For those who have never seen My Strange Addiction on TLC, it’s essentially a “documentary television series about people with unusual compulsive behaviors; these range from eating specific non-food items and ritualistic daily activities to bizarre personal fixations or beliefs.” We’ve rounded up five of the most strangest episodes for your viewing enjoyment after the break.
5. Eating Couch Cushions / Fur Suit
4. Eating Rocks / Carrying Her Pillow
3. Eating Glass / Bleaching Skin
2. Eating Plastic / Bleach
1. Dating My Car / Baby Powder Addict
5 More strange addictions:
- A study conducted at Stanford University in 2006 found that an estimated 6 percent of Americans are affected by a shopping addiction, but a 2008 study in the “Journal of Consumer Research” suggests the number may be closer to 9 percent of the population. So what’s the difference between simply enjoying shopping and being a compulsive shopper? Compulsive shopping is characterized by excessive time and money spent shopping, lying about and hiding purchases, masking feelings of emptiness, anger, depression or other negative feelings, and a need for establishing a sense of control. Compulsive shoppers often feel guilty about their behavior but simply can’t stop shopping. And many purchases remain unopened or unused.
- The natural high you feel after a day at the beach could be addictive. A study conducted at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and published in the August 2005 edition of the journal “Archives of Dermatology” found that more than 50 percent of beach lovers could be considered tanning addicts, and 26 percent of sun worshippers would qualify as having a substance-related disorder.
- The number of people choosing cosmetic surgery, according to a survey conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, is on the rise. In 2008, 12.1 million people had a cosmetic procedure done, compared to 7.4 million people in 2000. Women have the most work done — 91 percent of all cosmetic procedures are done on women. While having a nose job or breast augmentation isn’t uncommon, for an estimated 10 percent of people who want plastic surgery, it becomes a problem.
- Ice chewing is a crunchy habit that may be an indicator of iron deficiency anemia. The practice of compulsively chewing and consuming excessive amounts of ice is called pagophagia. Pagophagia is a form of pica, a condition where people crave and eat nonfood items that have no nutritional value. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 2 percent of American males ages 18 and older as well as 16 percent of females between ages 16 and 19 are compulsive ice chewers.
- Compulsive hair pulling is a psychological condition known as trichotillomania, or trich, and it’s estimated that as many as 11 million Americans suffer from it. Trich is an impulse-control disorder and those with it can’t overcome the overwhelming urge to pull out their own hair — be it from the scalp or crown of the head, their eyelashes, eyebrows or any other part of the body. The hair pulling is so extreme that it results in bald patches. Those afflicted often experience feelings of tension or anxiety that aren’t relieved until they pull, which gives the individual a sense of relief or pleasure. In addition to pulling, those with the disorder may also chew or eat their hair.