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Strange Addictions



When we hear the word addiction your immediate thoughts would be of narcotics or alcohol, there are however many different types of addictions.  A very brief definition of addiction could be said to be the dependence on a particular substance or activity.

With this definition in mind here is a list of a few strange and somewhat less common addictions:


For many the adage of “retail therapy” comes to mind when they are feeling down, this however would not class you as a shopping addict. In this case, the addict is someone who can be characterized as spending excessive amounts of time and money on shopping and then feeling guilty about it. The shopper would also have a large number of unopened packages as well as hiding some of those purchases from their spouse or family members.


The average person would spend around 30min per day on exercise, as opposed to someone who is said to be addicted to exercise. Those that are said to be addicted to exercise often will work out more than 2 hours per day and in extreme cases would skip work, school, or important events on a regular basis to exercise.


Whether sunning on the beach or in a tanning salon many is a risky endeavor as extended exposure to ultraviolet light could lead to an in the level of risk to skin cancer. The process of tanning releases endorphins which instills a feeling of calm and wellness and this is what the serial tanner is after.

Ice chewing

The chewing of ice or other non-nutritional substances is called Pagophagia. The chewing of ice however could be an indicator of an iron deficiency; therefore the first course of treatment for chewing ice would be to investigate iron levels in the patient’s body and treating that.

Eating Dirt

The eating of dirt is known as geophagia and is similar to Pagophagia. Geophagia however pertains to the eating of organic materials such as rocks, ash, clay, and chalk. As with Pagophagia, this can be attested to a lack of either iron or zinc.

Hair pulling

Trichotillomania on the face of it is not an actual addiction but rather a psychological condition that compels the person to pull out there hair. The hair pulling is not isolated to the head as they would pull hair from anywhere on their bodies. In most cases involving Trichotillomania, the person would chew or eat their hair as well.