15 Addictions And Obsessions You Didn't Know Have Clinical Diagnoses

By Michael Peckerar

Everyone has their vices. Sometimes they cross the line into obsession and addiction. While people claim to be “hooked” on stuff, a lot of times there’s an actual diagnosis for that condition.

RELATED: 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Clinical Depression

15 Addictions And Obsessions You Didn\'t Know Have Clinical Diagnoses
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15. Tanorexia: Addiction To Tanning

Tanorexia: Addiction To Tanning Credit: Getty Images
It sounds made up, but psychologists are starting to use the term to describe a specific behavior where people feel they're never tan enough. It sounds like "anorexia" since the blurred perception of oneself follows the same pattern. Despite being over-tanned, patients will continue to tan because they feel "pale." It crosses the line between obsession and addiction since the patient continues to tan despite negative health effects and consequences -- but does not receive a "high" or "rush."

15. Tanorexia: Addiction To Tanning

It sounds made up, but psychologists are starting to use the term to describe a specific behavior where people feel they're never tan enough. It sounds like "anorexia" since the blurred perception of oneself follows the same pattern. Despite being over-tanned, patients will continue to tan because they feel "pale." It crosses the line between obsession and addiction since the patient continues to tan despite negative health effects and consequences -- but does not receive a "high" or "rush."

14. Caffeine Use Disorder/Caffeine Intoxication

Caffeine Use Disorder/Caffeine Intoxication Credit: Getty Images
Psychologists use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) for their diagnoses of certain conditions. DSM-V includes codes for "Caffeine Use Disorder", or addiction to caffeine, and a code for the condition of being intoxicated on caffeine. People can have a serious dependency on caffeine and it is often treated like most other dependencies. It's hardly a laughing matter, as many people have their lives taken over by their addiction.

14. Caffeine Use Disorder/Caffeine Intoxication

Psychologists use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) for their diagnoses of certain conditions. DSM-V includes codes for "Caffeine Use Disorder", or addiction to caffeine, and a code for the condition of being intoxicated on caffeine. People can have a serious dependency on caffeine and it is often treated like most other dependencies. It's hardly a laughing matter, as many people have their lives taken over by their addiction.

13. The Obsessive Need To Chew Ice

The Obsessive Need To Chew Ice Credit: Getty Images
It's called Pagophagia, and no matter what you heard in ninth grade, it has nothing to do with sexual frustration. It's actually a sign of iron deficiency anemia and is classified under the family of compulsions called "pica" -- the need to consume non-food items. For some reason, later studies have shown that chewing ice actually caused the iron deficiency. The jury is still out.

13. The Obsessive Need To Chew Ice

It's called Pagophagia, and no matter what you heard in ninth grade, it has nothing to do with sexual frustration. It's actually a sign of iron deficiency anemia and is classified under the family of compulsions called "pica" -- the need to consume non-food items. For some reason, later studies have shown that chewing ice actually caused the iron deficiency. The jury is still out.

12. CBD: Addicted To Shopping

CBD: Addicted To Shopping Credit: Getty Images
Shopping addiction goes way beyond "my wife bought four pairs of shoes this month." The clinical name for it is Compulsive Buying Disorder, and it's a very real diagnosis. People with CBD will feel a need to shop constantly, specifically after negative experiences -- as a soothing mechanism. Purchasing retail goods gives them a "buzz" or high, and will often drive the patient into severe financial trouble. It's generally comorbid with (found alongside) depression and legitimate Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is usually treated with antidepressants and therapy.

12. CBD: Addicted To Shopping

Shopping addiction goes way beyond "my wife bought four pairs of shoes this month." The clinical name for it is Compulsive Buying Disorder, and it's a very real diagnosis. People with CBD will feel a need to shop constantly, specifically after negative experiences -- as a soothing mechanism. Purchasing retail goods gives them a "buzz" or high, and will often drive the patient into severe financial trouble. It's generally comorbid with (found alongside) depression and legitimate Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is usually treated with antidepressants and therapy.

11. A Compulsive Need To Eat Dirt

A Compulsive Need To Eat Dirt Credit: Getty Images
Another form of pica, geophagia is a compulsive need to eat dirt. It's pretty high on the danger meter as far as pica goes, since it can cause massive problems in the patient's digestive tract. There's no easily identified cause of it, but it is far more prevalent than you'd think. While dirt eating was sometimes practiced in the rural South, it's become less popular as people figure out you're not supposed to eat dirt. Psychologists are able to treat geophagia pretty easily, and the main concern is the physical damage it causes.

11. A Compulsive Need To Eat Dirt

Another form of pica, geophagia is a compulsive need to eat dirt. It's pretty high on the danger meter as far as pica goes, since it can cause massive problems in the patient's digestive tract. There's no easily identified cause of it, but it is far more prevalent than you'd think. While dirt eating was sometimes practiced in the rural South, it's become less popular as people figure out you're not supposed to eat dirt. Psychologists are able to treat geophagia pretty easily, and the main concern is the physical damage it causes.

