My Strange Addiction: The wonderful world of the weird

In a previous blog, I examined a case of so-called ‘hair dryer dependence’. The source material for this blog came from one of the people who had appeared on the TLC (The Learning Channel) documentary television series My Strange Addiction. Immediately after I had written the blog I was emailed by one of the researchers on the show asking if I could help getting people on the show for the next series (Season 4).

For those who have no idea what I am talking about, My Strange Addiction is a US TV documentary show that features stories about people with unusual behaviours. Very few of the behaviours they have featured so far would be classed as addictions in the way that I define them. However, some of the behaviours are genuine obsessions and/or compulsions while others have not been the focus of any kind of medical and/or psychiatric diagnosis.

So far, the show has featured people with various obsessive-compulsive disorders (some of which I have examined in my blog) including body dysmorphic disorder, pica (the eating of non-food such as paper, mud, glass, metal), exercise bulimia, trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling), dermatillomania (compulsive skin picking), thumb-sucking, furry fandom, excessive laxative use, urine drinking, paraphilic infantilism (being an adult baby), and dating cars.


If anyone out there thinks they have an interesting story that My Strange Addiction might like to hear about, the show’s producers would really appreciate any help they can get in reaching people who may be good potential candidates for their TV show.

  • Are you currently struggling to overcome a strange obsession, addiction or compulsive behavior that is taking over your life?
  • Do you spend countless hours obsessing about something or engaging in behavior that others would say is strange?
  • Have you drained all of your finances into this obsession?
  • Are your friends and family members concerned about your wellbeing?
  • Would you like to regain control of your life and your health?

If you found yourself answering yes to any of these questions, you may qualify to be a participant in a major documentary series that offers professional assistance for those struggling with a strange obsession, compulsion, or addiction.

For consideration, please reply to this advert with your name, age, contact information, and brief explanation of how a strange addiction is taking over your life. You can also contact us directly at 312-467-8145 or All submissions will remain confidential. Thank you for sharing your story.

Postscript: Alternatively, if you would like to tell me your story as part of my own academic research, then feel free to contact me at my academic email address:

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Further reading and viewing

Griffiths, J. (2011). Review: My Strange Addiction. US Weekly January 25.–my-strange-addiction-2011251#ixzz1tYHsItPh

Internet Movie Database. My Strange Addiction. Located at:

My Strange Addiction Official Website. Located at: My Strange Addiction. Located at:

Warming Glow. The 10 strangest addictions from  ‘My Strange Addiction’.

Wikipedia. My Strange Addiction. Located at:

Wikipedia. List of My Strange Addiction episodes. Located at:

About drmarkgriffiths

Professor MARK GRIFFITHS, BSc, PhD, CPsychol, PGDipHE, FBPsS, FRSA, AcSS. Dr. Mark Griffiths is a Chartered Psychologist and Professor of Behavioural Addiction at the Nottingham Trent University, and Director of the International Gaming Research Unit. He is internationally known for his work into gambling and gaming addictions and has won many awards including the American 1994 John Rosecrance Research Prize for “outstanding scholarly contributions to the field of gambling research”, the 1998 European CELEJ Prize for best paper on gambling, the 2003 Canadian International Excellence Award for “outstanding contributions to the prevention of problem gambling and the practice of responsible gambling” and a North American 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award For Contributions To The Field Of Youth Gambling “in recognition of his dedication, leadership, and pioneering contributions to the field of youth gambling”. His most recent award is the 2013 Lifetime Research Award from the US National Council on Problem Gambling. He has published over 600 research papers, four books, over 130 book chapters, and over 1000 other articles. He has served on numerous national and international committees (e.g. BPS Council, BPS Social Psychology Section, Society for the Study of Gambling, Gamblers Anonymous General Services Board, National Council on Gambling etc.) and is a former National Chair of Gamcare. He also does a lot of freelance journalism and has appeared on over 2000 radio and television programmes since 1988. In 2004 he was awarded the Joseph Lister Prize for Social Sciences by the British Association for the Advancement of Science for being one of the UK’s “outstanding scientific communicators”. His awards also include the 2006 Excellence in the Teaching of Psychology Award by the British Psychological Society and the British Psychological Society Fellowship Award for “exceptional contributions to psychology”.

Posted on May 7, 2012, in Addiction, Case Studies, Compulsion, Eating addiction, Eating disorders, Gambling addiction, Internet addiction, Obsession, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Online addictions, Paraphilia, Pica, Popular Culture, Psychiatry, Psychology, Sex addiction, Tanorexia, Technological addiction, Video game addiction, Workaholism and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I think if fly fishing was not seen as rational, healthy and a little romantic you would have it in your sights. Think about it – have you seen the cost of the equipment – days spent standing waist deep in cold rivers or in boats on windswept concrete reservoirs – winter evenings compulsively tying ‘deadly catch-em- flies with bits of dead animal fur and feathers. Strangely named lures such as the ‘hairy mary’ the ‘big-white booby nymph’ (I kid you not), ‘wooleybuggers’ and ‘dognobblers’. Fly fishermen are obsessed – spend way too much on the equipment. And their partners are ‘flyfishing widows! And as for ‘the one that got away’ – it fits perfectly with the gambling near win phenomenon. I’m game for the show – I used to be one. Can I bring the paraphernalia of my former addiction – flies rods and silly hat collection etc?

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