The Daily Mail reported that Millions of people around the world suffer from a self-mutilating and often painful addiction to biting their nails, which can be harder to quit than smoking cigarettes, but is often overlooked as a relatively benign habit.
Medical experts are now taking a closer look at the addiction and have decided to change its classification from a mere habit to a full-fledged obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The American Psychiatric Association is preparing to change the designation of nail biting from ‘not otherwise classified,’ to ‘obsessive compulsive disorder’ in its upcoming issue of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, NBC News reported.
Habits that are commonly associated with OCD include repetitive hand-washing and hair-pulling. The disease is characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears that lead to such repetitive behaviours.
The fact the nail biting could be classed as an OCD behaviour could for a tiny minority be accurate. However to call it an addiction is ridiculus. What precisely is an addictive substance in the nail? Fingernails and toenails are made of a tough protein called keratin, as are animals’ hooves and horns. There is nothing in it that is an addictive substance. I think what they mean is that it is a dependency i.e. psychological dependency rather than a physical one.
For the minority of people nail biting can be obsessive and compulsive, but for most people it is simply a problem behaviour that can be resolved as a rule with a couple of hypnotherapy sessions.