TLC's My Strange Addiction 5th season premiered this week, featuring a 43-year-old Alabama woman who drinks paint. Heather Beal, mother of two, admitted that since she began the strange habit, she has imbibed almost three gallons of paint.
Reuters A worker paints earthen lamps ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali in Kolkata October 21, 2013. Earthen lamps are sold in large numbers during Diwali, the annual Hindu festival of lights.
That volume would have been sufficient to paint her living room twice. She drinks at least one paint marker a day, although she does it unseen by her two children.
Beal, whose addiction started after the death of her mum, describes the sensation of paint going down her throat as very nice and warm, particularly the strong chemical taste that she considers perfect.
Paint usually contains several deadly chemicals, including Xylene, which when aspirated could immediately cause immediate pulmonary bleeding, seizures and even death.
At a later part of the episode, Beal has a medical check-up and discovered that her kidneys had sustained damaged due to her strange addiction. Since then, she has stopped ingesting paint.
Had she continued with her habit, Beal could lose the ability to walk, talk or think, said the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration.
Past seasons of the show include a woman who ate sand
and a man who insists he is in a romantic relationship and has sex with his red car.