Compulsive Behavior: Liz

Liz (Nail Biting)
Customer Service

I've had problems with biting and picking my nails since I was four years old. It was something that I didn't think about as a child unless an adult told me to stop. There were a few incidences where I was questioned about it by adults, but it was just something that I always did. It was a completely compulsive behavior for me. Once you get older, there is a social stigma attached to it and it's hard to get ahead. The habit is distracting and time consuming and unnecessary. When I bit all my fingernails off, it was an outward sign for me of self-deprecating and negative thoughts. I looked at that and thought that it wasn't attractive and it created a cycle for me. I felt out of control. It was something that I took for granted and I was always grappling with it. I wanted to have that control, but I would try to get it in other ways. I was biting my nails when I was tired at night and I was probably picking at them all the time.

When I was 12 or 13, my friend's mom got my mom on a kick to stop biting my nails and she gave me this really bitter nail polish. It dried out the cuticles so much that it made me want to bite them more. Then I got used to it and it didn't bother me so much, so I bit them anyway. Whenever I made a concerted effort to stop biting my nails the opposite would happen and I would do it more and more.

I found out about A New Day Hypnosis when I found an advertisement posted at the Green Muse Cafèe. I had used hypnosis before and I had stopped biting my nails for several months. After Hurricane Katrina, I started biting again with a vengeance. It was like I had just lost that self control. I haven't bitten a nail since our first session and it's been 8 months now. I have experienced all of the expected positive results. I'm more focused with more mental clarity. I have better sleep because I'm not grinding my teeth at night. I'm much more aware of when my jaw goes out of place and that is a direct result of the hypnosis. I'm more aware of my body. I don't have as many headaches because I'm not grinding as much.

Quitting the compulsive act of biting my nails has been relatively easy. What I've really been working on is recognizing what other patterns of thinking are causing that destructive behavior and taking action to change those things. I feel more in control now because the persistently negative thoughts that would come up weren't very loud, but they were always there in the background. When those thoughts come up now, I'm very aware of them and I can use the techniques that I've learned to eliminate them. I feel more confident because I don't feel like I'm hiding my hands anymore. I actually feel proud when a stranger can see my nails because I haven't had any looks of aversion from them.

I made a big career move, I ended a relationship that was going nowhere, and I've gone back to school. I'm way happier. I'm very satisfied and everything is good. I would absolutely recommend A New Day Hypnosis to anyone who wants to overcome a nail biting problem because it works. I know that it's up to me to make this work permanently. If I reverted back to it I firmly believe that I have the power to stop myself. It's a choice that I can make and I have a choice now.