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It is estimated that 30% of children and 15% of adults in the UK suffer from nail biting. There can be many reasons why people bite their nails including: boredom, excitement, habit, feeling anxious or stressed. Many people start to bite their nails during puberty then continue with this learned behaviour because it can provide some distraction or relief from an external factor. This habit can then quickly become a body-focused repetitive behaviour.
Excessive nail biting can result in:
The American Psychiatric Association who publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) has included nail biting in the same category as OCD (as well as hair pulling). This has led to the revelation that nail biting can be harder to give up than other additive habits such as smoking.
Hypnotherapy is very effective at helping people to overcome the urges to bite both skin and nails and it also deals with any underlying issues effectively. The hypnotherapist will also give suggestions so that the person will want to have well shaped nails and will also improve the client’s self-esteem and self-confidence.
The number of sessions required varies as every client is unique. Where there are not any underlying issues present just one or two sessions will be sufficient but when underlying issues are present four to six sessions would be recommended.