As we grow up, we experience all the things that life has to offer, both the good and the bad. And as many of you may have likely already learned, either through personal experience or through movies and television, there are many people in the world who suffer from addiction. Most addicts find themselves hooked on alcohol or some kind of drug. In most cases, their addiction ends up ruining their lives in some way, and if they are really unlucky, they will even lose their life because of it. Now, it is true that we primarily associate addiction with drugs and alcohol, but that is because they are some of the more common and dangerous substances someone can get addicted to. However, the reality is that people can get addicted to a myriad of different things.
Cigarettes have been linked to cancer, and yet a large portion of the population is addicted to them, which is similar to many people's love of coffee; a drink that can really mess up your nervous system if consumed in large-enough quantities. The world is a big place, though, and it is filled with literally billions of people, all of whom have different tastes and habits. With so many people in the world, it should come as no surprise that there are those who live with lesser-known addictions that, to the majority of us, seem to be very strange in nature. These lesser-known addictions are for the most part, not life-threatening. But that does not mean that they are not dangerous in their own way, and the purpose of this article is to identify 15 of the world's strangest addictions.
We are currently in the middle of the summer season, which means that you can expect to see a lot more people walking around outside. And by the time the season comes to an end, many people will indeed have tanned skin. Now, getting tanned is not all that bad because it usually means that you spent a good amount of time out in the sun, which is good because the exposure does give your body some much needed vitamins. However, there are some people who take tanning a bit too far. Tanning dependence refers to someone who has a physical or psychological dependence on sunbathing and/or using tanning beds, to the point that they will lie out in the sun or visit a tanning salon at least eight times a month. There is some evidence that UV exposure releases opioids into the blood system, which would explain the addictive nature behind it. But such an addiction can lead to skin burns, premature skin aging, eye damage, and skin cancer.
Whether it is done online or in person, everyone shops. It is just something we all need to do in order to live because it is primarily through shopping that we are able to get things like food and necessary clothing. Although shopping is an integral part of life, some people go way too far with it, to the point that it can become a serious addiction which, in the medical field, is known as Oniomania. Such an addiction usually affects those who suffer from depression or who feel inadequate in some way, which is why they buy things in order to make themselves feel better. In more serious cases, they have a need to buy at least one thing every day and hide such purchases from their families. As you might have guessed, this addiction, which is very treatable, can be very pricey, to the point that some people have to deal with crippling credit card debts.
13 Drinking Human Blood
Since their inception, we have had an odd infatuation with vampires, which is why they have appeared in numerous movies and television shows over the past three decades. This infatuation is well-justified, however, because vampires are immortal beings who genuinely look very attractive and have a lot of charm, traits that cause people to sometimes overlook the fact that they need to feed on human blood in order to survive. Now, as we all know, vampires do not actually exist, so we do not need to worry about a creature draining us of our blood in some dark room or area, but just because vampires do not exist, that does not mean some people do not copy their diet to some degree. There are some people who do, in fact, drink human blood, like Julia Caples of Pennsylvania, who has drank some blood everyday for the past 30 years, to the point that she sometimes drinks about half a gallon a month.
12 Pulling Hair
The human body still holds mysteries that scientists and doctors are trying to figure out. But one thing that is not a mystery is the fact that virtually every human has hundreds of hairs on their body. Generally, people go out of their way to keep themselves properly groomed by cutting those hairs to certain lengths or by shaving them off. However, there are also those who feel the need to just pull those hairs out from the roots. Compulsive hair pulling is known as Trichotillomania, and it is an impulse control disorder in which a person has an incredible urge/need to pull out their hair, whether it be the hair on their head, arms, beard, or legs. These people will also pull out their eyebrows and eyelashes, and in some cases, people with Trichotillomania will even chew and eat their hair. Usually, this is something that affects people with high levels of anxiety, so most people will never develop a taste for body hair.
