Bite Your Nails? Pull Your Hair? Anxiety May Not Be to Blame! Find Out Why! by Mei Marcie
We typically associate behaviors like hair pulling, skin picking and nail biting with anxiety. An exploratory study suggests that such behaviors (known as body-focused repetitive behaviors or "BFRBs") may instead be linked to perfectionism.
Half of the participants in the study exhibited BFRBs and were also scored as organizational perfectionists, while the other half were part of a control group. The participants were shown various videos to elicit boredom, frustration, stress and relaxation. The BFRB group reported a signiﬁcantly greater urge to engage in BFRBs, in particular when bored or frustrated, but not when stressed.
The study was published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. Read more about this study via Scientific American.