There used to be a show on television called My Strange Addiction and it showed many cases of people that were addicted to eating things that were not considered a normal food substance. Some were downright dangerous, others were just gross and would make you squeamish and cause you to either look away from the screen. Or you might watch in utter disgust, depending on your curiosity level.
Psychiatrists have determined that this “quest for the bizarre” in a person’s diet is an actual eating disorder. It may be brought on by deficiencies in the body or it could be a type of mental disorder. Some people who indulge in eating something that is not part of the usual food pyramid, do not actually cause any harm to their systems. But other people, who attempt to ingest weirder things, can cause life-threatening consequences to themselves.
Let’s take a look (if you dare!) at some of the strangest, most bizarre things people have ingested in an attempt to satisfy some strange craving. Remember that to the people ingesting these oddities, it appears no different to them than someone craving a fat juicy cheeseburger when they are on a diet. They know it is wrong, but they just can’t help “cheating” on the proper food intake.
The Man Who Ate 40 Knives
This is the story that actually prompted this article. It took doctors in India nearly 5 hours to perform surgery on a man who had been “eating” knives for nearly a two-month period, until he developed stomach pains. Surjeet Singh, the patient, stated that he enjoyed the taste of the metal and just started swallowing them, some opened, some closed.
Doctors say that they believe he suffers from psychological issues stemming from a car accident that he was in. They also say that they were quite shocked to find 40 knives, some quite rusty, in his stomach. Hopefully, the man is on the road to recovery and will stop this dangerous eating habit.
Woman Eats Husband’s Remains
This one is almost too bizarre to believe, but the grief of losing a spouse can do strange things to your mind as you seek ways to comfort yourself. Casie and Shawn were only married a short two-and-a-half years when he suddenly died. According to My Strange Addiction, Casie carried her husband’s cremated remains everywhere she went.
That in itself is not so strange, but one day, Casie spilled the remains accidently. Instead of putting them back into the urn, she licked them off of her hand, thus starting her strange behavior and eating addiction. Somehow, ingesting her husband’s ashes made her feel closer to him and she used it as a way to cope.
Ingesting the ashes of a deceased person can be dangerous due to the chemicals used in the cremation process. Since appearing on the show, Casie did seek help and checked herself into a facility. Sources state that she did not bring her husband’s ashes with her. Hopefully Casie has learned to cope with her husband’s death in other, much healthier, ways.
Craving the Strange or Inedible Items
While most people would find eating knives, or a person’s ashes too bizarre to even think about, when one has an eating disorder such as this, it doesn’t seem so bizarre to them. They even realize it is wrong and probably hide it from friends and family. Yet they cannot keep from indulging in such strange “food” habits, any more than perhaps a drug addict can stop himself from hunting his next fix.
It’s an addiction just like everything else…drugs, alcohol, smoking…these are all addictions. Many people watched the show My Strange Addiction for the shock factor and even for entertainment. They laughed and made fun of the people and their strange eating habits.
Addiction of any kind is not a laughing matter, so let’s be glad that Surjeet and Casie got the help they needed before they had to face more serious consequences. If you know someone with an eating disorder such as this, or any other kind of addiction, offer them help and guidance. Who knows? You might be just the person to save them.
What is Pica (eating disorder)?
Pica is characterized by an appetite for substances that are largely non-nutritive, such as ice (pagophagia); hair (trichophagia); paper (papyrophagia); drywall or paint; metal (metallophagia); stones (lithophagia) or soil (geophagia); glass (hyalophagia); or feces (coprophagia); and chalk.
Featured Image: Screengran from CNN