I Have Dermatophagia

I have had this problem for years, i cant remember when it started. I constantly bite my fingers, and pick at them. If I'm not biting or picking then I'm fidgeting something that affects my finger cuticles. I have a great home life, yet for some reason have this awful problem. I bite my fingers from the crease and up, but never on top. Its getting worse day by day. anything and everything triggers my biting and picking, boredom,anxiety, mad/angry, frustrated/stressed, sad/depressed, literally everything. I will bite them anywhere i am. I don't hide them unless my hands get wet... if you have this problem you probably understand that when your fingers get wet... they are worse then pruned... and its beyond embarrassing. When I'm mad,upset,stressed or just down right frustrated.. ill know I'm biting...but when I'm bored, or alone.. i just bite not even realizing it. This problem makes me not want to get in hot tubs, pools, showers.. anything that will make me notice how bad my fingers really are:/ for me its deff when their wet. I have people constantly asking what i did to my fingers and i straight up tell them "i bite them", usually i get a face like "omg ew" which makes me ashamed, but feel better because i tell the truth. my fingers aren't even the right color, and they are just ripped everywhere which makes me just pick and bite them more. school just makes it ten thousand times worse:/ its gotten to the point where making fists.. just hurts;( i want to change this problem..
brocclie brocclie
18-21, F
1 Response May 8, 2012

I've had similar problem. It helps to keep busy with things that will reduce anxiety or stress. But be careful not to "self-medicate" with things that may seem to eliminate stress but then end up increasing it with guilt or other negative emotions.<br />
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My experience is that the root problem is low self-worth, and anxiety are what causes this problem to get out of control. Get rid of any bad habits, reduce caffeine intake, improve diet also helps. Keep a diary of when the problem is worse, and what activities you were engaged in, and what your diet consisted of which may have contributed to the problem.<br />
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Surround yourself with people who really care about you. Stay away from people who do not have your best interests in mind. Bible reading and prayer are of great benefit. Search for God if you haven't started, start now. Anxiety, stress, low self-worth will eventually kill you one way or another, so the problem is much more serious than just a skin problem. The deeper issues need to be addressed. <br />
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Finally, stay away from alcohol, as it will only worsen the problem.