When you think about addiction you usually think of the typical drugs and alcohol-related addictions. However, there are lots more addictions that you probably have never heard of, such as an addiction to eating chalk or an equally as strange addiction to eating toilet paper.
It would be rare that such an unusual addiction would go unnoticed however. There are many more common addictions that you may suffer from without even realising! An addiction is simply a compulsive craving for something. It could be anything. Addictions are problematic because they can become out of control and cause you harm.
Apparently, one in three people suffer from some sort of addiction. So here are some addictions that you may not have known you had.
Take a look at your shelf. How many books do you have? Ten? Fifty? One hundred? If your apartment could double as a lending library then you may have an addiction to books or 'bibliomania'. Now, bibliomania means that you're a compulsive hoarder of books. You might not have even read a fraction of the books you own yet you cling onto them. One case of acute bibliomania resulted in a man from Iowa stealing books and manuscripts from nearly 200 U.S. universities. But I wouldn't worry if you just have a couple of extra books lying around that you haven't got around to reading yet.
Many people don't like their jobs, so the thought of being addicted to work seems a bit far-fetched. But it turns out that being a 'workaholic' is actually a real thing! It's not just a term you throw at your s/o when they're not spending enough time with you. 'Workaholism' means that you have a compulsion to work, you're always thinking about working and finding excuses to work. According to experts, it's more about your make-up than whether you even like your job or not. All I can say is that I would have a lot more cash in my purse if I suffered from this addiction!
If you're more orange than a Jersey Shore cast member then you may be suffering from tanning dependence or 'tanorexia'. Though it may be the case for some people, having addiction to tanning isn't about wanting to look bronzed at all times. It's more about a compulsive addiction to the UV lights that tanning beds use. Because our bodies produce endorphins when exposed to UV lights addicts begin to crave that feel good factor that comes with tanning. Serious addicts might continue to go on the sun bed even when they have already suffered skin damage.
Having more than one pet is cool as long as you can look after them properly. And I'm sure you love your kitty so much that you wouldn't mind having ten of the same But that would probably never become a reality. Pet addiction or 'animal hoarding' is a serious problem. Some people wind up with hundreds of animals in their homes which obviously ends up being tantamount to animal cruelty. Animal hoarders might not think they're being cruel and will feel they have a genuine connection with all of their pets. But one person just can't look after a home zoo.
11 Online Shopping
We live in a magical world. You don't have to leave your own home to get a brand new pair of shoes by tomorrow. It's easy to see why people could get addicted to online shopping, you can shop for anything you want from anywhere in the world at any time of day. But obviously an online shopping addiction becomes a real problem when it affects your bank balance and therefore your lifestyle. In other words you'd rather buy an omelette maker that you will probably never use than pay the electric bill.
Say what!? Yes it is possible to become addicted to water and here's a scientific name for it that you probably won't remember: psychogenic polydipsia. I know what you're thinking, but we're supposed to drink lots of water so that we have healthy skin etc. Yep, most medical professionals recommend we drink around two litres of water per day. But a compulsion to drink water makes sufferers drink gallons upon gallons of H2O each day which is in fact really bad for you. This is because overhydration can lead to a potentially fatal sodium deficiency.
If you can't get through the day without a Netflix binge then you're probably addicted to television. I reckon we could all admit to being addicted to at least one show at one time or another. The world's collective Breaking Bad addiction is evidence for that fact. One study showed that around 12.5% people think they're addicted to TV, while 70% think they know other people who are addicted to TV. It is thought that television addiction stems from the fact that watching TV shows can dull your emotions and help you zone out for a while. I think we should all claim compensation from Shonda Rhimes and other show creators for our suffering...
We love to love. Even if you're single and really don't want to admit it, love is something that all of us seek in the long-term surely. It sounds like an idea from a deep, heart-felt poem or love song but love really can be an addiction. Experts estimate that 5-10% of Americans suffer from love addiction. This is because people develop a compulsion towards those feelings of excitement and attachment that come with being in lurve. In other words people get addicted to all those gooey feelings. So, your girlfriend who is never single and jumps from one partner to the next may just be a love addict.
7 Romantic Rejection
When you get dumped or turned down it can be the worst feeling in the world. All you want to do is cry into a tub of Ben & Jerry's. But as much as people can become addicted to the feeling of love, believe it or not, some people can become addicted to the feelings that emerge during a romantic rejection. Studies have suggested that the part of the brain that registers the pain of a breakup might be linked to the parts of the brain related to addiction, motivation and rewards. Some people are also spurred to do crazy things thanks to stong cravings for their ex. More research needs to be done however regarding the link between romantic rejection and addiction.
6 Candy Crush
Online games, such as FarmVille and Words With Friends, have been very popular for a while now. But no doubt the most popular of them all is Candy Crush. It took the world by storm and has been played more than 200 billion times since its launch. You might joke around that you or a friend are addicted to the colourful game but there might be some truth in this. A survey showed that as many as 32% of people who play Candy Crush have found that they neglected other areas of their lives such as family and friends as a result. You may look down on the nerds who play Xbox in their basements all day but you're basically doing the same thing on Candy Crush!
Sure you probably know a few Debbie Downers but did you know that negativity can actually become an addiction? The people who suffer from this addiction are called 'negaholics' and they always seem to have a dark outlook on life. They seem to crave negative circumstances and criticism. They also become obsessed with negative things that have happened in the past. This compulsion towards negativity sounds pretty sad and scary don't you think?
We all love a good selfie nowadays. But you seriously need to think about what your motives behind taking that selfie and posting it to Instagram are. If you post your pics to capture a special moment or even if you want to show off a little every now and again that's fine. But if you're constantly posting pictures to social media in a bid to get likes and attention then you might have a selfie addiction. Psychiatrists worry that selfie addiction is a serious mental health problem that could have devastating and even fatal effects. This is because it shows serious insecurities and an all-consuming need to get social validation.
Let's be honest here, tattoos can look really hot. And after your first tattoo it's likely that you will get more. But some people just take it too far. And there are lots and lots of reasons why one might get addicted to getting inked. People can become addicted to the pain or the adrenaline that's part of the process of getting a tattoo. They might like the attention that other people give them when they see their tatts. Another reason why tattoos become addictive is that people get a sense of satisfaction from them as a medium for artistic expression, self-expression or rebellion. I mean, it makes sense. You just don't usually think about your deep-down inner reasons for getting tattoos.
2 Skin Picking
Lots of people find the thought of skin picking pretty gross, but lots of people also love to pick at their skin, pop zits or pick at their finger nails. It's a common addiction. I have friends who find popping zits extremely satisfying and I know my mom is always scolding my step-dad for picking at his finger nails. I bet you know a skin picker too! People who have a serious compulsion might pick or scratch at their skin for up to 12 hours a day. Their compulsion might might cause damage in the form of cuts and bleeding but they continue. I guess that's where you draw the line between somebody with a bad habit and somebody with an addiction.
Can't go an hour without checking your wall or scrolling through your friends' posts? Then you're probably addicted to Facebook. It's addictive because of the social rewards involved in using the site. People who are anxious or socially insecure are more likely to have a Facebook addiction. But studies suggest that, in reality, you aren't that likely to get addicted to social networking (“as few as 0.7% and as many as 11 percent of people are "strongly impacted" by addictive tendencies around Internet usage.”) But you can check for yourself whether you're addicted using a psychological scale developed by Norwegian researchers, the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale.