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The problem with addiction

the stinging truth

Kyla Ward, Staff Writer

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Addiction is a problem with the brain, but it is not like cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. Addiction is a “learning disorder…shaped by genetic and environmental influences over the course of development” (New York Times).

“Addiction alters the interactions between the midbrain regions like the ventral tegmentum and nucleus accumbens, which are involved with motivation and pleasure, and parts of the prefrontal cortex that mediates decisions and help set priorities” (New York Times).

My Strange Addiction is an American documentary television series that premiered on TLC on December 29, 2010. The series focused on people with unusual behaviors. These range from eating specific non-food items to ritualist daily activities to bizarre personal fixations or beliefs.

Margaret, one of the subjects in an episode of My Strange Addiction, is a 53-year-old who has been addicted to stinging herself with bees for the past 10 years. She stings herself on her hip, forehead, tip of her nose, and ankle. She stings herself with the bees to relieve her arthritis and other pains she seems to be having. It all started with just one sting a day to relieve her pain, but eventually that one sting a day turned into 15 stings a day.

The most stings she has ever given herself was 15-20 stings in her hip. She places the bee where she wants to be stung, then she taps on the bee’s abdomen to get the sting. Margaret went to the doctor because her husband was concerned about her, and the doctor told Margaret that stinging herself with bees was not healthy, advising her to stop. Margaret ignored the doctor and continues to sting herself with bees.






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The problem with addiction