11 Getting Piercings
We currently live in a time when a record number of people are deciding to modify their body in some way, either to make themselves look younger or to make themselves look much more unique. The two easiest body modifications to notice are, without a doubt, tattoos and piercings mainly because they both really stand out on someone's skin and face. But there are people who tend to go a bit overboard in the modification department, to the point that they sometimes do not even look human anymore. When it comes to piercings, there are some people who actually go on to pierce their entire face so much so that in some cases, you can hear a little clanking sound as they walk by. This addiction is viewed as purely psychological because people find the act of getting pierced exciting, especially after overcoming the initial anxiety that they felt while getting their first piercing done.
10 Getting Rejected
We all grow up. And when we do, we all eventually develop romantic and intimate relationships with people, and a lot of the times, those relationships will lead to marriage and the creation of a family. With every successful relationship, though, there are several failed ones that usually end when one of the parties involved gets rejected by the others. In most cases, rejection of that nature can be very depressing and heartbreaking, but there are actually some people out there who get a strange high from getting rejected. According to brain scans from a study done on this issue, the urge to be rejected is somewhat similar to a cocaine craving, which would explain why a lot of people always do the same mistakes in a relationship even though they know how it will end up. Such an addiction would also explain why some couples repeat the same cycle of being fine one week, then breakup only to get back together the following week.
9 Thumb Sucking
When we are infants, we basically have no idea what we are doing, and it is because of that lack of knowledge, that most of us drove our parents absolutely crazy because at that age, we did not make their job of protecting us any easier. One of the more common things that infants do is suck their own thumbs, an act that is usually met with a parent either telling them to stop or with a parent having to pry the thumb out of the kid's mouth; and although thumb sucking might not seem harmful, it can lead to a serious addiction later on in life if it is not stopped at a young age. When someone has a thumb sucking addiction, it is usually because he/she has no other real form of comfort. Aside from the fact that an adult thumb sucker is embarrassing to see, the act can also cause a great deal of dental problems and bad-looking calluses. This addiction can also get people really sick too, if the addict happens to not keep his hands and nails clean.
8 Eating Soap/Detergent
Every single living thing on the planet has to eat in order to live. When it comes to human beings, specifically, we tend to be omnivorous, which means that we will pretty much eat anything, and in some cases, anything literally means anything. When someone has an appetite for things that offer virtually no nutritional value, it means that that person suffers from what is known as Pica disorder, and it is because of this disorder that people sometimes get addicted to strange "foods" like soap and laundry detergent. It goes without saying that eating these types of things is not healthy, and although eating bar soap will probably not kill someone, it will still cause their bowels to essentially liquefy. Laundry detergent is a whole other thing, though, because there are certain chemicals inside certain brands that have indeed caused some people to lose their lives; and although it can be really dangerous, the threat does very little to stop people from eating it.
7 Eating Cigarette Ashes
Human beings like to boast that we are the smartest beings on the planet, but that cannot really be the case because we are the only life form that, for some reason, chooses to shorten its own lifespan by smoking cigarettes. We all know the dangers of cigarettes yet millions of people all over the world continue to smoke packs a day because the nicotine in cigarettes is extremely addicting. However, some people are also addicted to cigarettes in a completely different way. Believe it or not, there are those who are actually addicted to eating cigarette ashes, and in most cases, this addiction develops as a result of some sort of nutritional deficiency; but it causes a lot more harm than good, as the ashes contain toxins that can cause gastrointestinal problems, as well as various illness. Some people even take this addiction one step further, as some people will also eat the ashes of their loved ones if they were cremated.
6 Playing Video Games
Video games have been around for over 50 years now. Over that time, the industry has changed by leaps and bounds, to the point that people can now literally feel as though they are in the game, thanks to things like virtual reality headsets. Whether you are a hardcore or casual gamer, we can all agree that playing video games can be pretty fun and time-consuming, depending on the type of game. But some people allow video games to literally consume their lives. Video game addiction is very much real, and it usually affects males under the age of 30 who tend to play online role playing games like World of Warcraft. It is an addiction that causes people to withdraw from both their real-life relationships and reality itself. People have actually died–thanks to this addiction–because they would rather continue playing the game instead of eating, going to the bathroom, or taking care of their infant child.
