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My Strange Addiction


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#1

Empress1

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 10:43 AM

I mentioned this show in the True Life thread because there was a girl on True Life who had tanned herself into oblivion, much like the tanorexic girl on My Strange Addiction had. I know a couple of people in that thread watched it, so I thought I would start a thread. It was an hour-long special on Discovery Health that I happened to catch, featuring a woman with Pica who ate chalk, a man who ran 20 miles a day minimum, the tanorexic, and a shopping addict named Universe. (Her name had nothing to do with anything; I just couldn't get over that her name was Universe.) You can see clips here.

By far the one who struck me the most was the tanorexic, because she looked TERRIBLE. She was, like, fire-hydrant orange, capped off by a scraggly bleached mop of damaged hair. She was like, "Tee hee we're all gonna die someday but when I die, I'll be really hot." (She also had a really annoying Paris Hilton baby voice.) And ... no, baby girl. She seemed to be moved when they took her to a dermatologist who mentioned the very real threat of skin cancer, but I thought it would be more effective to appeal to her sense of vanity - talk about how tanning leads to premature aging, etc. Although she's probably just go the plastic surgery route and become like that catwoman.

I was also struck by the man who ran so much. He ran at least 20 miles a day, ran 100 miles in 24 hours, and I think it said he ran 4 marathons in 4 days. I would be curious to hear a medical opinion - everyone needs to exercise but that amount seems like it would put a tremendous strain on the body. And it was taking a toll on his relationships; he had a girlfriend (that I think broke up with him) who was a "running widow." He started running after a divorce.

Anyone else see it?
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#2

scarlett45

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 10:55 AM

Hi I saw it!

Of all the participants I think Universe is going to be alright. She understands she has a shopping addiction and is taking steps to help herself. On the other hand the girl that ate chalk worries me the most (with a close second being the tanning girl), CHALK. IS. NOT. EDIBLE! But she seems to find no problem with eating an inedible substance. After the show I remember the text saying that she gave UP drinking laundry detergent for the health risks......she does not seem to understand she has a problem.
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#3

Candy Moocher

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 11:02 AM

I was pretty impressed that Universe actually paid off her $85k debt. I remember a True Life episode about girls in debt due to shopping addiction and one of them (who was 21 years old) declared bankruptcy. That really pissed me off and I was cringing, waiting for Universe to announce that she was taking that route. Thank God she's a smart person who did things the right way.

The marathon man must've been putting his body under so much stress with all of that distance running. I hope he gets help.

Tanning girl was a freak. The sad thing is that, of the four people profiled, she's in the most danger. I can't imagine what condition her skin is in. The fact that she's in denial about what she's doing and running away from doctors doesn't bode well for her future.

Edited by Candy Moocher, May 16, 2010 @ 11:03 AM.

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#4

Empress1

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 11:06 AM

I was pretty impressed that Universe actually paid off her $85k debt. I remember a True Life episode about girls in debt and one of them (who was 21 years old) declared bankruptcy. That really pissed me off and I was cringing, waiting for Universe to announce that she was taking that route. Thank God she's a smart person who did things the right way.

If I recall correctly, the bulk of her $85K debt was student loans, which aren't covered by bankruptcy - I think she had $75K in student loans and $10K in credit debt. So she wouldn't be able to declare bankruptcy to discharge it. (I remember that True Life episode - Bankruptcy Girl had like $20K in CC debt and just ... didn't want to pay it back, basically. Fuckin' idiot.)
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#5

Major Misfit

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 11:10 AM

She seemed to be moved when they took her to a dermatologist who mentioned the very real threat of skin cancer

Heh. I thought she wasn't moved at all. I think she ran out of there like a big baby because the big bad dermatologist wasn't enabling her tanning addiction—like her similarly baked mother.

She's hopeless. I can't believe there are people out there who thinks that looks good.

Edited by Major Misfit, May 16, 2010 @ 11:12 AM.

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#6

Sleepwalker12

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 11:48 AM

like her similarly baked mother.


You'd think looking at her burlap sack of a mother would give her a clue. She was a classic bubble-head.
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#7

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 12:08 PM

gave UP drinking laundry detergent for the health risks..


It's funny, the show concentrated on the chalk-eating and treating the detergent-drinking like an afterthought, which sounded like a more serious health hazard to me.
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#8

snappleaddict

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 12:40 PM

I wish this was a weekly show instead of just a one-off special!

I found it funny when the tanning girl said she wasn't going to worry about something that wasn't going to harm her now...um, sweetie, you're going to look like a major leather face in five years at the rate you're going. I'm not even going to touch the Mountain Dew colored hair and tacky clothes.

