| Peter Cook
It can be drugs or nicotine. It can be alcohol or shopping. All of us know someone who deals with addiction.
Addiction affects the body and the mind, as research has shown that brain chemicals are altered when someone gets addicted to something. Sheer willpower is often not enough to break a habit: something happens within the brain’s reward and motivation center that is hard for the layman to understand.
It can be anything
Here is a fact: Anything can become an addiction.
The topic of this blog is strange addictions. We don’t want to sensationalize or dramatize.
This blog aims to make you aware of the utter sadness of addiction: there are people out there addicted to the most bizarre things or habits. It is just as real as drugs or alcohol to their families.
As you read the rest of the blog – ask yourself: How would it feel? How would it feel to have someone with one of these strange addictions in your home or as part of your close circle? It sure would not be easy.
Filling a void
It is heartbreaking that so many people out there are doing these things to themselves to fill a huge void in their lives.
We, at Largest Heart, want to spread this message: We love you with the love that God gave us. We want to help, to inform and to spread hope.
You can change. Your loved one can change. There is help available. Please start looking for solutions today. God has a much more significant, fantastic plan for your life.
We are asking you to consider donating to Largest Heart at the end of this blog. We support non-profit mental health organizations that can make a difference in the lives of these people with strange addictions.
A few bizarre habits and addictions
1.Addictions associated with hair
There are a lot of addictions associated with hair.
Some people are addicted to bleaching their hair – up to three times a day. Remember, an addiction is something that absorbs time instead of doing other worthwhile things.
Compulsive hair pulling or Trichotillomania can be classified as an addiction. The sufferer is engaging in something, all the while knowing that it is negative, but are unable to control it. Addicts have pleasurable- or relieved feelings afterward.
People with compulsive hair pulling disorder report feelings of shame, embarrassment, and self-hatred. Some say that they are only going to pull out a few hairs and find themselves hours later still pulling. It is similar to the alcoholic saying that he is only going to have one drink.
Eating or collecting hair.
Some people eat hair. It can be their own hair or the hair of their pets. Cases have also been reported where people collect hair – from shower drains and dustbins.
2. Pica eating disorder
Those suffering from pica feel compelled to eat non-food items such as paper, plaster, clothing, ashes and more. The great danger is that people can fill up on a non-food item and stop eating.
Why do people eat strange things?
Reasons can vary. Sometimes a nutritional deficiency, such as anemia can cause people to eat objects such as nails. Some pregnant women develop a strange craving and can’t stop eating that item after the pregnancy is over. Pica is also common in people with autism or other developmental disabilities.
3.Plastic surgery addiction
Some people have a picture of perfection in their heads. No amount of cosmetic- or plastic surgery can get them to that picture. That is when an addiction develops.
Researchers have found that most of the people addicted to plastic surgery suffer from body dysmorphic disorder as well.
Suffers are emotionally stressed about a small (or imagined) defect in their appearance. Their stress is vastly out of proportion to the physical defect on the face or body. These 'addicts' believe that surgical intervention will remedy the problem, but it never does.
Imagine putting a rag soaked in gasoline over your nose and mouth and breathing in the fumes. That is gasoline huffing.
What are the effects?
Gasoline is a central nervous system suppressant. It will slow reflexes and cause hallucinations. Some of the dangers of huffing gas are breathing problems, brain damage, seizures, cancer and more.
Other problems, too
A gasoline abuser is not able to maintain social relationships or perform at work. Most of these addicts are people from lower socioeconomic classes. Most of them also have a history of alcohol and drug abuse.
There are many, many more strange addictions. Some people give themselves enemas, who drink urine or blood or stretch some of their body parts.
The critical thing to realize is that there are resources and trained people who can help. Won't you commit to making a change – today?