Monday, February 21, 2011

Strange addiction: eating couch cushions

Compulsions drive people to do very strange and unusual things. But eating couch cushions? That may very well be the strangest yet. Adele, a 30-year-old woman from Bradenton, Fla., recently came forward on a TV show about her bizarre taste for foam materials. The woman loves munching on bite-sized pieces of sofa stuffing and even going so far as to prepare snack-sized servings of couch cushions.

According to psychologist Jason Mihalko, Adele's behavior presents very much like a condition called pica."[Pica is] characterized by an individual having a desire to eat nonfood substances," Mihalko told AOL News. "It's most often seen in young children and women."There are cases of pica where people eat metal, dirt, feces, chalk, writing utensils and [tree] sap," he said.

And what can be done about an obsession with eating couch cushions?Mihalko suggested that if the couch eating were a method of getting relief or maintaining control, he would try to help her learn different ways to alleviate her stress.
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