Hello, I'm new here and I have a pretty weird habit (not to compare it to others or anything). I was born without a working pituitary gland, so I didn't have any growth hormone, cortisol, thyroid hormone, or female hormones. I had to, and still have to, take shots and pills of synthetics to keep myself balanced. I noticed when I was around five that I'd bite my toenails. My parents quickly put a stop to it. So I bit my fingernails and ate them (I know, gross). When I was around 10 I noticed that I had notches in my front teeth, like the kind seamstresses used to get when they'd hold pins and needles between their teeth. I realized it was because of the way I'd bite my nails off and then grind them down more. So I began biting, and eating the skin around the edges of my nails.
It escalated to biting, and eating, the skin down to the first knuckle from the tip. I never take it off where I get hangnails though, strangely enough, because it hurts. It used to hurt when I was younger, but I barely noticed it. Now It doesn't hurt at all to do, and about 8 years ago I've been using a pair of nail clippers to clip the skin off evenly. (I know...it's bad). After it was all gone I'd wait a few days for it to heal over, then go at it again. One day I began thinking I was just insane, and this was a very light form of cannibalism.
I am now 23, undergoing a lot of stress because I'm about to lose my health insurance, and without my medicine I could die. There has been so much stress going on in my life that I don't even allow my fingers the few days it takes to heal. Whenever I sit down and see a pair of nail clippers, I pick them up and begin, looking for anything I can cut off. I have a very strict mother, who I'm forced to live with until I can find a job with decent coverage, and she looks at this with disgust. I have no one else to turn to. Part of the drama is that my only two sources of comfort, my grandmother and my only friend, both moved away.
I'd like to get over this so I'll be able to feel okay with taking my change from the cashiers, to be able to go swimming and not have to hide my hands from others, and to be able to open things like boxes and pop cans without wincing.
Thank you for any help.