- Mental Health
Pica and Other Strange Addictions
Pica is the consumption of non-food items such as dirt, pottery, cigarette ash, coins...Although there are no specific items that are consumed by anyone with this disorder; some things are more common than others. In order to be categorized as Pica, the consumption must last longer than a month. It does appear to be linked in some way to o.c.d. (obsessive compulsive disorder). Pica goes deeper than a child eating glue, this eating disorder is a lot more serious than that; and can have damaging effects on the body.
Research has not found an absolute cause for this disorder, although it has been proven that it is more commonly seen in women and children (who may or may not be mentally challenged); more often than not the woman with Pica are pregnant. It appears to be more common in African American Women than anyone else. Some studies show that this eating disorder is associated with a mineral deficiency such as iron, Some of the items eaten by someone with pica contains the mineral that the person is deficient in. DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) Categorizes pica as a mental disorder although more recent studies are linking OCD as well. Some studies have shown that some pica cases are cultural in nature.I personally knew a woman from Georgia who consumed what appeared to be white chunky, dirt; for her it was common practice. Which leads me to believe that for some it has more of a cultural, religious/spiritual bond and not pica.I must admit that I did try it but I could not wrap my mind around the fact that I was eating dirt.
Ash and pottery addiction
Bianca is an attractive young woman who has what I hope to be a long life ahead of her. But it is her eating habits which worry me.Bianca is addicted to eating pottery, she spends 150 hours a month consuming it. She believes that she cannot live without it and that it is something that her body craves. If this weird addiction doesn't seem weird enough then you won't be shocked to find out her latest addiction. Four years ago Bianca started eating cigarette ashes. According to her she likes the gritty, saltiness of it and the way that it dissolves on her tongue. Although she knows that pottery and cigarette ashes are non-food items and should not be eaten, she says it's that which makes it more appealing.
One of the most common consumption is that of ice. Ice seems safe enough but too much of anything is not good for you. There is always the enamel deterioration to worry about along with teeth cracking. It may even have a negative effect on the digestive track.Here are a few of the most common non-food stuff that someone with pica may consume, not in any particular order:
- Amylophagia is the consumption of starch
- Pagophagia is the pathological consumption of ice
- Geophagy is the consumption of soil, clay, or chalk
- Xylophagia is the consumption of wood or paper
- Trichophagia is the consumption of hair or wool
- Hyalophagia is the consumption of glass
- Urophagia is the consumption of urine
Lisa is a 43 year old young lady who lives in detroit,Michigan. This introduction would sound safe enough if it were not for Lisa's strange addiction. It started about 15 years ago as a way to bring her closer to her cat. Lisa is addicted to eating cat hair, hair that she gathers around the house on furniture or floor or even hair that she has groomed through brushing. According to her it's like eating a cotton ball which has less flavor than human hair. Chewing cat hair is very relaxing and comforting like cotton candy claimed Lisa. Although she had been eating cat hair for 15 years, the addiction didn't start until the last two years when she got another cat. Now Lisa can't go two hours without chewing on cat hair. "Lisa eats three quarter sized hairballs everyday, That's more than 3200 hairballs since her addiction." If you believe that she is not using her toungue to clean her cat, you are wrong. Just as a momma cat cleans her baby, so does Lisa;but she did say that there will be no butt licking.
For the love of rats
Chantal banks is crazy about rats, she prefers them to people. Her husband of eleven years is very torn with his wife's obsession. Her son just sees them as family members. Chantal's husband says that he is tired of all the rats but talking to his wife about it is out of the question. According to him Chantal can be very demanding, she will leave out and come back with three more rats without his knowledge and he is sick of it. Chantal has chosen her rats over her husband and has moved out of their home so that she can get an apartment for her and her rats. She now lives in a two bedroom apartment with her nineteen rats. Her husband is hoping that this is a short term situation but she said that his dreams will be completely shattered if he thinks that she will change. She says that she cannot live without them but it does appear that she can live without her husband.
Nathaniel is a normal looking guy. He works, has his own place and a good looking hot red car. It all sounds normal enough until you ask him about his love life. Nathaniel says that he is in a romantic intimate relationship and he is in love. This too sounds fairly normal until you meet his girlfriend.His significant other is his car. That's right, he is in a romantic, sexual relationship with his car. According to him, his fascination with cars started when he was young. He was a loner and had very little friends. The seriousness of his addiction did not start until he started going through puberty. His dad, after finding out about his son's addiction blamed himself for not always being there for him. I honestly don't know if it would have made a difference.
Any addiction can be treated, but you must be open to the hard work ahead of you. Finding the proper treatment for your addiction is key, there are no quick fixes.
© 2013 loveofnight