Certain bad habits could actually be diseases. Find out if you have one

Bhubaneswar: Have you ever considered that some of your bad habits might be a possible outcome of some disease that you have been suffering and yet ignorant about?  

The human brain is an archipelago of multifarious thoughts and emotions and that largely defines one’s mental health. ‘Stress’ and ‘anxiety’ that were once considered social taboos have now slithered in as the new normal.

 We are all familiar with serious mental conditions like depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) being some outcomes of stress and anxiety. However, there is another lesser-known condition called body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) that goes undiagnosed in the name of a mere ‘bad habit.’

BFRB is a condition related to impulse control and is described by Anxiety.org as a set of compulsive behaviours that unintentionally cause physical damage to one’s body and affect appearance. Its cause is still unclear and hence being studied under the obsessive-compulsive disorder spectrum. However, researchers claim that it is not the same as OCD and nor does it include self-harming actions like cutting self.

For a better understanding, here are some of the BFRBs that you might have been ignoring in your daily lives:


  •  Dermatillomania: otherwise known as excoriation disorder. People suffering from this disorder keep picking at pimples, bumps and scabs, and sometimes even healthy skin. It’s common among people suffering from OCD.


·   Morsicatio Buccarum: people with this behavior, keep biting the inside of their mouths which later result in sores and swellings.


·         Onychophagia: the nail-biting habit that eventually damages the skin and nails.


·         Morsicatio Labiorum: the habit of sucking, chewing, or biting the inner lips. This habit gradually leaves a rough patch on the lip surface.


·         Onychotillomania: the habit of pulling or picking at nails on the fingers or toes or sometimes even biting them. This practice results in hangnails and often causes infection by letting the germs into the skin.


·         Morsicatio Linguarum: chewing the sides of the tongue. This often occurs due to stress.


·         Dermatophagia:  people with dermatophagia start chewing their skin and later the scab. Often people are found doing this when they are tensed or stressed about something.


·         Rhinotillexomania: a habit that seems rather nasty is rhinotillexomania. People with this condition, can’t help picking their noses, with a continuous urge to keep them clean.


·         Trichotillomania: it might be triggered by anxiety or simply boredom. People start tweaking hair from their eyebrows, heads or other parts of their bodies.


·         Trichophagia: the condition of pulling hair and chewing them. However, if a person swallows a lot of hair and get stuck with a hairball in the stomach, that could risk the person’s life.


·      Trichotemnomania: a desperate urge to get rid of all the body hair.  People suffering from this often relate to the hair-removing process with the clearing of unpleasant thoughts. They may shave their eyebrows, arms, legs, and pubic hair.


The good news is, these conditions can be treated. So, if you have experienced any of them, consulting a doctor would be wise.




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