10. Gambling Addiction Has Become Its Own Diagnosis

Gambling Addiction Has Become Its Own Diagnosis Credit: Getty Images
It's been called both "pathological gambling" and "problem gambling", but for a long time it was considered an impulse-control disorder. Recently, new research has shown that problem gambling is an addiction in its own right. Section 312.31 of the DSM-V lays out the criteria for the diagnosis, including things like a compulsive need to gamble, lying about and concealing the gambling, chasing losses, and other symptoms. Now that it's a recognized addiction, it's usually treated with "12 Step" or similar therapy.

10. Gambling Addiction Has Become Its Own Diagnosis

It's been called both "pathological gambling" and "problem gambling", but for a long time it was considered an impulse-control disorder. Recently, new research has shown that problem gambling is an addiction in its own right. Section 312.31 of the DSM-V lays out the criteria for the diagnosis, including things like a compulsive need to gamble, lying about and concealing the gambling, chasing losses, and other symptoms. Now that it's a recognized addiction, it's usually treated with "12 Step" or similar therapy.

9. Yes, You Can Be Addicted To The Internet

Yes, You Can Be Addicted To The Internet Credit: Getty Images
It was first proposed by Dr. Ivan Goldberg, M.D in 1995 -- as a joke. Fast forward to the present day, and Internet Addiction Disorder is being recognized by most researchers as an actual thing. The only thing that kept it out of the DSM-V was that so many IAD patients also had other mental health issues. IAD encompasses several behaviors like addiction to online relationships, compulsive "checking" of the internet, internet pornography addiction, and online gaming addiction. IAD is still far from being fully understood, but is clearly happening.

9. Yes, You Can Be Addicted To The Internet

It was first proposed by Dr. Ivan Goldberg, M.D in 1995 -- as a joke. Fast forward to the present day, and Internet Addiction Disorder is being recognized by most researchers as an actual thing. The only thing that kept it out of the DSM-V was that so many IAD patients also had other mental health issues. IAD encompasses several behaviors like addiction to online relationships, compulsive "checking" of the internet, internet pornography addiction, and online gaming addiction. IAD is still far from being fully understood, but is clearly happening.

8. The Obsession To Pick Your Nose

The Obsession To Pick Your Nose Credit: Getty Images
This is not just "grab a booger or two at the red light" nose picking. Rhinotillexomania is a condition where the patient is absolutely hooked on it, to the point of injury. We're talking at work, at church, at the DMV, literally everywhere. People with rhinotillexomania literally cannot stop picking their nose. Not all patients engage in mucophagy -- eating it. Incidentally, some doctors have argued that eating one's boogers (in moderation) gives a boost to the immune system.

8. The Obsession To Pick Your Nose

This is not just "grab a booger or two at the red light" nose picking. Rhinotillexomania is a condition where the patient is absolutely hooked on it, to the point of injury. We're talking at work, at church, at the DMV, literally everywhere. People with rhinotillexomania literally cannot stop picking their nose. Not all patients engage in mucophagy -- eating it. Incidentally, some doctors have argued that eating one's boogers (in moderation) gives a boost to the immune system.

7. Exercise Compulsion

Exercise Compulsion Credit: Getty Images
The compulsive need to exercise sort of straddles the line between compulsion and addiction, but it's a legit thing. When you work out, there's a release of endorphins and feel-good brain juice. People can be addicted to this rush, however exercise compulsion has not been fully recognized in the DSM as a bona fide addiction. People who compulsively exercise will often lose their job and families over their need to work out. They'll damage their bodies and actually feel a chemical withdrawal from not working out.

7. Exercise Compulsion

The compulsive need to exercise sort of straddles the line between compulsion and addiction, but it's a legit thing. When you work out, there's a release of endorphins and feel-good brain juice. People can be addicted to this rush, however exercise compulsion has not been fully recognized in the DSM as a bona fide addiction. People who compulsively exercise will often lose their job and families over their need to work out. They'll damage their bodies and actually feel a chemical withdrawal from not working out.

6. Urethral Polyembolokoilamania... You Sure You Want To Know?

Urethral Polyembolokoilamania... You Sure You Want To Know? Credit: Getty Images

Polyembolokoilamania is a compulsion that forces a patient to insert foreign objects into their body. We're going to step out for a moment and grab a coffee while you put two and two together with Urethral Polyembolokoilamania.

Doctors have reported cases where patients have made "itching sticks" to quench the insane urge to stuff things up their pee-hole. One patient even used the antenna from a portable radio. Ow.

