Re: Help me!
Nervous tics get the name for a reason. Focus on ways to chill your nerves. Simplify and take time for yourself. Maybe exercise, gardening, yoga....try new things if you have to. If you have any emotional baggage, try a therapist or counselor to unload that stress.
When you feel the urge to pick at something, try to pick at something else instead (like the seams on fabric, shirt cuff, or a blanket's edge). It won't cure the habit, but will at least take the pressure off of your nails!
My son deals with anxiety and I have just realized that his misshapen nails are from pushing on the cuticles. I give him Valerian when he can't seem to settle down at night--that is when he deals with the habit most. My dad takes Valerian routinely to calm his nerves. It's a natural/herbal remedy. Also try to boost your intake of stress vitamins (all the Bs, but they need to be balanced and taken with sufficient Calcium to absorb).
Don't overlook the possibility of food allergies. People are finding that eliminating certain foods from their diets relieves their anxiety, depression, attention problems, etc. I have nephews who would really struggle with nervous tics (along with other not-so-obvious problems) when they ate food they shouldn't.
If you find yourself picking at certain times and places, try to alter those circumstances. Maybe try wrapping a band-aid around the nails, or putting nasty tasting nail polish remover where you tend to bite.
Good luck! Whatever changes you make to conquer this will likely improve your overall quality of life. It is so worth your efforts!