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Strange Addictions Not That Strange

TLC's My Strange Addiction had us at hello, but this does not mean we were prepared for the hairdryer addiction. Which is not what it sounds like.

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Minds out of the gutter! The hairdryer addiction is about sleeping. See, since she was a little girl, this woman's gone to sleep with a hairdryer, the heat and white noise of which she finds ample compensation for the risk of fire or electrocution.

Some of the behaviors — tanning, chalk and toilet-paper eating, for instance — are more immediately harmful. But weird as the habits may seem, the psychology is no different from that of any other addict. Once something is "soothing," says one psychiatrist — whatever that thing might be, for whatever reason — "the patterns are very hard to break."

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The woman who goes to six salons a day — in defiance of the law — is a good example.

But lest we judge, MSNBC reminds us, "It's important to remember that self-soothing strategies, of the non-extreme variety, are actually pretty common." Some are just less...socially acceptable than others.

Not Without My Blow-Dryer: Reality Show Uncovers Strange Addictions [MSNBC]

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DISCUSSION

ASmallTurnip
A Small Turnip

I have a terrible time getting to sleep some nights (oh, the tyranny of the midnight worries!), and have discovered a series of sound programmes in iTunes that help me drift off. They're called Sleep Machines, and they offer some really soothing rain or wind or beach sounds, but without any of that embarrassing new age muzak or whale sounds (does anyone really like that?).

But along with all the weather-y sounds that I dig, Sleep Machines also offer hour-long aural loops of air conditioners or fans (understandable), dishwashers or vacuum cleaners (definitely a bit odd) and my all-time-favourite, Spaceship (which is clearly fucking insane). So it doesn't seem that strange to me that there are folk out there who find the sound of hairdryers soothing and soporific. Frankly, in comparison with those who like to hear the hushed hum of the Starship Enterprise as they fall asleep, a hairdryer seems relatively normal.

And yeah. Yup. Of course I downloaded that spaceship track like the rest of those nerds. You can call me 1st Galactic Lt. Turnip. Sweet dreams, bitches.