I cracked up when Pica Girl was nibbling on the economy sized piece of chalk, I couldn't help myself. Where did she find a piece that large? She didn't seem that interested in wanting to stop when she went to the doctor, she just wanted to make sure it was safe. Hell, she didn't even stop when he told her there could be rat droppings in the chalk, gross!

Why did Obsessive Runner run in a Village People costume? At first I thought he may have been an exercise bulimic (but he showed no signs of it that we saw), but then I was leaning towards a drug addict, with the "runner's high" as his drug. Finally I can put my Psychology degrees to use!

Universe and Nzinga. Enough said.
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#9

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 2:05 PM

The Tanorexic girl looked exactly like an ad that ran last winter for cheap flights to Florida that was set in a tanning salon where everyone was bright orange with white eyes -- it suggested it would be better to get a natural tan on a Florida beach. I never got the tanning thing, and the one person I knew who did that looked like she was 60 when she was 40. Obviously tanorexic is a good term, because they don't see what they really look like, just like anorexics. What was interesting was that she wanted everyone around her to look the same way. She kept pressuring her sister to go tanning with her.

The chalk girl freaked me out. I've heard of people that eat dirt and stuff, but can't imagine having an addiction like that.
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#10

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 2:08 PM

Ha. Are these the giant pieces of chalk in question?

http://www.buy.com/p.../211952691.html

I couldn't understand the chalk thing at all. Can you imagine what her teeth look like? Just watching her bite off pieces hurt my front teeth.

Edited by LunaIndigo, May 16, 2010 @ 2:08 PM.

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#11

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 2:16 PM

Heh. I thought she wasn't moved at all. I think she ran out of there like a big baby because the big bad dermatologist wasn't enabling her tanning addictionólike her similarly baked mother.

She's hopeless. I can't believe there are people out there who thinks that looks good.


Word to the 10th power. She looked like an Oompa Loompa and ran like a cry baby when she didn't hear what she wanted. I cracked up when she was telling her sister that she wasn't hot like her because she wasn't orange. 'Scuse me, missy. You're NOT hot and no amount of tanning and hair bleach will disguise that 20 or so extra pounds you're toting around. I really got the impression she believed her obsessive tanning masked the fact that she was overweight. I have a dear friend that's been very overweight for years and tans a lot. But, she owns her weight and says tan fat looks better than white fat. This girl seriously seemed to believe she was the hottest thing on the planet and people with normal looking skin tone were somehow beneath her.

That chalk eating girl was just bizarre. I wonder if she goes to the dollar store and buys sidewalk chalk by the cart full?
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#12

snappleaddict

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 3:03 PM

Ha. Are these the giant pieces of chalk in question?

http://www.buy.com/p.../211952691.html

I couldn't understand the chalk thing at all. Can you imagine what her teeth look like? Just watching her bite off pieces hurt my front teeth.


Sadly this has been deleted from my Tivo, but I think the piece of chalk was even bigger. It was ridiculous.

I, too, was wondering how she didnt have any broken teeth (that we knew of). I chipped a front tooth crunching a carrot and that's a hell of a lot softer than a piece of chalk!

The way she almost seemed proud of her chalk eating and proudly brought out that giant piece of chalk and gnawed on it in front of her family reminded me of the feeding-tube girl from Intervention...Nicole? No regards for how gross it was or how uncomfortable it made anyone else, she was doing it, whether they liked it or not.

Also, colored chalk? Did bitch think the purple would taste like grape?
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#13

cheesecake134

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 3:13 PM

I have been waiting for this thread!

I tried, but simply couldn't muster sympathy for Tanorexic Girl. She was so........thick-headed. NOTHING got through to her. And the baby voice really grated. And on a completely shallow note, I couldn't understand how someone so concerned with looks didn't do something about that flabby midsection. /totally going to Hell

I liked Chalk Girl and was really hoping the update at the end would say she had improved at least slightly. No, we only find out she stopped drinking the laundry detergent because it posed a more immediate threat. Sad.

I was most surprised by how much action Universe actually took to get herself better. She seemed so deluded into her own thinking that I never saw her getting better. But she actually managed to pay off her debt by the end.

