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[Self-Test] Nail Biting Disorder: Symptoms of Onychophagia

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Nail biting is, for most people, simply a bad habit that’s hard to break. Then there are individuals for whom nail biting is chronic, compulsive, and significantly impacts their wellbeing.Onychophagia, the medical term for nail biting, is a type of body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB).

Individuals with chronic and compulsive onychophagia will often bite the nails on their hands and/or toes to the point of causing visible damage to their nails.

Chronic nail biting, like any BFRB, is difficult to control. Some individuals with onychophagia describe the behavior as automatic.Chronic nail biting is associated with increased risk for ungual infections and dental problems.1 Onychophagia often co-occurs with other BFRBs, including trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder) and excoriation (skin-picking disorder).2 As a whole, BFRBs are also linked to conditions like depression, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).345 Onychophagia is treatable, and managed with psychotherapy and medication.Answer the questions below to see if you may be showing signs of onychophagia.

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