Mental Health

A few weeks ago, I contemplated ingesting pills filled with “organic, free-range” cat hair. Ultimately, I decided against taking the pills for fear of the havoc the hair might have had on my digestive tract. Just last week, a girl in India underwent surgery to remove a five-foot long cluster of hair from her digestive system after her family realized that she could barely eat or drink water anymore.

Suffice it to say that I’m confident in my decision.

As fun as it is to muse about ingesting hair, it’s not often that we talk about the very real financial consequences of having a life-debilitating compulsion. Take Allison, for example, who became famous for her unusual addiction to eating rubber tires specifically for their “chemically taste.”

While Allison insisted that there were no health issues or any money being lost as a result of her addiction, it’s almost certain that eventually her habit would have become more costly, considering significant health-care bills she would have incurred.

According to the team over at Mental Health, many of the bizarre addictions that people sometimes have carry hefty price tags when sufferers inevitably end up in the hospital. Ever wondered just how expensive an addiction to eating couch cushions might be? We’ve got the answer—and it’s animated:


Oh, but there's more. Remember Natasha? She had a thing for eating clay-based face masks. She was into them for their earthy flavor which, in her defense, is a thing that some women claim to crave during pregnancy. When you look at the potential economic impact of her addiction, though, it seems as if she would have been better off eating guacamole.


Margaret loved stinging herself with bees. Being stung by bees didn't end well for Thomas in My Girl, and when you lay out the costs, it probably wouldn't be all that great for Margaret either.


Adele's been eating couch cushions since she was about 10 years old and (luckily!) she's still alive. But if she were to keep snacking on sofas for the next 20 years, she'd probably end up with a substantial bill for invasive (and necessary) bowel surgery.


If there's one thing we've learned from TLC, it's that addiction comes in many different forms. Whether it's drinking blood, eating sand, or inhaling air fresheners (girl, why?), giving into the disease can be as debilitating as it is fulfilling. As the saying goes, though, there is always hope for recovery. The first step? Admitting that you have a problem.