From nicotine to drugs or alcohol to shopping, you certainly know someone who deals with addiction. Center on Addiction reminds us it’s a disease that affects both the mind and body, as addiction alters the brain chemicals associated with reward and motivation over time. For many fighting this disease, sheer willpower alone isn’t strong enough to break the habit.
Anything can become an addiction, too — and these folks have some seriously bizarre habits we’ve never heard of before. Check out the strangest addictions you had no idea were real, including one that’s more dangerous than you think (No. 9).
1. Drinking urine
You probably can’t imagine drinking your own urine, but Fox News reports one woman says she can’t get enough of it. Carrie, a 53-year-old who appeared on TLC’s My Strange Addiction, claimed she had a urine-drinking addiction that spanned over four years. She also said she would drink the urine nasally using a Neti pot.
Carrie also reportedly put the urine in her eyes and used it to brush her teeth. According to psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow, he believes Carrie has a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Next: Not only is this weird, but it can’t be comfortable.
2. Getting coffee enemas
ABC News reports Florida couple Mike and Trina engage in at least 100 coffee enemas a month and four daily. Trina credits herself for starting the whole thing — and then, she said, “it took on a life of its own. I tried twice to stop and felt worse, so I do this every day and as much as I can.” Trina also claims it gives her “a sense of euphoria” — and her husband agrees.
Both Trina and Mike work from home, so this allowed their addiction to continue for hours throughout the day. They also won’t travel or leave the house for extended periods of time because they’re so addicted.
Next: You can get this product from any local pharmacy.
3. Bleaching hair
You know bleaching your ‘do can totally ruin the texture and color of your hair. But that knowledge didn’t stop Caitlin, a Scottish woman and self-confessed bleach addict who, at one point, was bleaching her hair three times a day, says The Sun. “It was like, eat, bleach, rinse, repeat,” she told the hair stylists on Body Fixers. It was so severe that her hair was falling out.
Thankfully, the team of stylists on the show she appeared on were able to salvage her hair. We’re hoping she didn’t go back to her bleach-addiction ways after that.
Next: Yes, someone really was attempted to eating this household item.
4. Eating mattresses
There are all kinds of eating addictions — and one woman proves there’s also an addiction that has to do with eating mattresses. The Huffington Post reports Jennifer, who was featured on My Strange Addiction, ate mattresses for two straight decades. Every day, she reportedly ate around a square foot — and she eats everything but the springs.
When a doctor checked out her digestive system, her prognosis was grim. If she continued with her addiction, she would likely die. She vowed to give it up.
Next: This type of plastic surgery addiction is seriously scary.
5. Breast implants
There are many people addicted to plastic surgery (celebrities included here). And some folks are particularly addicted to breast implants, which poses major health risks. The Huffington Post reports Lacey Wildd, a woman in her late-40s, started getting breast augmentations in her 20s. Over the years, she’s managed to expand her bust size to a size MMM bra.
To get to MMM status, she spent over a quarter million dollars — and she considered expanding to an even larger size, a QQQ. Another woman, Sheyla Hershey, was also addicted to implants and wanted bigger breasts despite their KKK size.
Next: This addiction is both painful and disturbing.
6. Getting stung by bees
Most people have a small fear of getting stung — but one woman developed an addiction to it. The Sun reports Margaret, a woman in her 50s, gets bees to sting her on her elbows, hips, ankles, fingers, forehead, and nose. “The most I’ve ever given myself is between 15 and 20 on my left hip,” she admitted.
Margaret said her addiction has gone on for 10 years, and it started because she thought it would ease her arthritis pain. Then, after getting stung several times, she said she just got used to the pain and it “got easier every time.”
Next: Some people hate this smell — but others are addicted to it.
7. Huffing gasoline
Huffing any substance is extremely dangerous, and in order to achieve a high, some choose gasoline as their huffing solvent of choice. Addiction Resource explains those who are addicted to gasoline commonly put a rag soaked in gas over their mouth and nose and then breathe in. Others will often drink alcohol at the same time to enhance the high.
As you can imagine, this practice is extremely dangerous. Hallucinations, dizziness, vomiting, and slow reflexes can all result from huffing gasoline in the short-term. And long-term side effects, including death, can also occur.
