This man chewed on his fingernails. A short time later he was dead.

Fingernail biting can be the result of psychological problems. This was the case with John Gardener, 40, from Wigan, England. He suffered from chronic anxiety and depression. This had been ongoing and fingernail biting was the result of the psychological condition. While most would think it was a “nervous habit” and basically harmless, turns out for John it had severe consequences.

He was only 10-months-old when he was diagnosed with diabetes. He needed insulin injections twice a day for life. This would lead to a serious heart condition. It would be in 2011 that his leg, damaged by ulcers from the diabetes, had to be taken off. The amputation of a leg and all the other issues led to John’s psychological problems becoming worse than ever.

And the fingernail biting became more intense. It became so bad that the doctor noted they were in bad condition and likely any feeling from his fingertips was lost.

John could chew on them, and basically not feel pain. Severe bleeding would occur and he would end up in the hospital.

Then came the sepsis. His fingers became infected, and the sepsis ran through his body. Antibiotics didn’t help. Amputation of the fingers would have to take place.

It seemed that this indeed improved his condition, and the fever from the infection finally went away. But his problems persisted.

After his 40th birthday, John ended up having a heart attack. He died. Turns out the heart attack was related to the earlier sepsis infection, which had originally occurred due to the fingernail biting.

John’s mother made the following statement:

“It’s really hit our family hard, there could’ve been more done to help him. I wouldn’t want this to happen to anyone else’s son — it’s just devastating.”

Very sad, but very informative on the dangers of how psychological problems can trigger bad habits which in turn can kill you.

This goes for anxiety, depression, eating disorders and other behavior issues. They should all be taken seriously. For John, he had gone through so much, yet it was the fingernail biting which ended up killing him.