Your toddler may drool and suck on your sofa, but what is it called when an adult eats the sofa? That would be pica, a disorder that makes people crave non-food objects like dirt, nickles, and soap. Some people think it's caused by mineral deficiency; others think it's a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Either way, it can actually be dangerous depending on what the craving is -- and also makes snacking a little inconvenient. Take the case of the 30-year-old Tampa, Florida woman who craves sofa cushions.
Adele snacks regularly on a wad of cushion wherever she goes, and she definitely has her favorites (yellow!). A recent episode of TLC reality show My Strange Addiction profiled Adele. Video below.
Can I just say -- she has great looking skin for someone who eats so much foam. Maybe she balances out the cushions with a healthy, plant-based diet and plenty of water. At any rate, once you learn that her addiction started when her parents divorced, you kind of have to stop making jokes about the decorating dilemmas Adele's situation poses. Clearly she is filling a nearly bottomless well of sadness. I also worry about all the chemicals going into her body -- flame retardants, just for starters.
So is there any point to this show, other than to gawk in horror? The show's psychotherapist Dr. Mike Dow says Adele is trying to manage her anxiety in a slightly different way than the rest of us do. This makes sense, though somehow I think his suggestion that Adele chew gum instead may not quite cut it. But his point is well taken -- we're all just an ice cream bar away from eating sofa cushions ourselves.
In fact, at this exact moment, I'm staring out the window at this winter's 100th snowstorm and considering cramming an entire bag of chocolate chips down my throat just to help me cope with the fact that we still have another month of winter to go.
But then I hear Dr. Dow saying, "What are healthier ways to get the feeling I'm looking for?" Shut up, Dr. Dow, I don't know! Hopping on a plane for Florida? I mean -- you're right Dr. Dow. Perhaps a few minutes of yoga stretches. Or I could eat my laptop circuit board.
Do you have strange food cravings?
Image via Caitlinator/Flickr