I have this terrible habit of picking at the skin on my fingers. I used to bite my fingernails and pick at them until they bled, but I quit that. My fingernails look nice . . . . unless you look closely. The skin around the cuticles is a little ragged in places. The bad spots are between my fingers and on the sides. I will pick at them until I rub blisters which become sores. I have callouses on them. I'm not sure what causes me to do this or how to stop. Does anyone else have this problem? Does anyone have any suggestions?
I have tried the bitter tasting stuff, but since I rarely actually bite my nails any more that's not really the main issue. Most of the damage is done on the webs and sides of my fingers. It's almost like a hobby for me. The one time I mentioned this to a psychiatrist, he just shrugged his shoulders and said something like, “What’s the big deal?” I have seen several psychiatrists and counselors over the years, but have never really felt comfortable with any of them and never really felt like they were helpful. The last one that I saw seemed to be more interested in writing prescriptions than anything else. I think that I saw drug reps every time I was at his office. I even saw on a website that he had received thousands of dollars in fees from drug companies for doing talks to promote drugs. I didn’t feel like the meds helped either. I knew that he wasn’t really helping me, but I think that I kept going just so that I could tell myself that since I was seeing a professional, I was at least trying to work out my problems. Finally, I couldn’t even fool myself any longer, so I quit going and haven’t been for counseling in about six years.
I tend to do the picking whenever I am thinking something over or trying to make a decision. I have difficulty making any kind of a decision, including mundane things such as what should I have for dinner, it's pretty much a constant thing.
I am trying to be more conscious of when I do it and try to identify what is going through my mind. I do wear gloves at night.