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  #1  
Old 10-21-04, 10:11 PM
Axim_luvr Axim_luvr is offline
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Problem with messing with my adhd fingernails

Hi,

Does anyone here have a problem with picking and pulling at their fingernails and cuticles? My doctor says that as an energy release ADD people compulsively move...many shake legs, stamp feet, etc. He says I pick my cuticles. I also, constantly mess with the calluses beside my fingernails and create hangnails that I in turn pick and pull at.

I am really annoyed with this habit and have tried for years to stop. But it's unconscious and I catch myself doing it about a hundred times a day.

Just wondering if I am the only one?
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  #2  
Old 10-21-04, 11:54 PM
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I'm with you, I do all kinds of things with my nails. I just had a visit from my youngest brother and was surprised to see him doing this too. My Dad does it as well.
ian
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A: Yes.
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Old 10-22-04, 10:27 AM
Axim_luvr Axim_luvr is offline
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I'll tell you what...this is nerve racking. Some days I get a headache from it. Do you just cope with it?

I put a rubber band around my wrist and snap myself when I catch myself doing it (sort of a carrot and stick approach). It actually will work for awhile, but then a few weeks later, when I've lost all my rubber bands, I start it back up again
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Old 10-22-04, 10:40 AM
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OMG !!!!!! Yes and I've never really known how to discribe what I do.

I don't pulling at my fingernails or cuticles or calluses.

If I have a hang nail I can't leave it alone and it usally bleeds. I mess with the sides of my thump nails and index finger. The skin on my thumbs are almost always look peeled and some times I make them bleed. I do this when I'm having a stressful time in my life, nervous,bored or worried.

I can stop myself from doing this by cutting my nails short and I have even put bandaides around the fingers I mess with. I found myself doing this way more on my Dexedrine and when I was taking Ritalin.

I'm kinda embarrased admitting I do this, no one sees me. I've kept it a secret for all my life.
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Old 10-22-04, 11:05 AM
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My habit is more rubbing the end of my thumb nail on the pads of my other fingers but that evolves quickly under pressure into what FTM describes.

The rubbing sometimes causes me pain either by wearing out some skin somewhere or by stressing the joint in my thumb.

I create lifts of skin at the corners of my nails that then become a focus and eventually rip or are bitten off.

The dex has aggravated the problem as now I can't stop the rubbing. When I see my therapist she I can see she always makes a note of it.

What I do to address it is slow down. Once I lose a grip on the discipline I'm done for the day though so it's something I have to start my day with firmly in hand. I consciously walk more slowly than I want to. I talk more slowly than I want to. The most effective thing I so is breathe more deeply and more steadily. I try and breathe like a singer would, from the diaphragm. Babies do this naturally if you have the opportunity you can watch their bellies rise and fall not their chests.

The breathing has saved my fingers. I don't have any bitten nails and my skin around the finger tips is pretty much intact. Cuticles haven't been of much interest so far. The rubbing continues but when I notice I remind myself without repremand to let it go, let go of the tension, relax and let the anxiety move on and of course go back to breathing like a baby.. < g >

So far it's working well. I learnt this letting go and breathing through meditation. I am not sitting in meditation in the mornings and evenings just now but I should be. I'm sure it would have a big impact on this behaviour.
ian

PS - nice avatar and sig FTM!
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A: Yes.
>Q: Are you sure?
>>A: Because it reverses the logical flow of conversation.
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Old 10-22-04, 11:06 AM
Axim_luvr Axim_luvr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasttalkingmom
OMG !!!!!! Yes and I've never really known how to discribe what I do.

I'm kinda embarrased admitting I do this, no one sees me. I've kept it a secret for all my life.

I was totally embarassed to post this thread at all, but I thought that keeping it a secret wasn't doing much good either. I am relieved I'm not the only person who does this.

Try my rubberband trick. It might help you. It at least helps my nails to heal. Every time I catch myself even touching my fingernails I snap myself and in my mind say "STOP!!!" Sometimes, if I am sure I am alone, I yell "STOP" Thought stopping is a therapy of Dr. Ellison I think. He recommends actually yelling.

Just make sure you get big enough rubber bands that don't cut off your circulation. Size 18 or 20 work for me (average weighted guy).
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Old 10-22-04, 11:23 AM
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Well.. I don't like being yelled at, I'm extremely sensitive to pain and I don't need any more negative slaps regarding my short comings so I'll pass on the rubber band. I've found my current approach to be almost completely effective. I think if it weren't for the dex I'd be free of it all.