Next: It’s scary to think some people are actually addicted to eating these.
8. Eating the ashes of dead people
This might be the strangest one on the list. Daily Mail Online reports Casie, who was 26 years old at the time she admitted to her addiction, told TLC’s My Strange Addiction that she couldn’t stop eating her dead husband’s ashes. As for how it began, she said she first took a taste when she was moving the ashes to a special urn. And when some spilled, she licked the ashes off of her fingers.
Not only does she eat the ashes, but she also takes them everywhere. Casie admitted to bringing the urn with her to the grocery store, or even shopping.
Next: Not only is this gross, but it’s also quite bad for your health.
9. Drinking human blood
The Huffington Post reminds us of another woman on My Strange Addiction who insisted she needed to drink human blood. Michelle, who was 29 years old during the filming of the show, said she began drinking her own blood first as a teen. Years later, she said she buys pig’s blood to hold her over — but human blood is what she loves most.
Drinking human blood is quite dangerous, however, as you can pick up a variety of diseases this way. Also, it’s possible to overload on iron, which can damage organs.
Next: It’s comforting, but we can’t imagine being addicted to it.
10. A pillow
Jezebel explains Tamara bought a pillow from an antique shop in 1982, and she’s been addicted to carrying it with her everywhere she goes since. She named the pillow “Boo” and has also never washed it. And everyone in Tamara’s life, from friends to family to her fiancé, claim it’s ruining her relationship with them.
It seems Tamara’s addiction to her pillow really began after she was sexually assaulted at 7 years old. She was also going to therapy and working through her trauma to hopefully let go of the pillow once and for all.
Next: Her friends thought it was drugs — but really, it was this.
11. Snorting baby powder
Jaye, who was 28 years old at the time of her interview regarding her addiction, said her friends thought she had a secret drug problem due to the white powder they found on her counters. In reality, however, she was addicted to snorting baby powder, Daily Mail Online explains. And she claims she needs her daily dose of powder in order to properly function.
Using a tablespoon, Jaye said she sniffed baby powder up to 10 times per day. This has serious health concerns, too, as ingesting talcum in this way can cause aspiration pneumonia.
Next: Most people try to get rid of this, but she eats it.
12. Eating cat hair and licking cats
Gawker explains the next subject, Lisa, consumes cat hair. She says the feeling of chewing cat hair comforts her — and that’s not all. She also loves to stroke her cat’s fur with her tongue. And while she’ll eat cat fur she finds around the house, she prefers it fresh from the source every time.
Popular Science also notes that eating large amounts of hair “can do to your digestive system what it does to your shower drain.” Sounds unhealthy to us.
Next: Speaking of hair …
13. Pulling hair out of shower drains
Evan, who’s now in his 30s, was 28 years old when he admitted to his addiction on national television. Mamamia explains several years after his father died, Evan had an urge to find hair inside of his shower drain. After that, he started collecting hair from shower drains three times a week.
“Long brown hair is probably my favorite. It has to be slimy. It has to be wet,” Evan said. And though his addiction disgusted even himself, he felt stressed entering a bathroom without looking for the hair.
Next: This sounds horribly painful.
14. Eating glass
This makes us cringe just thinking about it. Josh, who was featured on My Strange Addiction, claimed he was addicted to eating glass. He told the show he liked champagne glasses, wine glasses, and light bulbs best, as they’re a thinner type of glass. “It’s like eating horrendously sharp rock candy,” Josh said.
As for how his addiction started, he said he came across the act of eating glass in a book he was reading — and he decided to try it. He also admits he mostly does it for the attention it garners from others.
Next: This woman’s giraffe obsession went way too far.
15. Neck stretching
Sydney Smith loved giraffes so much that she wanted to emulate one with her looks. Daily Mail Online reports she became obsessed with stretching her neck using heavy metal rings to push down her collarbones. Over the course of five years, she allowed her addiction to take hold until she was wearing five pounds of brass coils around her neck.
The good news is Sydney was able to break her addiction and give up her dangerous quest. She said she was in physical therapy to regain strength in her neck after the damage the rings caused.
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