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Come on, he can't actually be addicted to this can he? Well, he is according to his boss Dougie Freedman, who has tried everything to help him - even taking his phone off him. And according to academics in Chicago, Twitter has become more addictive than wine.

Are there other technology-related addictions? Absolutely. Some people are addicted to mobile phones and texting. It's said they often hear "phantom ringing", or experience a phantom vibration, and will become irritable and suffer sleepless nights due to constantly checking the screen for updates.

Seems odd. But are there any other weird addictions? Brazilian man Luis Squarisi suffers from what he calls an addiction to funerals. It's so rare, the condition hasn't been given a name. The 42-year-old from Batatais, has attended every single funeral in his town for more than 20 years and has quit his job to be able to feed his addiction.

But this is all in the mind right? Not necessarily. Pagophagia is an obsessive need to chew on ice. However, scientific research shows the condition could be caused by low iron in the blood. The addition of vitamin B can help increase red blood cell production, and vitamin C can aid in the absorption of iron.

Are some addictions specific to certain cultures? Very possibly. The practice of eating dirt, or geophagy, is not considered a social norm in Western society, but the custom is quite common in poorer countries, such as Haiti. Baobao, a young woman from Inner Mongolia, became world famous in 2006 after eating dirt for 11 years.

Have addictions got people into trouble? Oh yes. The rich and famous often realise they have sex addictions (sometimes after they are caught playing away). Actors Michael Douglas, David Duchovny and Charlie Sheen, plus golfer Tiger Woods have all sought help for it.

Are there any unexpected addictions? While reading is generally very good for you, some people are said to rely on fiction too much to escape reality that they get stuck in their fantasy world. Some sufferers can not put their book down to eat, drive or wash - seriously affecting their health and mental wellbeing.

Are there any other unusual addictions that are bad for your health? Yes. A growing addiction especially among young women is tanorexia - the desire to be permanently tanned. Skin cancer is the most obvious health risk from the overuse of sunbeds, but high doses of tanning pills can carry side effects, such as liver damage.

What about addiction to exercise? It's estimated that 10% of high-performance runners as well as 10% of body builders are addicted to exercise. Compulsive exercise comes from a need for control and many who are addicted obsess over calorie intake or pounds lost. They may work out for more than two hours every day.

Obsessing: it's enough to pull your hair out, isn't it? Funnily enough; compulsive hair pulling is an addiction known as trichotillomania, or trich, which affects millions of people. Trich is an impulse-control disorder and those with it pull out their own hair - be it from the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows - or any other part of the body.


TWEET ADDICT Footballer Marvin Sordell, right, and his team manager Dougie Freedman SEX ADDICT David Duchovny TRUE An addiction to funerals
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 10, 2013
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