Wednesday, 27 August 2014

One of my Demons

Today my post is taking a bit of an educational direction - talking about a mental health condition I suffer with  have to deal with on a daily basis. I'm talking about Nail Biting. Onychophagia.

This article is a good one which explains what Onychophagia is and how to deal with it.
For me I think my nail biting started back when I was 7 and had an incident with a cousin with long nails, a tennis ball fight and a resulting scratched eye. Ever since then I'd had short nails, shortened not from cutting or trimming them, but from biting them. It's not something I'm proud of... It is something I face every day to challenge myself and aim to stop doing.

Nail Biting is a Habit, but it's also a mental health condition - technically it comes under an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and as such is not as easy to break as a regular bad habit would be. It takes years to work through therapy and months to see real results.
Treatment varies from therapist to therapist, mine told me that mine is likely linked to my mental health (anxiety and depression) and when those flair and times are hard, bad, rough etc that is when I'm more likely to bite them. I think that is a pretty accurate description, so now my goal is to try and work through those triggers without biting my nails. So using my other techniques to deal with the issue/s at hand, rather than taking it all out on my poor nails.

Here is an article on the medical side of things with Onychophagia and another here.
Here is the wiki. The usual treatment is the use of a foul tasting nail polish containing Denatonium Benzoate - however from using these in the past (such as "stop it" nail biting preventer) I found that it wasn't effective for me - especially since I like to have finger foods I can pick up to eat (grapes etc), which meant I'd have to change my eating patterns and that isn't really a good idea for me.

One of the ways I'm working on being Accountable for my Actions is sharing my photos regularly on Instagram. This means I'm sharing my photos and reflecting on my self. My nail growth in the past few months is big for me. I have White Tips on my nail tips! For me that is a big thing, before I'd bite them before they could get them.

I'm also much more aware of how long my nail polish stays on for... chips on my nails annoys me so I remove it and start again. It does mean I'm re-doing my nail polish every few days or so. I'm slowly learning that using things like a nail polish base and top coat is very important! (I have a couple of base and top coats now)...
Pale colours (closer to my skin tone) don't show the chips as much, so they seem to last a little longer. Dark colours seem to show chips a lot more easily.

I'm also moisturising my hands more now too. Still only once a day - at night before bed. It's become a good ritual.

Taking the time to show my skin some love is having it's benefits too, I'm also taking a multi-vitamin - and my hair is growing more and more too...

There are photos of my progress up on instagram (linked above).