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Why Do I Have Cravings to Poison My Body?

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From Sweden: So, I suffer from mild depression and severe social anxiety, and this past year I’ve been craving caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol even though I have never tried the two last ones and I always hated caffeine. I cut sugar from my diet almost entirely. I cannot stomach sugary things and instead I crave anything that’d somehow poison my body. The cravings are worse and worse and I told my therapist about this so I’ll be taking medication to stop the cravings, but I wonder why does this happen? It’s not like I’ve been drinking or smoking or even drinking that much coffee before so how come I can physically crave them? Does it have something to do with taking the psychological pain away? If yes then why am I able to crave it physically.

Why Do I Have Cravings to Poison My Body?

Answered by on -


Thank you for reaching out with your question, but I do not think this is about you wanting to poison yourself. There are two things I would encourage you to get more information on. The first is about your depression. You live in a country where the incidence of seasonal affect disorder (SAD) is high because of the variations in sunlight. From research on other areas in the world also affect by this we know that less sunlight often results in vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D (at least partially) comes from exposure to the sun, and lower levels of vitamin D are associated with depression. The use of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine are very common coping reactions for SAD and other forms of depression. I’d recommend being tested for vitamin D deficiency and SAD. If this is underneath your depression a vitamin D supplement or light therapy may be helpful. Here is an article I’ve written on this topic with more information.

Why Do I Have Cravings to Poison My Body?

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Why Do I Have Cravings to Poison My Body?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 25, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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