From a very early age we are starting to learn new things and develop new habits. By the time we become adults most of our life is already habitual. We do what we do without thinking too much about it. For this reason it might be true that the first 7 years of one’s life are the most important for developing good and healthy habits. However, it is also a good time to develop some not so healthy such as nail-biting, bad posture, etc.

When is an unhealthy habit considered a mental disorder?

There are many unhealthy habits that we pick up along the way. Some like nail-biting seem less harmful in comparison to overspending, smoking, procrastination, etc. What distinguishes unhealthy habits from problematic ones is very simple. Firstly, a problematic habit is one that we have no longer control over. For instance, if even when you know you shouldn’t be spending so much money(overspending) daily, you continue doing it, this may cause you huge problems and you might need professional intervention.

Furthermore, a disorder is a disorder when it is reflected in the behavior of an individual and this behavior is potentially harmful for him/her or the society and causes nuisance. You might think that nail-biting is not such a serious problem and definitely doesn’t
disturb anyone, but read the following and think twice.

Why You Should Stop Biting Your Nails?

Nail-biting or as also called onychopagia is an oral compulsive disorder. Yeah you heard me, a disorder. If you cannot stop doing it, then you need more convincing in order to take serious measures.

1. Nail-biting causes the breaking of skin around the cuticles. The saliva that goes on the broken skin may then infect the area near your nails. As you probably know in your mouth, alone there are around 500 different species of bacteria. For this reason it should come as no surprise that one of these can cause infection to the area you are biting.

2. According to medical research nail-biting is also related to gingival injury – a dental problem that is quite unpleasant. It results from bacteria buried under the surface of the nails. According to domestic cleaning Islington such bacteria is easy to "catch" even when we don't dig out in the yard - our cell phones, keyboards, mouses, etc. have plenty on them and we touch the constantly.

3. Certain bacteria that come from under the nails as well as the bits you swallow are related to stomach problems.

4. And finally, the habit looks bad. It might make people around you feel uncomfortable, as it could be very irritating. In addition to that, nail-biting will make your nails look highly unattractive. You may think that no one notices, because you no longer pay attention, but people do notice as much as you wish they didn’t.

How To Stop?

There are a few ways to break your bad habit.

1.Apply something that has a bitter taste on your finger tips. Usually such oils are sold in pharmacies.

2. Ask everyone you know to slap you when you start doing it in front of them.

.. just kidding. We don't want you to get in a fight with someone close to you, but if No 1 didn't work that's an alternative. Or..

3. Start a Cognitive-Behavioural therapy. If your habit has become such an inconvenience, or is actually no longer a habit, but a disorder, then you should do it. It is expensive, but if you re persistent it will help you 100%.

So, now it is up to you,to stop!

Author's Bio: 

This article was based on research done on resources from the DSM-V, opinions of friends who occasionally bite their nails and ,domestic cleaning Islington who have a whole section on personal hygiene and home hygiene advice!