A 44-year-old mother-of-five has revealed she has an addiction: eating a tub of Johnson’s Baby Talcum Powder a day.
The UK woman, Lisa Anderson, according to Devonlive.com, has spent nearly £8,000 gorging the powder since she first felt the urge to take a bite after using it on her young son following a bath in 2004.
She estimates runs off to the bathroom at least 40 times a day to eat the white powder off the back of her hand.
Lisa, who suffers from anxiety and depression, spends at least £10-a-week on her craving.
She says she only eats one meal a day and skips breakfast and lunch to gauge on the powder throughout the day.
Lisa from Paignton, Devon, kept her habit secret for a decade before confiding in her ex-partner – and has now plucked up the courage to get professional help.
The mum-of-five was recently told by doctors she may have symptoms of PICA syndrome – an eating disorder characterised by a compulsion to eat non-food items.
She’s set to get professional help in later this month and is speaking out to urge others to speak out too.
“I do get it’s a bit weird. It just has this nice soapy taste. I can get through a 200g bottle in a day. With the bigger ones I get through about one-and-a-half a week. I remember getting really drawn to its smell. Now I can’t do without it. I go up and get some every half an hour.
Lisa first developed symptoms of PICA syndrome in 2004 just a few days after giving birth to her fifth child.
“I’ve always had it in the house and would douse myself with it after having a bath or shower. I’d use it on the kids after giving them a wash no problem. And then one day I remember being in the bathroom and the smell was just overpowering.
“There was a bit of dust that had come off the top of the bottle. I had this sudden urge to eat it and I just couldn’t fight it. I just licked it off my hand and really enjoyed it.
“It just hit this spot.
“It was satisfying a craving I never knew I had. I’ve never had it with any of the other children. Just my last one. Just like someone with an addiction I was just having more and more each time I went to have some.
“I can’t really go half an hour without it. The longest I’ve been without it is two days. That was the worst time of my life. I hated it.
“I always have a glass of water after doing it so it doesn’t upset my taste buds or anything like that.nI’ve never snorted it or anything like that. I just like eating it. It does really dry your mouth out though. It has to be the classic one.
“It can’t be the Johnson’s lavender or any one-off special flavour. I only do the Johnson’s powder in the house. I don’t carry any around with me when I go out. If I do have to go out to the shops or go to hospital I eat mints outside.
“The other day I was out for a few hours and I had eaten six packets of extra strong mints. But when I got home I just went to have the powder. It’s the chalky texture that I crave.
“I wake up at least four times in the night as my body just craves it. This has been going on for years now I just can’t see a point when it isn’t part of my life.”
She kept her condition secret for ten years until her ex-partner stormed into the bathroom having grown suspicious of her regular visits.
It was not until Lisa visited her GP last year that she has been given a formal suspected diagnosis.
Although not formally diagnosed, doctors have told Lisa her cravings could be a result of a possible iron deficiency, OCD and PICA syndrome.
She has been referred by her GP for counselling, due to start this month.