Most of these strange addiction stories involve pica, an eating disorder that makes a person eat non-edible things like wood and metal. It is usually caused by a mineral deficiency like iron and is most commonly seen in women and children. The name pica derives from the Latin word for magpie, a bird that will eat anything.
If you think you have bizarre habits or are frustrated with a picky eater in your life, just read on. Warning: The following is pretty darn disgusting and not for the faint of heart.
What are the strangest eating disorder tales? Take a look here and you'll see some strange eating disorders for yourself.
Woman Addicted to Eating Foam Inside Sofas
31-year-old Adele Edwards, a Florida mother of five children, has been eating the foam inside cushions for 21 years. In the last year alone, she's eaten seven sofas. Talk about an expensive habit. Don't they just sell the foam alone, outside of the sofa?
Edwards recalls that her addiction first began in a stressful time of her life, when her parents were about to divorce.
Adele puts pieces of foam in her purse to snack on all day and says sometimes she binges on it for 45 minutes.
Doctors have told her that she could get a stomach blockage so big that her intestines would explode. Three years ago she had a blockage the size of a grapefruit made of sofa cushions. She had to take a large amount of laxatives to get it out of her intestines.A recent addition to Adele's eating disorder is that she rubs the foam in the dirt. Her doctor has diagnosed her with iron deficiency. She is taking iron tablets along with therapy and hypnosis. Her fiance is helping her cut back little by little. Now that's true love.
Vegetarian Girl Eats Her Own Scabs
Darya, who appeared on Tyra Banks' show, purposefully scratches her head to make it bleed and create scabs which she later scratches off and eats. They never fully heal because she's always picking them.
The irony is that Darya is a vegetarian and yet she's eating her own flesh. "I guess I was cheating on my vegetarianism for four years," she said. Darya can't be chastised for being wasteful, however. She stores scabs in her nails for later because she can't bear to throw them out.Darya keeps her addiction from everyone but a friend named Erica, who confronted her about it when she saw her putting something from her scalp in her mouth. Erica was immediately concerned because the act seems self-destructive. A doctor Tyra had on the show said it is definitely related to OCD.
Teenager Has To Have A 10 Pound Hairball Surgically Removed From Her Stomach
An 18-year-old female had to get 10 pounds of her own hair removed after having pulled out and eaten her own hair for five years, a condition called trichophagia.
She went to a doctor after having lost forty pounds and continually suffering from stomach pain and vomiting. A year after the surgery and behavioral therapy she is eating normally and has gained back twenty pounds.One of the doctors who operated on the teen Dr. Ronald Levy, said he was unfazed by the New England Journal of Science's publication of the story in time for Thanksgiving. I don't know if I could say the same.
French Man Eats Coins Over 10 Years
A 62-year-old Frenchman used his stomach as a piggy bank over the course of ten years, swallowing 350 francs and the new Euro coins totaling $650. His family said he would steal coins when he visited others' houses to save for a snack.
Too bad he had to spend it all on a surgery to remove the 12 pound lump in his stomach that was sagging below his hips. That's like having a bowling ball in your stomach. This is the X-ray of his stomach that was published in The New England Journal of Medicine:
The Frenchman, who had a history of psychiatric illness, had severe stomach aches and couldn't digest any solid foods or go number two. Doctors had removed coins during different visits but failed to notice the huge mass sitting in his stomach.
When they performed surgery on him, they also found needles and necklaces in his stomach.