Category Archives: Tanorexia

Being “Addicted to the Sun” May Be More Than a Humorous Statement for Some

Addiction can be a horrible thing to live with and incredibly hard to overcome. Most of us have things that we crave or really like doing but then there is addiction or when we have the overpowering feeling that we need a particular thing. Drugs and alcohol are typically what people get addicted to, and it can wreck marriages and ruin lives. Yahoo! Finance suggests that there are a plethora of treatment programs for addiction, and some are more effective than others. Drugs, alcohol and tobacco are not the only addictive things out there. In general, there is physical addiction and then there is behavioral addiction. Drugs, alcohol and tobacco are considered part of the former but they may also have aspects of the latter as well. Gambling addiction is an excellent example of behavioral addiction. Perhaps one of the strangest addictions anyone ever heard of is called tanorexia.

Tanorexia is when someone is addicted to tanning. This may be thought of as a behavioral addiction, but it also has somewhat of a physical aspect because exposure to ultraviolet rays can cause the body to produce the feel good hormone known as endorphins. Those who have tanorexia have also been known to experience withdrawal symptoms just as drug users can. This is a dangerous addiction in its own unique way in that exposure to sunlight is the leading cause of melanoma or skin cancer. It is being debated whether this should be considered a legitimate addiction in the mental health profession.