World’s Wackiest Addictions
November 9, 2008
Tanorexia: addiction to Tannings
Tanorexia is an unhealthy dependence on tanning; the name comes because of its similarities to both substance addictions and body image disorders, such as anorexia. There is some evidence that UV tanning dependence may have biological underpinnings like other addictions, such as the production of endorphins as in the ‘runner’s high, but since tanning dependence is such a new concept, treatments are still being studied.
CrackBerry: addiction to BlackBerry
Hearing a “phantom ring” (or experiencing a phantom vibration) and constantly checking e-mail are signs of BlackBerry addiction. Experts say e-mail and text messages may feed the ego because they make people feel important. Treatment for CrackBerry or similar addictions (such as an Internet or e-mail obsession) involves, evidently, interrupting the pattern.
Addiction to Cosmetic Surgery
Patients who do not have an addiction to plastic surgery are satisfied when they leave; addicts think just one more procedure—and then another, and another, and another—will make them look perfect. This addiction can be the result of Body Dysmorphic Disorder, which is an unhealthy preoccupation with physical appearance or a specific body part. A famous addict is millionaire Jocelyn Wildenstein, who spent over $4,000,000 on cosmetic surgery over the years. The exact cause or causes of BDD is unknown, but most clinicians believe it to be a complex combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors.
Pagophagia: addiction to Ice
Pagophagia is an obsessive need to chew on ice. Scientific research shows Pagophagia can be a sign of low iron in the blood. The addition of B vitamins can help increase red blood cell production, and vitamin C can aid in the absorption of iron.
Addiction to Funerals
This is so unique, it doesn’t even have a name. Brazilan man Luis Squarisi suffers what he calls an addiction to funerals. The 42-year-old man from Batatais, has attended every single funeral in his town for the past 20 years and has quit his job to be able to feed his addiction. “What set me off was my father’s death in 1983. The first thing I do every morning is to turn on the radio to find out if anyone has died, if I don’t hear it on the radio I call the hospitals and the local funeral home”, said the man. A spokesperson for local funeral home, São Vicente, said: “We dont want him to go to therapy, everyone expects to see him at the funerals.”
Geophagy: addiction to Dirt
The extraordinary practice of earth eating is well documented by medical and anthropology journals and classified as “pica” or “geophagy”. While not being considered a social norm in Western society, the custom is quite common among primitive or economically depressed peoples, and also animals, to augment a scanty or mineral-deficient diet. However, the practice is most often confined to people suffering from chronic mental illness and commonly labeled as “nutters”. In contrast, in the slums of Haiti, people make and eat mud pies on a daily basis, with the earth being mixed with water and sieved through a cheesecloth to remove inedible stones. The batter is then formed into pancakes and fried, selling in the local markets at five for a dime. Fortunately these are not approved for the export market, yet, but keep an eye on theTesco’s Finest shelves. The picture shows Baobao, an 18-year-old girl from Inner Mongolia, who recently became world famous after eating dirt for 11 years!
Teeth Whitening Addiction
Looks like some people can stop whitening their teeth, so much that it’s being considered a new addiction. Since bleaching is easy and effective, people can really get hooked. Two possible side effects of this addiction are tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. According to a report, in the US alone, people spent almost $1.4 billion on tooth whitening products and procedures in 2006.