This is another guest post from Sarah. She wrote about the kissing laws in Dubai
last time and now she's back for round 2 with a post about strange addictions.
In this day and age, our lives are peppered with the curious and bizarre, from children who pull stunts so their parents can land reality TV contracts, to globe-trotting celebrities who look at third world countries like kid-hatcheries, to our peculiar fascination with the tabloid media (bat boys and goat boys and sasquatch, oh my!). From the eccentric to the straight up stupid, our society revels in oddball, off-the-wall, outlandish, and abnormal people and behaviors. And so it’s no surprise that addicts can’t stick to traditional arenas like alcohol or sleeping pills. Some people suffer from addictions that are so unusual, you’ve probably never even heard of them. Here are a few.
- Geophagy, or addiction to dirt, is not as uncommon as one might think and it involves, you guessed it, ingesting dirt. Yep, people with this addiction actually eat dirt. It’s generally attributed to chronic mental illness in “civilized” society, but many economically depressed countries have a long history of adding dirt to their diet as a way to combat mineral deficiencies. Like potatoes, you can mash ‘em, boil ‘em, and cook ‘em in a stew. Or go au naturel and eat it raw (if you don’t mind passing a few inedible bits).
- Plastic surgery addicts have only really surfaced in the last fifty years or so, with the advances in modern medicine making such procedures safer and more affordable. This addiction tends to stem from a condition known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), in which the subject focuses on a perceived defect in their physical appearance. They try to correct it through round after round of plastic surgery in a futile attempt to attain physical perfection, all the while making themselves look even more freakish than before. Keep an eye on Heidi Montag…we should soon see her headlining at the Jim Rose Circus.
- Did you hear about that Swedish guy who is addicted to heavy metal music and receives disability for it (allowed time off work to attend concerts)? This sounds like a straight up scam, but I have to give him props for being inventive (and astonishingly, convincing others).
- If you’ve never heard of plushophilia, it’s a good thing I’m here to explain it, because if you like to laugh, you need to know about this one. “Plushies” (those that suffer from plushophilia) fall under the broad heading of sex addicts and their particular obsession revolves around arousal brought on by stuffed animals (not like taxidermy stuffing, like the kind you give your niece for her fifth birthday). The sphere of plushophilia can also include cartoon animals and can even extend as far as animal anthropomorphism (in which fur suits are worn to make one or both partners appear to be stuffed animals). Makes you look at your teddy bear in a whole different way, doesn’t it?
- This one is so weird, I can’t rightly say if it’s a hoax, but I sure hope it’s real, because it’s amazing! Apparently there is at least one person in the world who is addicted to licking Legos. Do you know what that means? If they don’t get to lick a Lego on a regular basis, they will go through some form of anxiety or withdrawal. This disorder is so rare that it has no name, but I think we could reasonably call it either Legophagy (although technically they don’t eat the Legos) or LickLegophilia. That second one has a nice ring to it.
Well, it really doesn’t get any better than that. A few that deserve honorable mentions are dendrophilia (arousal by trees), body mods (piercing, tattoos), and one that hits close to home for most of us, addiction to video games (affects almost every man in my life, alas). These ones weren’t quite weird enough to make the list, but they’re still kind of heart-wrenching (how can a tree love you back?). It just goes to show that almost anyone can suffer from a strange and debilitating addiction. But there’s no need to despair. Unless you’re the guy that licks Legos, chances are good that you’re not the only one.