Nail Biting – A Possible Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

by Dr. Simi Paknikar on  November 10, 2012 at 2:21 PM Health In Focus
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According to experts, nail biting that is severe and distressing to the individual may be soon classified under the group of disorders referred to as obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD). This inclusion will possibly be made in the next edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V).
 Nail Biting – A Possible Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
Nail Biting – A Possible Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

What is obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD?  OCD is a condition where the affected person is obsessed with a particular thought or habit, which compels the individual to perform a task repeatedly.  Though the description may sound a little complex, OCD is something that affects a lot of individuals.  For example, some people may be obsessed with germs and keep washing their hands repeatedly.  Others may repeatedly check door locks to make sure that the doors are locked properly.  Such conditions, if occur repeatedly and interfere with the normal functioning of the individual, constitute OCD.

Currently, nail biting is included under 'not otherwise classified'.  However, most occasional nail biters need not lose sleep and further worsen the condition with anxiety of whether they now suffer from a psychiatric disorder.  Only very severe nail biting that affects the function of the hands or results in repeated infections is likely to qualify as an OCD.

Severe forms of trichotillomania or hair pulling is also likely to be included in DSM-V as a form of OCD.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) is a manual published by the American Psychiatric Association that classifies all mental illnesses.

References:

1. http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health-fitness/nail-biters-classified-as-ocd-sufferers/story-fneuzlbd-1226509128412

2. http://www.business-standard.com/generalnews/news/nail-biting-may-soon-be-classified-asmental-disorder/75606/

Source: Medindia

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