Addiction is a complicated idea. When we talk about addictions, we mostly talk about those that can kill you. For example, narcotics and drugs. But some people have weird addictions that we cannot even grasp the concept.
When it comes to the word addictions, it is hard to define it. Mental health professionals define it differently. Yet, there are a few points of agreement. The best definition is “if a substance or behavior is harming you or your relationship, if it is hard to consistently avoid, and if you find yourself craving it all the time, you may be addicted to it”.
Back in the 1970s and the 1980s psychologists used the word addiction for substances like alcohol and cigarettes. Since then, we have had many more substances that can create addiction. Some experts even say caffeine and chocolate can cause an addiction.
Speaking about weird addictions, we saw many of them in the television series My Strange Addiction. Let’s talk about some of the strangest addictions.
Let’s put a line here. Many of us love to go shopping. But being addicted to shopping is something more. There is even a term for it. Called oniomania, it is a condition in which a person has no control over his purchasing behavior.
Often, people with this addiction can go into debt to feed their habit. Some people even hide their purchases from friends and family. They have multiple credit cards to go shopping.
This might be one of the healthiest addictions. Exercise is a healthy activity but has the potential for addiction. We see professional athletes often fall into this healthy addiction.
The exercise addiction often goes hand in hand with anorexia and similar issues. How to define this addiction? It is when people crave the post-workout high, sometimes exercising at an intense level for more than three hours per day.
The addiction can put a lot of strain on the heart, lungs, and muscles. Yes, athletes and sports professionals find a way to balance things out. But when regular people go into overdrive, their body might suffer.
There is a professional name for this weirdest addiction as well. It is trichotillomania, or a compulsive activity done to control symptoms of anxiety. Those with trichotillomania have an overwhelming urge to pull hair from their head, eyebrows, eyelashes, or beard.
The addiction can sometimes result in bald spots on the body. Some even go as far as chewing or eating their hair.
Here is another addiction that can start as an innocent wish for a tattoo or piercing, but end up in something completely different. Some people are addicted to tattoos, others to piercings, and then there are those who are addicted to plastic surgery.
In extreme cases, people with body modification addiction go as far as you cannot recognize them. Yes, some would say body modification is a way of self-expression, it can trigger a lot of mental health disorders. For example, body modification can sometimes stem from a lack of self-esteem or other mental health illness.
There is a word for eating non-edible items. It is pica. Addiction to eating dirt is a common addictive eating disorder in people with developmental delays.
But sometimes you can also see it in people with iron deficiency anemia. The problem is that eating dirt or other non-edible items can lead to choking and poisoning.
There are stranger addictions to sniffing other inhalants, but gasoline can be really dangerous. Those who sniff gasoline do it for the drunk-like euphoric high it causes within minutes. But it follows with dizziness and disorientation. Yes, you get a sense of relaxation, but at what price?
Sniffing gasoline can lead to harmful consequences like hallucinations, slurred speech, nausea, vomiting, severe coughing, kidney damage, liver damage, and much more.
This is one of the more disturbing unusual addictions. Vampires might be popular in television and movies, but they are far from real. People suffering from this addiction feel the compulsion to consume human or animal blood.
They even engage in self-harm behaviors like cutting their own body to drink blood. Others harm other people or animals to feed their addiction. Yes, they sound like real-life vampires.
There are many mental health benefits of having a pet. But there is a limit to how many pets is enough. One, two, three, four, five? What is the magic number? Nobody knows.
But what we can agree is that it is an addiction to compulsively collect pets, far beyond what you can care for. The addiction often starts with a person saving or rescuing a stray dog or cat.
Sadly, while it starts as a noble act, it can quickly escalate to dozens of animals. And the worst part is usually pet addiction leads to animal neglect, like starving of the animals.
Simply put, one cannot care for so many animals. You can end up living in filthy and subpar conditions along with the animals you have rescued. Do those animals deserve that?
Chewing Ice Cubes
There was an episode on My Strange Addiction about a person who cannot stop chewing ice cubes. We have to admit, chewing an ice cube during the summer might be a fun way to cool down. But constantly chewing ice cubes? Now that is taking it a step too far.
Teenagers suffer from this addiction. We all hate it when pimples appear. Sadly, not all of us have the patience to go through the period and take care of acne in a healthy way.
Some choose to pop pimples. The problem is extracting sebaceous filaments and blackheads can lead to serious skin issues. And you might end up with a worse problem.
Next on our list of weird addictions is reading a horoscope. At a first glance, nothing bad can come from reading a horoscope. But you end up in a constant Zodiac loop, trying to figure out what comes next.
Reading Random Universe Theories
Here is another weird addiction that starts as something good. You can always learn more about the universe. But you have to control yourself.
Some people read random theories until their brain feels blown. And the more you read, the more absurd theory you need to blow your mind.
The summer is here and we want a chocolate body. Well, sometimes that wish can lead to serious skin problems.
Tanning addiction is when someone lies out in the sun or visits a tanning salon more than eight to ten times a month.
Some people even have withdrawal symptoms after they stop visiting the tanning salon.
This can turn into one of the worst addictions. Playing video games can become a real addiction that will take all of your time. Some people go as far as feeling they are in a relationship with video games.
Characterized by compulsive game playing online or offline role-playing games, people with this addiction can withdraw from reality and relationships. Instead, they focus on their online gaming and game achievements.
Another weird addiction comes from the My Strange Addiction television series. The lady in the episode said she loved drinking paint because it felt like a thicker version of warm milk on her throat.
Well, there are some strange addictions for sure.
Eating Cat Food
We said before that there are people that eat non-edible items as part of their addiction. But eating cat food is going one step further. Yes, it is edible food, but food for pets and food for humans are not the same.
This might be hard to believe. But some people love to feel the pain of romantic rejection. According to some brain scans, people have similar cravings to cocaine cravings. Well, it seems like those who make bad relationship choices have a mental illness.