Share Your Pica Syndrome Story

Hi,

I'm a documentary researcher whose been touched by the stories of Pica I've found in this group. I'm currently researching for a globally syndicated program that would share international stories of extreme interests, behaviours and practices. If you're struggling with Pica or have overcome the Syndrome recently I'd love to hear from you. If you're bright, confident and refuse to be embarrassed about having Pica, please share your strength and your story in the comments. Alternatively, send me a private message.

Thanks so much. I'm really looking forward to hearing from you!
elley12 elley12
18-21, F
1 Response Jan 10, 2013

Hello. I am 14 years old, a reasonably rational and intellectual individual, and I am addicted to eating rocks. Sandstone, specifically. I've been eating rocks of various types for a year or so now, and I have truly struggled with my addiction in the last few months. It all started out with a "seeing stone" I was caving to make it easier to carry around, and the smell of the dust was intriguing to me at the time. At first it was just smelling the rock, then licking in, and then I began eating the dust from the carving. Eventually, I began eating small chunks off of the rock. From there, I ventured out to other rocks, finding that only sandstone (and other such sedimentary rocks) appealed to me. It's a combination of flavor and texture, and I acknowledge that I have addicted myself. It's not the substance; rather, it's the subconscious desire for something out of control in my life, and the need for anxiety relief. At first it was just little rocks I'd pick up every few days in the summer that I'd crush and eat over the period of a few days, and then I found a large rock in my garage which I proceeded to break up. This large rock turned out to be my favorite, having both an easily crunchable texture and a distinct, mouthwateringly earthy taste. I realize that it is a full blown addiction, and am currently trying to resolve this by myself, (not having the slightest desire to tell anyone about this in the real world), but have had a few breaks during times of high stress. Medically, my symptoms have been surprisingly minimal. During times when I possessed less self control and awareness about my rock eating, I would occasionally experience abdominal discomfort and cramps, and sometimes would develop slight jaw pain. Dentally, I've noticed the damage done to my enamel, but when I forgo eating rocks for long periods of time, the enamel restores itself. Emotionally, this addiction has taken its toll. I have to be secretive about it, finding excuses for the sounds of hammering in the basement when I crush a new bit of rock. As I mentioned, it escalates during times of stress, and it becomes less about the rock and more about the relief. I am extremely ashamed of my addiction, and know that this reliance is an unhealthy one. To estimate, I usually eat one to three ounces per week, depending on availability, opportunities I receive to break up the large rock I have, stress, and my self control. I've been rock-free for two weeks now, and am now marking my progress on a calendar. As with all addicts, I find myself making bargains with myself. Just one more bite, just one more rock, just one more time. I'll give it up tomorrow, or I can give it up during college. This addiction isn't affecting my social life, nor is it seriously affecting my health; but I know why I am doing it, I want to, but am having trouble stopping. I know that as a fourteen year old, I shouldn't be worrying about how my future will be affected by my rock eating addiction, but it is an eventuality I must plan for. I live in an extremely rural area, so when I go outside or in the woods, my poison of choice is all around. Albeit, I might have to wash it, but it's all there. I am not fearful of what this will do to me; rather, I am afraid of how it would/will make me appear if I am discovered or forced to reveal my addiction. I have ambitious plans for my life, and to simply be known as a disease would ruin me. I would not be known as the head of the class. I would be known as the girl who eats rocks, the student with PICA who only does it for publicity. I'm not asking for support, and I beg for some level of anonymity from you, but I need to share my story with someone. This is an addiction that has me thinking about it in school, my throat constricting at the sight of a piece of sandstone. The fact that I am a "connoisseur" already is dismal. The fineness of the grain, the smoothness of the exterior, the environmental conditions the rock was in- all of it plays a part in my selection. Sometimes, I keep small bits of rock on the floor of my basement to give them a particularly desirable flavor. Thank you for your consideration, if you cared to read this far.