Running Guy bugged. I felt sympathy for him, but at the same time was so annoyed by how he treated his girlfriend and his overall superior attitude that I almost wanted him to run himself to death. But they really have 100 MILE MARATHONS?! Who comes up with that sort of thing?! And more importantly, who actually willingly participates in them?! The mind, it boggles.
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#14

blubld43

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 3:35 PM

The Tanorexic girl looked exactly like an ad that ran last winter for cheap flights to Florida that was set in a tanning salon where everyone was bright orange

That was so funny! Remember the bride in there, and the attendant was talking about what a beautiful bride she'd be?
This girl looked terrible. She doesn't look good now, and she sure as hell will look god-awful ten years from now!
Pica is a pretty serious mental problem. This woman needs some medication, for sure.
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#15

Candy Moocher

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 3:48 PM

'Scuse me, missy. You're NOT hot and no amount of tanning and hair bleach will disguise that 20 or so extra pounds you're toting around. I really got the impression she believed her obsessive tanning masked the fact that she was overweight. I have a dear friend that's been very overweight for years and tans a lot. But, she owns her weight and says tan fat looks better than white fat.

Oh yeah, if you can't tone it, tan it. I've heard that ish before.

I forgot to comment on the chalk eater in my previous post. WTF was up with her? She seemed to really enjoy the attention that she was getting for consuming all of that random crap. I'm officially shocked that she didn't poison herself by drinking that liquid detergent. I really don't think that the girl was firing all cylinders.
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#16

jade76

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 4:33 PM

But they really have 100 MILE MARATHONS?! Who comes up with that sort of thing?! And more importantly, who actually willingly participates in them?! The mind, it boggles.


Believe it or not there are many ultramarathons all over the world. This one sounds the worst to me, 156 miles across a desert. The whole thing sounds crazy to me too.
Tan girl looked awful, ghost white pale skin would have looked much better then that hot mess. How many hundreds of dollars did they say she was spending in tanning a month? It was crazy.
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#17

OSM Mom

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 4:38 PM

Good Lord, this show sounds like a trainwreck! What channel/time/day is it on?
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#18

snappleaddict

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 6:06 PM

Sadly, I just checked my Tivo and it's not going to be on any time in the next two weeks, but it was on Discovery Health Channel.

EDIT: If you go to Discovery Health Channel's website and enter "My Strange Addiction" into the search bar at the top, some video clips appear.

Edited by snappleaddict, May 16, 2010 @ 6:10 PM.

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#19

la llorona

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 6:09 PM

Thank you for starting this thread!

What blew my mind was that Tan-o-Rama laid out for 10 hrs. a week (plus tanning bed visits) without sunscreen. That's a lot of baking to be doing with no protection at all. I'm active and in the sun a lot, and I never go out without at least 30 SPF. And guess what, I still get rather dark whether I want to or not.

I posted in another thread that whenever she was onscreen I couldn't stop thinking about the tanning salon scene in Final Destination 3.

I was kind of bored with runner guy, so I FF'd most of his stuff, and lost interest in Pica girl. She was just ridiculous.
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#20

cheesecake134

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 6:30 PM

Believe it or not there are many ultramarathons all over the world. This one sounds the worst to me, 156 miles across a desert. The whole thing sounds crazy to me too.


In the friggin' DESERT?! How is that even safe?
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#21

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Posted May 17, 2010 @ 12:03 PM

Universe struck me as a big phony. She's an intelligent woman, she knew what her sister and cousin (and the production team) wanted to hear. She actively resisted, denied, and overrode her family's suggestions and offers to help throughout the whole episode, but then at the end its all sunshine and lollipops and "Dear me, maybe I am going a bit overboard."? I don't buy it for a second. She's a hoarder waiting to happen. Her apartment was crammed. And when her sister pulled out--what was it? boxes of pens, or pencils?--and Universe immediately responded with a story about how she "intended" to use them for something, but never got around to it, I heard the echo of the hoarder. In a few years it'll be old, dried out facial washcloths and broken plastic hangers. And if she has only $10,000 in debt I'll eat my hat. I did love her sister and cousin, and I want them to be my friends. They were awesome.

Tanorexic Girl was horribly annoying and her behavior to her sister especially was hateful. As one who treasures my alabaster (and wrinkle-free!) skin, I was horrified by her snotty attitude toward anyone who's not the color of a prison jumpsuit. Of chalk eating girl, at first I was musing "oh, well, so she eats chalk, she's not hurting anyone", but when I saw her swigging down the Tide I got alarmed. Who knows what else she's ingesting that she didn't want to cop to on tv? She can't stop eating chalk, and drinks the laundry detergent every time she does the wash? She spoke so eloquently about the great patch of dirt she "used to" snack on. Lord knows what else.

I would watch this every week, though, for sure.

Edited by Pepper Mostly, May 17, 2010 @ 12:03 PM.

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#22

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Posted May 17, 2010 @ 1:10 PM

Tanorexic looked like fried chicken. Maybe she should spend less time tanning and more time on crunches and planks.
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#23

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Posted May 17, 2010 @ 1:22 PM

Tanorexic girl was the epitome of vanity, and empty-headedness. Her entire worldview revolves around white people's skin tone. I can't imagine what it's like to be her boyfriend. Oh, the conversations! Urgh.

