One of the most common symptoms of stress, pathological nail biting troubles some people 6 million people worldwide. Or so estimates Alain-Raymond van Abbe the Dutch inventor of the "Preventer."
Although his background is in marketing and not medicine, van Abbe describes himself as a "problem solver." His solution for nail biting, The Preventer, is essentially a molded mouth guard, worn on either the upper or lower teeth. The Preventer is barely visible and it prevents biting, hence your fingernails cannot be bitten. It can, however, be removed for actual eating. It takes about 4 weeks of wearing the Preventer to control the nail biting impulses. Van Abbe has created an entire clinic for chronic nail biters and he is doing a brisk business. Treatment costs about $640.
Pathological nail biting is now classified as a category of obsessive-compulsive disorders called Body-Focused Repetitive, along with hair pulling and biting the inside of the cheek, and these habits are gaining more scientific attention. Some American psychologists believe Van Abbe might be onto something, since his treatment deals with both cognitive and behavioral aspects. However there is skepticism that an entire clinic dedicated to nail biters can remain afloat.
And you, are you a nail biter? If so would you try this treatment? Let me know in the comments below.