Some people think finger-picking is a harmless nervous habit, others call it an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), still others don’t think its a problem at all (usually the finger-pickers themselves).
Here are some common reasons why you may pick your fingers:
- You’re bored
- You have nervous energy
- You’re worried about work, school, family or money
- You have a juicy-looking cuticle that’s just begging to be picked – joke! (kinda )
There is always a root cause to a person’s finger-picking habit, and it usually has to do with psychology. Why else would someone continue to pick when it either harms them or embarrasses them?
Psychological terms for impulsive picking include:
- Dermatillomania — also known as Compulsive Skin Picking (CSP) is the term to describe people who obsessively and compulsively pick their skin — including their fingernails and cuticles — to the point that physical harm is done
- Body Dysmorphic Disorder — a mental disorder causing a person to have a disturbed or distorted body image. BSD can easily manifest itself in someone picking their fingers, if that person obsesses over minor imperfections in the cuticles or fingernails. Picking at the imperfections releases an inner urge.
- Neurotic Excoriation — damage of the skin by rubbing, scratching or picking. Excoriation can be caused when a person suffers from bacteria or some other fungus infection and itches the skin to relieve discomfort. Excoriation is called “neurotic” when it is cause by a mental disorder (such as BSD). This disorder falls under the umbrella of Neurodermatosis.
- Self Injury — This is the extreme form of finger and skin picking. This is picking done to excess — and with the express purpose of mutilating the fingers for pleasure or to relieve anxiety or nervousness.
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