Since I'm already going to hell... at least, when she was tanning, she wasn't eating pie.
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#24

Pepper Mostly

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Posted May 17, 2010 @ 1:31 PM

Or chalk!
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#25

Malibu65

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Posted May 17, 2010 @ 2:06 PM

I thought she wasn't moved at all. I think she ran out of there like a big baby because the big bad dermatologist wasn't enabling her tanning addictionólike her similarly baked mother.

She should have looked at her mother's own skin and ask herself if that is how she wanted to end up. Her mother's skin was all wrinkled, freckled and looked like old lady's skin. And that was just on her chest area. Ewwww. If there is anything that would make women not want to tan, is looking at the skin of these women who continuously tan themselves to death. Even the late Farrah Fawcett loved to tan (naturally) and her skin didn't look good when she got older.

I don't know why any woman thinks the look of burnt orange looks good. Seeing all kinds of girls doing it with the tanning machines or the make-up, it just looks gross.

The chalk girl...my teeth hurt just thinking of chewing of chalk.
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#26

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Posted May 17, 2010 @ 2:23 PM

I watched this show. It was like a train wreck -- I just couldn't turn away. The tanorexic girl thinks she looks good, but she looks awful, and it ain't just about the tanning. She was an absolute flake.

I can't fathom what taste chalk could possibly have that would make someone want to eat it. The same goes for laundry detergent.

Was it during this show that they mentioned the condition called trichophagia, which is when people eat their hair (and subsequently pass a ginormous hairball or have to have it surgically removed)? I tell you, I have a strong stomach and the sight of that hairball almost made me hurl.

I wouldn't be surprised if they have other episodes of this show eventually, but if they do a hairball one, I won't be able to watch.
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#27

Punky B

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Posted May 17, 2010 @ 2:46 PM

The chalk girl...my teeth hurt just thinking of chewing of chalk.


Right? I kept getting the shivers thinking of the dry, squeaky feeling. Brrr!
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#28

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Posted May 17, 2010 @ 3:16 PM

Glad to see I'm not the only one who watching this freakish trainwreck! I was transfixed by the amount of crazypants pathology. I had no idea about pica addiction until now. I made the mistake during the show of looking it up and discovered how chalk and laundry detergent are actually one of the inedible items of choice for pica addicts - that and sponges, dirt, and baking soda. I'd heard about the dirt thing with pregnant women and how it's sometimes a sign of mineral deficiencies. But downing Cheer shooters and munching jumbo industrial sidewalk chalk?!?! That just breaks my brain to think about it.

Apparently, it's very popular among some communities in the south and eatin' chalk is even sold in some places. I wish they would have shown the doctors talking more about how the chalk and detergent could affect her body and what underlying psychological issues could cause this. Is it an oral fixation thing? Was she traumatized as a kid at a laundromat or during a particularly harrowing game of hopscotch? What must her breath smell like? How does she have any friends? If I was one of her sisters, I'd tell her no nom-nom around me, chalky!

Tanorexic girl had more problems than neon orange skin. She just seemed dumb as hell and possibly body dysmorphic. Because she CLEARLY isn't seeing what the rest of us are. The fact that she's roasting her insides is the least of her worries. I had a hard time following her story because as a brown skin black woman I just did not get her fixation on having darker skin. MY skin is dark, my skin does NOT look like hers. Her skin does not look like anything found in nature. I just didn't get her intense hatred of pale people, especially when it's usually the other way around!

As for Universe I kept waiting for someone to explain HOW AND WHY HER NAME WAS UNIVERSE?!?!?! And she was a slam poet/life coach? What does that even mean? And considering both of those things sound like made-up jobs, how does she have money to afford all that stuff? And who's gonna hire you as a life coach when you can't even get your own shit together? Between the jobs and name I just see another fake "conscious" bullshitter. I bet she also has a copious supply of headwraps and incense to go with her highlighters. I don't know if I believe she had a major breakthrough after one fake televised therapy session either. If she's serious, she needs real therapy and one of those 12-step programs for shopping addicts.

Edited by kidcore, May 17, 2010 @ 3:23 PM.

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#29

Malibu65

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Posted May 17, 2010 @ 3:27 PM

I wondered if Universe was her real name or if it was some middle or nickname?

As for her being a slam poet, here is more detailed on what that is:
http://en.wikipedia....iki/Poetry_slam

Edited by Malibu65, May 17, 2010 @ 3:28 PM.

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#30

snappleaddict

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Posted May 17, 2010 @ 3:32 PM

With a sister named Nzinga, I'd have to hedge a bet that was her real name.
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