'I can’t stop eating my armchair': Woman admits strange addiction due to pica
Vicky Cullen from West Yorkshire in England tears pieces of foam off one of her chairs and dips them in tea, juice, and even wine, as well as covering them in chocolate or jam.
How many calories are in a piece of armchair? #EatingMyArmChair— Ryan Hodgson (@RHodgsonMBE) March 17, 2016
"I have eaten most of my big armchair," she told The Daily Mail. "It's a single yellow and white-coloured chair and I particularly like jam or Nutella on the foam pieces. In the morning I like to dip them in orange juice."
The 28 year-old believes her weird craving stems from her pregnancy in 2011, but hasn’t subsided.
Since then, she has also eaten around 2,000 washing-up sponges, and often carries pieces of foam around with her in case a craving strikes.
"I kind of get depressed about it because it's not normal," she told ITV's This Morning. "I want to stop."
Cullen admitted her addiction during a doctor’s visit in 2013 when she was 'backed up' (TMI?), which eventually led to a diagnosis of pica, a medical disorder characterized by an appetite for largely non-nutritive substances.
"I am mildly OCD, which is another cause of some pica diagnoses and, as I have incorporated the foam and sponge eating into my routine for so long, we tried to break that pattern," explained Cullen. "It worked for a couple of weeks and then the cravings began again."
#EatingMyArmchair somebody needs to buy this lady some flat-packed furniture. Or a roast.— Matthew (@MattSayceUK) March 17, 2016
At this stage, Cullen has even planned her chair’s eventual demise: "My main concern is what happens when I finish this sofa chair so I plan to freeze some pieces so they're always there, frozen."
Cullen has spoken with a number of media outlets in relation to her addiction as she hopes to raise awareness of pica - a term which derives from the Latin for magpies, who will apparently eat almost anything.
Extreme cases of the disorder can see sufferers develop cravings for metal, paint, glass or even soil.
"I've only just started revealing the extent of my cravings to friends and family because of a commitment to help make people more aware of the problem," said Cullen.
Maybe she could borrow Pee Wee Herman’s Chairry, who can bite back.