the education route (don't do it, not good for your skin, etc). I'm guessing if we come back for a 2nd time, now that a few months have passed, she will turn it up a notch.


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20-06-2014, 09:07 PM
RE: OCD or just a bad habit?
(20-06-2014 09:03 PM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  
(20-06-2014 08:37 PM)Smercury44 Wrote:  I have this problem too, but not quite to the same extent. I get this way with any peeling skin. I'll pick/chew at it until either I'm happy there is no more peeling skin to pick at, or I've done damage. Luckily I'm able to stop at those points (more often than not before I've done damage), and it doesn't happen too often. I'll do it to the area around my fingernails (those spots are the worst !!) or the skin on my lips.

The worst part about it is the act of doing this causes the skin to be all peely again when it starts to grow back creating a vicious cycle.

I can tell you that for me the act is completely compulsive. Feeling the peely skin rub agains other skin, or against fabrics can drive me mad until I fix it. I MUST be rid of the problem, and will only feel better once I've done so. It is easy to get carried away before you realize what's happened.

Now, saying all this, I can't guarantee this is what your daughter is going through, and I'd definitely see a doctor. She is doing some serious damage. Has she been able to tell you why she started doing it? If this is the same issue, it'd make sense that trying to deter her with other forms of chewing didn't help. I can tell you it was much worse for me when I was younger. I don't know whether I'm just able to manage the compulsion now that I've grown up and am aware of my compulsion, or what.

Hug keep us posted. You got this, momma. you're a great mom, and you two will figure this out Hug

^^^ This is how my daughter describes what she does. She doesn't bite the nail …its the skin. a little spot that isn't smooth gets her biting, then before you know it, she has nibbled a large area and now the whole thing has parts that aren't smooth and she keeps coming back to it.

Aaaaah yep. That is exactly how it gets for me. Once I've noticed it it's all I can think about until I get rid of it. Like I said I've gotten better at managing it now that I'm aware it's a compulsion for me, but it's not easy, and not 100% a deterrent. I've also gotten a lot better at getting rid of just the flakey peely skin without causing damage.

So other than these two things, I don't know how to fix it Sad I'm sorry I can't help. I do know that if I can abstain from picking until the area is fully healed, the problem arises much less often, but it soooo hard to fight the compulsion sometimes. I'll find myself doing it without realizing I've started.

I hope that the world turns, and things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you. - V for Vendetta
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20-06-2014, 09:22 PM
RE: OCD or just a bad habit?
(20-06-2014 09:03 PM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  
(20-06-2014 08:37 PM)Smercury44 Wrote:  I have this problem too, but not quite to the same extent. I get this way with any peeling skin. I'll pick/chew at it until either I'm happy there is no more peeling skin to pick at, or I've done damage. Luckily I'm able to stop at those points (more often than not before I've done damage), and it doesn't happen too often. I'll do it to the area around my fingernails (those spots are the worst !!) or the skin on my lips.

The worst part about it is the act of doing this causes the skin to be all peely again when it starts to grow back creating a vicious cycle.

I can tell you that for me the act is completely compulsive. Feeling the peely skin rub agains other skin, or against fabrics can drive me mad until I fix it. I MUST be rid of the problem, and will only feel better once I've done so. It is easy to get carried away before you realize what's happened.

Now, saying all this, I can't guarantee this is what your daughter is going through, and I'd definitely see a doctor. She is doing some serious damage. Has she been able to tell you why she started doing it? If this is the same issue, it'd make sense that trying to deter her with other forms of chewing didn't help. I can tell you it was much worse for me when I was younger. I don't know whether I'm just able to manage the compulsion now that I've grown up and am aware of my compulsion, or what.

Hug keep us posted. You got this, momma. you're a great mom, and you two will figure this out Hug

^^^ This is how my daughter describes what she does. She doesn't bite the nail …its the skin. a little spot that isn't smooth gets her biting, then before you know it, she has nibbled a large area and now the whole thing has parts that aren't smooth and she keeps coming back to it.

ETA: I mentioned it to the pediatric doc on our last visit. She didn't seem overly concerned, tried to take the education route (don't do it, not good for your skin, etc). I'm guessing if we come back for a 2nd time, now that a few months have passed, she will turn it up a notch.

I would do that when I was younger. Then I got manicure like clippers and wow...it was waaaaaay worse.

It's hard. Hug

I agree the ped should take another look. Good luck.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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