Health Issues

After the Show: Jamie

posted: 03/07/12
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Has Jamie, who was addicted to picking her ears, gotten her compulsive behavior under control since being on the show?
DCL

What is the status of your addiction today?

I think I may still pick my ears every once in a while in my sleep. Sometimes I'll wake up and notice blood spots on my pillow, but it's not something I ever do consciously.

I've started a new job and I don't want people to know about my addiction. I'm over it. I'm working at a restaurant now, so I have to be more aware about my demeanor and actions -- customers are watching you all the time. Surprisingly, I don't even think about picking my ears anymore. The only thing that comes to mind is: "What was I thinking?" It was a waste of my time and I really got wrapped up in it. Now, I realize just how crazy my behavior was.

Currently, there's not a lot of stress in my life, and I think that before I let stress get the best of me and it led to my addiction getting out of hand.

I don't plan on watching the show because I'm a little embarrassed. I realize how stupid, crazy, and reckless my behavior was. I'm over it.

Has your life changed since being on the show?

Now, I'm more aware of the things that I do. Before, I wasn't aware of how stress was negatively affecting my life. I just recently watched an episode of My Strange Addiction featuring people addicted to sniffing baby powder and mothballs. I understand what those people were going through and how crazy that behavior is.

Was therapy beneficial in helping you cope with your addiction?

The doctor was absolutely helpful. Seeing a doctor and being told that my behavior could lead to severe hearing issues, made me realize how crazy it was for me to continue picking my ears. I wish I could just wrap up this chapter of my life in a straight jacket and put it away forever.

my-strange-addiction-302-jamie-ear-digger-250x375
Read more Read less
Has Jamie, who was addicted to picking her ears, gotten her compulsive behavior under control since being on the show?
DCL

Currently, what steps are you taking to curb your addiction?

I try to keep myself busy doing healthy things. If I am stressed, I'll go for a walk, hang out with my son, or walk the dog. I've gotten a few calls from family members who saw the commercials for the show. They said addictive behavior runs in the family and that they wished I had reached out to them for help. Bringing it to life has helped me stop. It's the furthest thing from my mind now.

Have you continued treatment for your addiction?

I didn't go back to see a therapist, but I have a regular doctor who I talk to about my problem. I feel fine now, but who knows? One day it could creep back up on me. If that happens, I know I'll definitely seek help. I've always suffered from OCD, and I see my son exhibiting similar behavior. I don't want him to end up in a similar situation, so I am currently looking for a therapist for him and I. I want to be a good role model for him.

Do you have any words of advice for other people dealing with addictions?

Don't be embarrassed and don't be afraid to ask for help. Don't keep your addiction as a dirty little secret. I have friends who say, "Why didn't you tell me?" and others who've shared similar problems. I find it strange how many people have strange little quirks like mine. Also, there is always an underlying reason for this kind of behavior. In my case, it was stress.

I'm glad I was a part of My Strange Addiction because being on the show helped me stop. I'm done with my addiction, but I can't let myself forget how bad it got, because I don't ever want to go back to that situation

I am in a much better place now. I'm no longer stressed -- I feel relaxed and try to enjoy life more. I'm excited about starting my life over -- and I can wear my hair up now!

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