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Top 10 Incredibly Strange Addictions

VO: Rebecca Brayton

Script written by Michael Wynands.

There are a number of incredibly strange addictions out there. Between eating feces, drinking blood or urine, eating furniture or being addicted to tanning or plastic surgery, many strange addictions are dangerous addictions. WatchMojo counts down a list of weird addictions more 'out there' than drug addiction, gambling addiction or alcohol addiction.

Special thanks to our users jenit, Logbia, Margaret Rd and Emmanuel Dunk for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%20Ten%20Strange%20Addictions

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Transcript
Script written by Michael Wynands.

Top 10 Strange Addictions


Sometimes you just can’t get enough of something really, really odd. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Strange Addictions.

For this list, we’re exploring the weirdest, most “out there” addictions, so don’t expect to see such common examples as party drugs, alcohol, gambling, or smoking. To be considered for this list, there should be more than one documented case of the addiction… meaning that Margaret and her addiction to bee stings won’t be making the cut.

#10: Smelling Gasoline

Sure, we said no drugs, but this substance is really a form of fuel first, and an inhalant second. Inhaling the fumes that rise from gasoline leads to intoxication. Considering the gasoline itself isn’t consumed, just the vapors, a small amount of gasoline goes a very long way, and as such, is commonly associated with poverty. This addiction is known to be particularly prevalent in low-income communities in Australia. The effects of sniffing gasoline are fast-acting, hitting the user in a matter of minutes. Euphoria, disorientation, lack of coordination, a sense of numbness, and in some cases, hallucinations follow shortly after. Unfortunately, the health repercussions are serious, and death among individuals who use gasoline as an inhalant is common.

#9: Cosmetic Surgery

From a cheap high to costly elective surgeries - addiction can take many forms. Body modification of any kind can be addictive. But while other forms, like tattooing and piercing, provide an addictive rush of endorphins and adrenaline as a result of the pain inherent to the modifications, an addiction to cosmetic surgery, which is typically performed using a variety of pain-numbing anesthetics, stems from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, or BDD. The exact cause of BDD is unclear, but it’s characterized by an overwhelming sense of dissatisfaction with one’s physical appearance. In the case of cosmetic surgery addiction, an unrealistic pursuit of an ever-changing idea of physical perfection results in patients undergoing endless surgeries to appease their sense of dysmorphia.

#8: Tanning


It’s been unkindly labeled “tanorexia” by the media, but neither anorexia nor tanning dependency should be treated lightly– they’re both serious conditions associated with mental health. A dose of vitamin D is great for health, so long as exposure to UV rays is minimized. But individuals who go to tanning salons daily–or multiple times a day– are doing more than pursuing unreasonable self-imposed ideas of beauty: they’re drastically increasing their risks of cancer. Serious tanning addicts, like self-proclaimed tanorexic Trisha Paytas, may be well aware that their habit is a problem, but just can’t stop. A 2005 study published in the “Archives of Dermatology” estimates that as many as 50% of regular beachgoers could be considered addicts.

#7: Hair Pulling

Pulling your hair out - it’s a classic bit of imagery used to convey stress or worry. However common it may be, it’s actually a compulsive habit that affects an estimated 11 million Americans. This psychological condition, referred to as “trichotillomania,” isn’t just limited to the head. Some pull out hairs from their eyebrows, arms, legs, armpits, or even pubic region. While more subtle than other forms of self-harm, hair pulling stems from the same psychological need to exercise control over the human body when one has feels a lack of control over other aspects of their life - in either personal or professional spheres. In some cases, trichotillomaniacs even ingest their own hair after pulling it out.

#6: Attending Funerals

Will Ferrell’s character might’ve considered it the perfect pick-up strategy in “Wedding Crashers,” but his tendency to pop into a funeral uninvited is a full-blown addiction for some. Luis Squarisi of Batatais, Brazil attends every funeral in his hometown, becoming somewhat of a local celebrity. From an outside perspective, Squarisi might simply come across as an extremely community-oriented and sympathetic figure, but his habit bears too many of the classic characteristics of a dependence to ignore. He quit his job in order to feed his habit, and if he doesn’t manage to attend multiple funerals a week, he reports feeling physically ill. Squarisi isn’t the only person suffering from this condition, but he’s certainly the most open about it.

#5: Drinking Urine

The consumption of urine, or “urophagia,” actually isn’t that uncommon. People have historically consumed it for numerous reasons, including alternative health and beauty treatments or dietary regimens. Health practitioners strongly advise against it, however. Carrie, of Colorado Springs, opened up about her urophagia, admitting that she consumes almost all the urine that passes through her body. She admits to loving the taste, and believes it’s beneficial to her fight against cancer. One man on the other hand, is addicted to drinking not his own urine, but rather the urine of young boys, explaining that it makes him feel younger. Despite knowing full well that there’s no science to back it up, he truly believes it fights the effects of aging.

#4: Eating Furniture

Looking for a convenient snack to pair with that glass of urine? How about the sofa, or this La-Z-Boy? Pica is a particular eating disorder, where the individual feels compelled to eat inedible or non-food substances. While many pica sufferers are drawn to consuming inedible bodily substances, like urine or human hair, others cases have been reported in which people begin consuming drywall and household furniture, particularly foam furniture stuffing. Adele Edwards of Bradenton, Florida actually buys second hand furniture to feed her addiction, but first tests the foam inside to make sure it’s the kind she likes. Vicky Cullen developed a taste for sponges and the foam found in her armchair during pregnancy, and never stopped.

#3: Coffee Enemas

Coffee - It’s probably one of the most common addictions in modern society. But what if you’re looking for something with a little more kick to start your day? Well, some people prefer to ingest their coffee from the other end, by inserting a lubricated hose into their anus and performing a coffee enema. Why? Because when taken in the form of an enema, the caffeine in coffee is absorbed directly into the bloodstream, providing a quick and powerful pick me up, the likes of which a “cup o’ joe” could never accomplish. Some people believe it has significant health benefits, although that position is controversial. Mike and Trina Elliott each gave themselves up to 100 coffee enemas per month.

#2: Drinking Blood

If you’re a vampire, then drinking blood is a matter of survival. For the average, day-walking human, drinking blood is considered more than a little odd. Many cultures historically drank animal blood, like the Maasai people. But the consumption of human blood, also known as clinical vampirism or Renfield Syndrome, can prove not only addictive, but also deadly. The condition had previously been observed in psychological studies of extremely violent criminals. More recently, this addiction stems from an obsession with vampires or, a small minority of people who actually find that human blood cures them of fatigue, headaches, and other discomforts, relief from which these real-life vampires claim to not be able to find via any traditional medical treatment.

Before we unveil our top pick, here’s an honorable mention.
- Eating Dirt


#1: Eating Feces

Eating poop, or “coprophagia,” is among one of the more disturbing forms of pica syndrome. Scientists don’t know what cause pica, although some believe it may be related to deficiencies in minerals like iron, but none of these obsessions works to compensate for nutritional imbalances, so its exact cause remains a mystery. Coprophagia can take three forms: heterospecifics - the consumption of feces from different species, allocoprophagy - feces from another person, and autocoprophagy, the consumption of one’s own feces. Apart from pica, coprophagia has been observed in severe cases of schizophrenia and individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome. The strangest thing about this gag-inducing addiction is that it’s actually more common than most others on this list.

Do you agree with our list? Can you think of any other extremely odd addictions? For more “stranger than fiction” top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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