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Is Nail Picking Associated with Anxiety?

Occasionally picking at an uneven fingernail or a hangnail isn’t usually a cause for concern, but constantly picking at your nails could indicate underlying stress or an anxiety disorder.

Onychotillomania is the medical term for a nail picking disorder, while nail biting disorder is known among the medical community as onychophagia. Some people might pick at their nails when they feel nervous or stressed, while others do so habitually without realizing it.

While nail picking and biting are often associated with children, these behaviors can extend into adulthood. A doctor can help you understand the causes of frequent nail picking and recommend therapies — and sometimes medications — that can help you break this cycle.

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