5 Coffee Enemas
From an individualistic perspective, we are all very different from one another. But in reality, we are all very similar to each other as the majority of us follow the same daily routine. When we get up in the morning, most of us need a little kick to start the day, which is where coffee comes in because the caffeine in it helps to prevent drowsiness, as it stimulates certain parts of the nervous system. As a stimulant, caffeine is the most consumed psychoactive drug in the world, and there are cases of people actually getting addicted to coffee as a result of it. But just like all other drugs, people try to ingest the caffeine in coffee using different methods. One of those methods is the coffee enema, in which a person shoots coffee into their rear end so that the caffeine can be absorbed into their body much faster. In 2013, a Florida couple made news with this addiction, where they made it perfectly clear that they spend a combined five hours each day, giving themselves coffee enemas.
4 Eating Glass
Based on some of the previous entries on this list, it is safe to say that you all now understand the fact that people will eat whatever it is they want, no matter how disgusting or harmful that 'food' happens to be. With this entry, though, we have an eating addiction that can really turn out to be fatal because unsurprisingly, when you eat glass, there is a very good chance that you will end up cutting a lot more than just the insides of your mouth. If someone is addicted to eating glass, then that person suffers from what is known as Hyalophagia. In most cases, people with this addiction have admitted that the main reason why they eat glass is because they enjoy the attention that they end up receiving from others. Obviously, such an addiction can lead to a lot of medical issues because depending on the shape and quality of the glass, a person can puncture their throats or the linings of their digestive tract.
3 Getting Plastic Surgery
Earlier on this list, we talked about body modifications, and we will be doing so again with this entry, except this time we will be focusing on a modification that has been glorified by society for decades—plastic surgery. In most cases, plastic surgery is used to help those who have suffered horrific burns or injuries, but it is also used by people who simply want to alter their appearance so that they can become more youthful and attractive; and among those people, there are some who literally become obsessed with altering their appearance through surgical means. Those who are addicted to plastic surgery usually suffer from what is known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder, a disorder in which someone is solely focused on some sort of imperfection on their body, an imperfection that might not even actually exist. This type of addict will undergo countless surgeries in order to make themselves "perfect," to the point that they unfortunately make themselves look hideous in the process.
2 Drinking Urine
Every single person in the world drinks, mainly because our bodies need fluid to survive. But, we all also drink because we enjoy the taste and feel of certain beverages that can be served either cold or warm. Earlier, it was mentioned that some people are addicted to drinking blood; but as it turns out, blood is not the only fluid produced in the human body that people can get addicted to because there are those who drink human urine quite regularly. The consumption of urine is known as Urophagia, and people have actually been doing this for thousands of years, as urine was used as alternative medicine in the past, and it was also used s*xually, a practice that continues to this day. Some people take Urophagia too far, though, like a woman named Carrie, who drinks her own urine frequently because it tastes like water. She also uses her urine to wash her eyes, teeth, and sinuses. Obviously, this can cause serious health problems, but Carrie does not plan on stopping.
1 Being On Social Media
In 2017, the majority of people in the world literally have all the power of the internet in their hands, thanks to all the advancements made in cellphone technology. And, thanks to these new phones, social media usage has exploded. If you are out in public, then you will likely see multiple people staring down at a screen, and in all likelihood, those people are using something like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or some other app to either leave a comment or to look at or upload pictures and/or videos. Based on how prevalent social media is, it should come as no surprise that there are people who are addicted to being on it so much so that there have been cases of people dealing with both emotional and psychological distress while trying to quit Facebook. This type of addiction can be really problematic because it can negatively affect your personal life and get you in real trouble at work. Of all the addictions on this list, this is the only one that is gradually increasing over time, to the point that doctors are suggesting that the best course of action is for people to visit social media just once a day.