6. Urethral Polyembolokoilamania... You Sure You Want To Know?

Polyembolokoilamania is a compulsion that forces a patient to insert foreign objects into their body. We're going to step out for a moment and grab a coffee while you put two and two together with Urethral Polyembolokoilamania.

Doctors have reported cases where patients have made "itching sticks" to quench the insane urge to stuff things up their pee-hole. One patient even used the antenna from a portable radio. Ow.

5. Addiction To Metal

Addiction To Metal Credit: Getty Images
There was an actual case, and even we had to look it up on Snopes because we didn't believe it -- and we've seen it all. A guy in Sweden back in 2007 became unemployed because he was going to so many metal shows -- like 300 a year. His obsessive need to bang his head made it almost impossible to hold down a job. Doctors there took a look at him and agreed, yes he was addicted to metal. Because of this, he received disability benefits until 2012.

5. Addiction To Metal

There was an actual case, and even we had to look it up on Snopes because we didn't believe it -- and we've seen it all. A guy in Sweden back in 2007 became unemployed because he was going to so many metal shows -- like 300 a year. His obsessive need to bang his head made it almost impossible to hold down a job. Doctors there took a look at him and agreed, yes he was addicted to metal. Because of this, he received disability benefits until 2012.

4. Actual, Real, Legit, Sex Addiction

Actual, Real, Legit, Sex Addiction Credit: Getty Images
Yes, there is a real condition where people can be addicted to knocking the boots. It goes way beyond having cheated with your coworker. Sex addiction causes people to spend almost their entire day finding a way to have sex. They'll comb the internet for anonymous, willing partners. They'll walk the street. They'll have multiple, anonymous partners of either gender. It has had various wordings in the DSM, but psych professionals agree -- it's totally a thing, and not how you think.

4. Actual, Real, Legit, Sex Addiction

Yes, there is a real condition where people can be addicted to knocking the boots. It goes way beyond having cheated with your coworker. Sex addiction causes people to spend almost their entire day finding a way to have sex. They'll comb the internet for anonymous, willing partners. They'll walk the street. They'll have multiple, anonymous partners of either gender. It has had various wordings in the DSM, but psych professionals agree -- it's totally a thing, and not how you think.

3. Food Addiction

Food Addiction Credit: Getty Images
There's eating a lot, and then there's the condition where you literally just cannot... stop... eating. Food addiction has its basis in what psychologists call the "reward system", which is a chemical reaction to certain stimuli. Eating food will stimulate this, and when it's overstimulated, the addiction begins. Food addicts will get a rush from eating, and the chemistry of it is quite complex. Usually this addiction is treated with behavioral therapy.

3. Food Addiction

There's eating a lot, and then there's the condition where you literally just cannot... stop... eating. Food addiction has its basis in what psychologists call the "reward system", which is a chemical reaction to certain stimuli. Eating food will stimulate this, and when it's overstimulated, the addiction begins. Food addicts will get a rush from eating, and the chemistry of it is quite complex. Usually this addiction is treated with behavioral therapy.

2. Compulsive Lying (aka Fox News Disorder)

Compulsive Lying (aka Fox News Disorder) Credit: Twitter
Compulsive or pathological lying (the terms are interchangeable) is not just a movie trope. There are people currently being treated for their complete and absolute inability to tell the truth. While the DSM does not recognize it, it is due to being comorbid with other diagnosis. Studies have shown physical reactions in patients who cannot stop lying. Often it will ruin lives, ruin families, and lead to a career in politics.

2. Compulsive Lying (aka Fox News Disorder)

Compulsive or pathological lying (the terms are interchangeable) is not just a movie trope. There are people currently being treated for their complete and absolute inability to tell the truth. While the DSM does not recognize it, it is due to being comorbid with other diagnosis. Studies have shown physical reactions in patients who cannot stop lying. Often it will ruin lives, ruin families, and lead to a career in politics.

1. Tattoos And Piercings Can Fall Under BDD

Tattoos And Piercings Can Fall Under BDD Credit: Getty Images
Body dysmorphic disorder is a condition where a patient is fixated on the idea that something is wrong with their body and it needs fixing. This is the disorder that can cause people to amputate their own limbs, or blind themselves. Excessive tattooing and piercing can cross over into BDD, when a patient becomes obsessed with modifying their body past the point of being healthy. This is often missed, since many subcultures celebrate excessive tattooing, and people with a legitimate addiction will blend in, or even gain celebrity.

1. Tattoos And Piercings Can Fall Under BDD

Body dysmorphic disorder is a condition where a patient is fixated on the idea that something is wrong with their body and it needs fixing. This is the disorder that can cause people to amputate their own limbs, or blind themselves. Excessive tattooing and piercing can cross over into BDD, when a patient becomes obsessed with modifying their body past the point of being healthy. This is often missed, since many subcultures celebrate excessive tattooing, and people with a legitimate addiction will blend in, or even gain celebrity.

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