Is rubbing under the fingernails a OCD?

When I am sitting and doing nothing at all I constantly have to fold a piece of my clothing or whatever material is around such as a blanket and rub it under my fingernails.

I sometimes catch myself doing it when others are around and then it bothers me that they might be watching me doing it, which would look totally weird, it’s like I know that I am doing it but I can’t stop it. As soon as I start to watch tv or just do anything that doesn’t involve hand usage I immediately grab the closest garment, fold it then excessively wipe under my fingernails with it.

It’s kinda like if my fingers just kicks into their own program and I feel like if there is something under them, when out in public I usually find myself using other nails to rub under other fingernails with.

Man this is freaking me out, I have been doing it all of my life since I can remember but it’s really bothering me now.. so the questions is I wanted to know if others out there think this is an OCD of some sorts?

12 Answers

  • I’d say it’s OCD. Anything that you do all the time uncontrollably could be OCD. Hope that helps.

  • I don’t know it is OCD but it’s a lot more common than I ever knew after searching it and reading this feed. People always noticed and asked, and I would tell them but I thought I was a lone. Thank goodness it’s common! I have been doing it before memory. Instead of a blanket as security as a child I had a percale pillow case. My earliest memory’s include this pillow. By the age of 5 I completely had ripped out the seems of the pillow opening from compulsively rubbing the seam under my nails. My mom claims I use to do it in my sleep as well as awake.

    I’m 28 and still do it today, I can’t seem to pass up a good seam or corners of paper or any thick and flexible that can be slid underneath my nails. I frequently borrow the bottom hem of a close friends pant leg! Being a cheek bitter as well, I always assumed they were ocd, add, or anxiety related … but I really have no idea. I’m sure there is a % where it could fall into each.

    Just be aware of if its harming or hurting your fingers!

  • I’d say no. I do it too. But I take the edge of a blanket and rub it under my nails. Sometimes I’ll tie a little ball in string too and use that. I don’t think it’s OCD honestly, I think its just a habit that we got used to when we were younger. We do it when we were stressed or anxious but now we are just used to it. So dont freak out , its a normal coping skill and everyone has quirky habits (:

  • Yes, I do the exact same thing. Especially when I’m going to sleep I always play with the pillow case sliding the folds under my nail. Been doing it since I could remember! Personally found it quite therapeutic. Anyway, don’t worry about it too much, everyone has these sorts of weird quirks.

  • Not necessarily. Obsessive in nature? Possibly. It doesn’t mean you have OCD. You didn’t mention any type of fear involved with this habit. And people who truly suffer from OCD have feelings of torment and fear A LOT of the time. So, avoid being labeled with OCD by all means. People are so quick to diagnose you with OCD. Then want you medicated all the time.

    Everyone is so “unique” and so many factors come into play when attempting to understand these things. You most likely understand what you feel during these moments BETTER than anyone else. Again…don’t allow yourself to be labeled, and don’t label yourself. If this habit bothers you that much then I suggest you seek Gods help through FAITH and prayer.

  • I honestly thought I was a loner when it came to this. I’m so happy to see others have such a weird harmless obsession as myself. As others mentioned, I too do it for my own pleasure. Always at night with my pillow case. I will only sleep with a specific fabric so that I can do this. I also do it with paper, post-its, ribbon anything that will fold and fit under my nail. Recently I found myself running my bra strap under my nails.

    I’ve been searching to see if there is a name for this habit, and I’ve had no luck:/

    I’m really curious as to what category this sort of behavior would fall into?!?

  • I have had a baby blanket since I ve been born, and I ve been doing this habit with my fingernails as long as I ve been alive… When I Invite new people into my home, they re like, “Do you have a nervous habit?” I m like no…. I ve done this my entire life. It s certainly not and OCD or consider this a nervous habit… I may do this because I like the feeling of it, but not because I m uncomfortable in any sense… I do it because I LIKE IT! I don t care who else is in my presence or if I m entirely by myself, I do it because it makes me feel comfortable but it has nothing to do with other people… Certain fabrics and dog fur give me the same sensation.

  • Onychophagia, as the syndrome is known medically, involves the repetitive biting, chewing, and picking of one’s fingernails and the cuticles around them

    This may fall under that category, they treat that with the same meds used for ocd. But it could just be a really bad habit, you could try the rubber band method and every time you do it fick yourself with the rubber band(not that hard) so it sends your brain the message that this is wrong, and associates the rubbing with pain.

    Or try knitting or needle work something to keep your hands occupied when your bored. Try creating a new habit. I dont recommend smoking b.c stopping smoking can lead to what your doing now

  • It sounds just like OCD.

    Specifically, if something that you think (there is something under my nails and it bothers me) causes you anxiety it’s called an obsession. The compulsion is to wipe it clean.

    It’s important to remember that everyone has little things like this and we usually hide them well. For people who are diagnosed their obsessions and/or compulsions are interfering with their lives. For example, you can’t stop when people are around even though you really want to.

    Email me if you wanna talk about it. Not everyone is sensitive.

  • ah, i used to do that when i was younger too!

    i dont know why

    maybe its just normal for you, so you do it out of habit

    you could try to be more aware that you’re doing it, and stop yourself when you notice you do it

    its not a big deal though, not like youre getting high off of it

Leave a Comment