What do psychologists say about people who bite their nails?

Are you the one who bites your nails all day? Nail biting is a habit for some, and for some, it is just a tendency. In any case, there are so many people worldwide who, consciously or unconsciously, have this unpleasant habit (which is sometimes difficult to overcome). However, psychologists have identified why people bite their nails and what it says about their personality.

This adverse action can harm human health. In addition, the habit of biting nails can be explained by some mental disorders, character, and even genetics.

Lack of Rest

Several studies have shown that people who bite their nails do so out of anger and inability to relax properly. This anxiety leads to nail bites, which is also a phenomenon called onychophagia.


While some people may think of perfectionism as a good trait, it is not its best quality. Perfectionists tend to get annoyed and refuse to calm down when certain things don’t go according to plan. Consequently, some of them begin to bite their nails, which signifies uncertainty and anger.


Not only is nail biting not the most pleasant trait of a person, but this habit is much more harmful to your actual health.

The reason for this is your hand and, in particular, your nails, which come into contact with many dirty objects throughout the day. When you bite your nails, you absorb germs, leading to further problems with your digestive tract.

What do psychologists say about people who bite their nails?

Unaware of the bad habit

As mentioned earlier, many people deliberately bite their nails. However, a group of people bites their nails without even knowing what they are doing.

These people are usually stressed at work or school, and this bad habit is an unconscious reaction to stress. Also, sometimes people bite their nails, feeling lonely.


Children look at their parents. They follow their example. Hence, it is not surprising that they try to imitate their behavior in every possible way.

According to studies, 15% of children started to bite their nails when one of the parents also bit their nails. This is when you follow your parent’s example



Obsessive-compulsive disorder can also be why so many people end up biting their nails even after learning about the serious risks it may bring to this habit. We can say that this is a way to overcome internal frustration.

Hurt yourself

This is one of the most depressing and heartbreaking reasons why some people hurt themselves. This is the result of wanting to hurt yourself, a psychological consequence of depression or lack of attention from others.


When people experience emotions, they tend to react in different ways. Some of them rub their hands or touch their hair; others bite their nails. For some people, this behavior occurs only when they are experiencing the strongest emotions.


Some of the greatest minds the world has ever known are known to bite their nails whenever things get out of hand. Actors and celebrities have been known to bite their nails while on awards, and athletes their careers depend on before or during the games.


An unoccupied mind needs something to take care of itself while it searches for a task to achieve. For many people, nail biting is an act that happens simply because they are bored and have nothing to do. This is an impulsive decision that reflects what a person is looking for something to do.


In some cases, nail biting can be a genetic predisposition. Parents who have bitten their nails throughout their lives are more likely to pass this habit on to their offspring.

Prolonged thumb sucking

Very often, small children suck their thumbs without realizing it. As they grow up, they gradually learn to get rid of this habit. In most cases, children successfully outgrow this habit, but in some cases, it takes the form of “nail biting,” which is a kind of psychological development.

Note* Always consult your doctor or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about your health or condition. Never disregard a health care professional’s advice or delay getting it because of what you read on this website.
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