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Bleeding in nails from biting due to ANXIETY.

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I'm a 29 year old female and have been dealing with a lot of health issues at the moment. What I'm about about to say I acknowledge is nowhere near normal behavior for me or anyone but I need all the help I can get. Because of my situation I have been biting my fingers and nails until they bleed, using a metal nail clipper around the skin and biting it, and using neosporin and aquaphor on at night but then would forget on the morning and would have my fingers in my mouth with it still on the next day. This next thing is very embarrassing, I've developed a strong underarm order so when I would grab my shirt there to check, I would eventually forget I did and bite my fingers and taste it. That happened a few times. Now my sense of taste has been completely altered over the past few days. Over the past few weeks it has been slightly dulling, but now it's really bad and everything is tasting bitter or not like anything. I am scared and don't know what to do. I don't know who to go to to get help, if there's anything anyone can do or I can do. Should I be put on antibiotics? Is there anything I can do or that can be done? I don't know what to do. I have a very weakened immune system with all I'm dealing with right now, I've been running around to doctor's appointments so there's germs on my hands too and now I am so scared I just damaged my taste with my actions. This is definitely not a normal case I know that but I am desperate I don't know what should be done.

Category: Psychiatrist

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Thanks for using for posting your query.
I have gone through your question in detail and I can understand what you are going through.
The symptoms of nail biting that you are describing seems to be due to an impulse control disorder. This requires treatment, otherwise it may progress further. Fluoxetine (20-60mg) and carbamazepine (200mg-600mg) are two good options for the treatment of impulse control disorder. Further along with medicines, relaxation theraoy can be useful for reducing the anxiety and impulsivity. Biofeedback therapy can be a good option for reducing the impulsivity. Most of these therapies are done by psychologist.
The taste sensations that you have lost will be regained with time. If your tummy is upset, then you may require a course of antibiotics. But the main cause, i.e. impulse control disorder needs to be controlled first.
Hope this helps,
In case if you have any further query, do let me know.
Kind regards
Dr. Srikanth Reddy

Patient replied :

I recieved the same exact reply almost word for word from another site. I am extremely upset. I need someone taking this seriously. I am very concerned about the chemicals, the metal, and the bacteria especially from my underarms that went directly into my mouth and I need to know what to do. The nail biting can be under control but in the meantime my taste is severely, severely affected. Please tell me what to do.

Thanks for the follow up query.
Its good that there was a same opinion about your problem and it suggests that the treatment of the problem is almost the same across the doctors. I understand your concerns about all the stuff that you have swallowed but let me assure you that our stomach acid environment is very resistant to infections and would not let the bacteria that you are ingesting to enter the body. You may get a stool microscopy examination done to identify if there is any infection. If there is any infection then the infection should appear is the microscopic examination of the stool. If the stool report comes normal then you need not mind. If some infection does turn up in the stool examination then required antibiotics may be given. The taste of your tongue will improve with time ones your 'fingers in mouth' will stop. Meanwhile, you may chew Vit C tablets to improve the taste sensation as it helps in the epithelial regrowth.
Hope this helps

Dr. Srikanth Reddy
Category: Sexologist
Doctor of Medicine (MD), Psychiatry Residency Program,2001 – 2012
M.B.B.S,Mahatma Gandhi Institute Of Medical Sciences, Sevagram

Certificate Course in sex Therapy and Counselling, Sexology and Counselling, A
Sexology,Medikon Sexual Sciences, Mumbai

Training in Advanced Neurology at a leading corporate hospital (CARE hospital) in Hyderabad

Child Psychiatry Training in National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bangalore

Sex Therapy and Counsellingat MEDIKON Sexual Sciences, Mumbai.
Dr. Srikanth Reddy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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