BRADENTON, Fla. –“A couch a day!” —A Florida woman diagnosed with a rare eating disorder says she cannot stop herself from eating couch cushions.
Adele Edwards, 31, says she’s been eating the foam inside couch cushions for 21 years, and if she doesn’t stop it’s going to kill her.
Edwards who began eating couch at the age of ten says she dines on couch pieces 15 times per day and consumes the equivalent of a throw pillow a week.
‘In the last year I’ve eaten seven sofas; I unzip the cushions and snack on the foam inside. And once I start, I just can’t stop.” Edward admits during the TLC program, “My Strange Addictions.”
Pica is a disorder found most commonly in toddlers and pregnant women who lack certain nutrients, causing them to crave non-nutritive substances like chalk, coins, batteries and even dirt.
Sometimes it’s caused by stress, and Adele admits her first time happened during a very emotional period in her life, when her parents were on the brink of divorce.
She said: ‘My life was out of control at the time. I didn’t understand my parents breaking up. This was something I could control.’
When her cousin decided to chew a piece of a sofa for fun, something in Adele’s head made her want to try it also.
She said: ‘I was 10 years old. I liked the flavor; I liked the way it felt in my mouth. Twenty-one years later, I’ve eaten couch cushions every day since.’
The fact that her addiction has so much control over her bothers Edwards as she continues to seek help through therapy and hypnosis.
‘It’s hard to try to get people to understand how bad this addiction is.”
‘I’m aware of the life risks. Doctors have told me I could get a stomach blockage so bad I’d go septic and my intestines could explode. That scares me.’
Three years ago, Miss Edwards woke up in the middle of the night in terrible agony.
Crying, she tried to get up, but collapsed by the side of her bed. She was rushed to a hospital, where doctors found a serious blockage in her lower intestine.
After six days with a tube down her throat trying to clear the impasse, doctors were preparing for major surgery to remove the obstruction.
Thankfully, doctors were able to clear the blockage with enhanced doses of laxatives instead of surgery.
‘It was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced,’ she said.
‘I’m scared to go back to the hospital for a blockage again.’
The blockage was the size of a grapefruit, and made of pure sofa.
However, the sudden medical emergency three years ago has done little to satisfy Edward’s hunger for sofa cushions. In fact, she has resorted to rubbing the cushion in dirt before eating it.
“The dirt makes it crunchier. Then I chew on it and swallow it.”
Edwards, who is in discussions to enter a therapy center in California for people with similar strange addictions, believes this is the time for her to be serious about quitting.
‘I’ve been doing this almost my whole life, 21 years. It’s consumed me. It’s putting my life and family at risk. I’m trying to stop this.’Tags: Fla. Woman Cannot Stop Eating Couch Cushions, Weird News