Nail Biting

What Causes Nail Biting?

Nail biting can have various causes, just like most other symptoms.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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  • understand what's happening to your body
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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose nail biting, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "nail biting" as a symptom.  Here are two possibilities:
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
poor ability to relax
occasional rapid, shallow breathing
regular sleep paralysis
very angry/hostile disposition
obsessive compulsive disorder
frequent racing thoughts
unsound sleep
feelings of insecurity
discontinued antianxiety drug use
regular bizarre dreams
difficulty falling asleep
occasional bad dreams
... and so on

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of nail biting:
Cause Probability Status
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder 92% Confirm
Anxiety 62% Possible
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Fingernail/Toenail Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about nail biting:
Do you bite your nails?
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ Sometimes a little, but my nails look quite normal
→ Moderately - they are bitten back to the nail bed
→ Severely - my nails are deformed or mostly gone
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate minor nail biting, moderate nail biting or severe nail biting, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Anxiety

Nail biting can be a sign of persistent anxiety.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Nail biting or picking has been linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
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