Abnormal Addictions

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Although most people think of addiction as a drug or alcohol issue, people can be addicted to a number of things. An addiction is a harmful need to regularly engage in a behavior. Addictive behavior can range from something simple like a drug to the considerably more complex. Complex addictions that are not to drugs or alcohol are often called abnormal addictions.

Exercise Addiction

Although it might seem strange, it is possible to be addicted to exercise. This is not the normal going to the gym and working out. This is the psychological need to go to the gym or to exercise. It is the inability to stop exercising even when they want to. Someone who is addicted to exercise will continue to do so even if it is damaging their health, relationships, and other aspects of their life.

Hair Eating or Pulling

This addiction involves either pulling out or pulling out and eating their hair. Someone who is pulling out their hair is known to be suffering from trichotillomania. Although pulling out your hair usually only causes cosmetic and self-esteem issues, eating the hair after it is pulled can cause serious health issues. Those suffering from this addiction cannot stop doing it despite these risks.

Tanning or Sun Addiction – Tanorexia

Abnormal Addictions

Tanning addicts are at high risk of skin cancer.

Tanning or sun addiction is one of the addictions that might eventually kill. This is not just simple tanning or going out in the sun. People with tanning addiction will continue to either tan in the sun or go to a tanning salon even when they’ve been diagnosed or are in danger of skin cancer. They will continue despite any negative consequences such as tumors or previous cancer surgeries.

Surgery Addiction

This is an addiction that encompasses both plastic surgery and body modification surgery. In this particular addiction can only get dangerous when the addict finds a surgeon willing to continue modifying their body. Unfortunately, there are surgeons that are willing to:

  • go to extremes,
  • perform dangerous procedures,
  • perform procedures under unsafe conditions, and
  • continue to perform procedures as long as money is paid.

There are a number of ethical surgeons that turn people away but there are just as many that are willing to allow people to indulge their addiction.

Eating Unusual Objects

There is some debate that this is actually addiction or an imbalance. The technical name for it is pica. This is a sometimes treatable condition that has many causes including nutritional and hormonal imbalances. Other times this is an addiction where eating the substance is uncontrollable. The person is compelled to consume the substance to the detriment of themselves. Many are warned by doctors, suffer intestinal blockages, and other internal injuries due to what they consume. Some of the common objects are glass, dirt, paper, and forms of plastics.