I'm glad it's working for you and others may find it works for them too. Thanks for the size details! ehh Those types of things help for sure. I bet those small ones sting like the dickens!

Picking up the twenty minutes of meditation morning and evening may yield even more progress but I can't seem to start that just now.
ian
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A: Yes.
>Q: Are you sure?
>>A: Because it reverses the logical flow of conversation.
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Last edited by Ian; 10-22-04 at 11:26 AM.. Reason: works for you included now
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Old 10-22-04, 11:42 AM
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I tend to run my thumb over the callouses formed from playing guitar...I also do the "thumb to finger" fidget method that I was taught when I was younger...basically I touch the tip of my thumb to the tip of each finger in succession, then I do patterns and things, normally both handed.

My major "skin picking" fidget is I grab hold of and mess with the skin of my neck and underneath my jaw and chin. It's fun, heh. I also tap my foot with my whole leg, like a sewing machine. The problem with that is when I am leaning forward and I do it, my whole body rocks, but I don't notice...I fear people wonder what my problem is when I am sitting there with my whole body bouncing up and down, LOL.

Best way to deal with some of these things is transfer the energy to something else, if the fidget is causing a problem. If the fidget isn't causing a problem, I'd just let it go. It's a nervous energy release, very important...letting it build up causes restlessness.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:19 PM
Chicky75 Chicky75 is offline
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I'm so glad someone mentioned this! I've done that all my life. When I was younger I bit my nails, sometimes to the point where they'd hurt, and pick at my cuticles and the skin around them. I somehow got past the biting the nails, but I still pick... It's horrible, I'm always embarrassed when people look at my hands and feel like they're staring at them.

I tried putting bandaids on the ones that were the worst once in high school, but one of my teachers teased me about it in front of the whole class, so I never did that again...

The only thing that's helped is always having a nail clipper nearby to cut off any pieces of skin before I can yank them off and they start bleeding. And I always have to have handcream, I do it much more when the skin is dry. Or letting them heal enough to get a manicure - it doesn't really stop me from doing it, but it makes me more aware of is since getting a manicure and having nice nails is such a novelty for me.
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Old 10-22-04, 04:40 PM
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I carry a knife with a very good pair of small scissors that help keep the rough bits of my fingers in check. It also has an aggressive file to help avoid any rough edges.

I didn't even recognise I was taking such pains to maintain my hands. I have never had a manicure before but now I'm really interested!

If there are folks out there from cold climates that have trouble with their hands callouses cracking painfully I have a fix that is flawless. It's a recipe I cooked up with the help of my pharmacist and propolis. It's ergonomically friendly glue/hand cream. < g > Oh those experiments!
ian
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>>A: Because it reverses the logical flow of conversation.
>>>Q: Why is top posting frowned upon?

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Old 10-22-04, 06:08 PM
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How about applying vaseline whenever you catch yourself doing this? This should help protect the skin/cuticles, plus make it harder to pick at your cuticles (cuz the vaseline will make the skin slippery). I work with a student who pinches/pickes at his skin, and applying vaseline has helped to keep him from breaking the skin.

FYI - I don't pick at my cuticles or fingernails (although I'm obsessive about clipping my dogs' nails --does that count?) ...but I do rub my thumb against the bottom of my middle finger. I have a slight callus there from doing this, but it doesn't really bother me. I used to scratch & pick at this spot, cause the skin to become raw. Thankfully, I only rub the spot nowadays ...but I have no idea how I transitioned to this less injurious fidget.
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Old 10-22-04, 07:34 PM
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I don't notice myself doing stuff like that very much since I began taking medication for anxiety.
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Old 10-22-04, 08:26 PM
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I bit my nails as a kid and picked at my skin but since I have been on adderal it seems to have gotten worse. I have had no luck with anxiety drugs and now the Doc is trying Inderal.
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Old 10-22-04, 08:30 PM
Axim_luvr Axim_luvr is offline
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I might have to try the vaseline trick too..

Hey, Ever since I was diagnosed with ADD 3 weeks ago, I've sort of been in denial that I might not have it. Having others here saying that they have some of the same fingernail issues seems to give me more proof that I am ADD
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Old 10-22-04, 08:45 PM
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Well don't give up hope After going thru this for a year I have learned alot which has explained how I have felt thruout my life. The main thing is being proactive at finding what works for you
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