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Have been addicted to eating sponge. Feels stressed and craving to eat it. What is wrong?

This will sound really strange and I m so embarrassed about this condition. I ve never told anyone about it because of the shame I feel. I m addicted to eating sponge. I started eating bath sponges when I was about 6. I am now 35. I have tried to stop at times, but when really stressed I get cravings again. Eating sponge calms me but I know it can t be good for me. I can t tell anyone about this. I am mortified.
Asked On : Sat, 23 Feb 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  60
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Psychiatrist 's  Response

Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Eating non-edible substances (called pica) can be a sign of a medical problem (like anemia) or a psychological problem. In your case, you mention that you eat sponge whenever you are stressed out and it calms you down during such times of stress. So, you are probably using this habit as a coping mechanism to deal with your anxiety.

It's good that you have realized that this is not a good habit and have sought help. I would advise you to consult a psychiatrist for a detailed evaluation, so that further treatment can be planned. Treatment can be in the form of psychological therapies or sometimes, medication. So, please don't hesitate to seek professional help.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Answered: Mon, 25 Feb 2013
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