In the American Psychiatric Association's DSM the habit is classified under obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. The behavioral and emotional disorder usually occurs in childhood and during adolescence, and it is difficult for one to determine harmful obsession with normal behavior. People usually bite their nails when they feel nervous, stress or even insecure and often do it without even realizing it. Nail biting is, therefore, a sign of emotional or mental stress as it shows up in people who are nervous, anxious or feel down as a way of coping with those feelings (Zhang et al. 9). Nail later becomes an automatic behavior which makes one to bite their nails often without realizing it making it harder to treat, but many believe that nail biting is not a bad habit compared to many other things you could be doing.
Scientists argue that nail biting may be the parent's fault because the children whose parents bite their nails are likely to bite their nails, too. Although onychophagy is not proven to be genetic, many studies shows that children are likely to bite their nails if their parents were biting their nails even if they stopped the habit before the child was born. Nail-biting occurs naturally and automatic without the person realizing it. Other reasons that make people bite their nails include when bored, hungry or even when they feel insecure.
Nail biting has social impacts as the person who finds themselves biting their nails, especially when giving a speech to a general public or even just being among the people. The nail biter will often experience the feelings of guilt or shame. In essence, the habit reduces the quality of social life and also increases stigmatization in the inward family circles and also at a more societal level. Nail biting also causes physical damage to the hands, deleterious effects in the fingers, mouth and the whole digestive system. The nail-biters usually end up with broken skin on the cuticles and are hence removed in such a manner that they are exposed to microbial and viral infections including paronychia (Vyas 53). Those who bite their nails for a long time end up with deformed nail beds and fingernails.
The American Psychiatric Association lists nail-biting among other pathological grooming behaviors such as nose picking, skin picking, people washing their hands over and over, hair pulling among others as obsessive-compulsive disorders. This habit has a lot of health consequences as it is bad to the teeth and the jaws; it is dirty, and the bacteria’s may develop in the teeth from the nails making the teeth a great breeding ground, and these bacteria’s from the nails may cause nausea and diarrhea which are gastrointestinal problems (Vyas, 53).
Nail biting is a sign of low confidence, and body language interpreters consider the habit as a sign of nervousness, or a feeling of insecurity. This habit is common for beginners or inexperienced people who are trying to pull themselves toget...