When we think of addiction, we often automatically think of drugs. Due to the illicit nature of various street drugs, one must go and surreptitiously seek out the substance. However, binge eating is a type of addiction that we may not associate as one of the major addictions. For binge eaters, there are diets that could help them lose weight and help them learn to modify their food intake.
Some people feel that overeaters can control their behavior and “just stop eating.” What most individuals do not understand is that a person with food addiction has the same physical and mental response as one has when craving cocaine or other illicit substances. We may forget how hard it is to overcome a food addiction.
One who suffers from food addiction suffers from the hardest addiction of all, because we need food to survive. We cannot go without food, and we cannot live without eating. If we were to cut food out altogether, then we would be faced with anorexia, which is another type of mental disorder. If we were to binge and then make ourselves purge, we would be faced with bulimia. These are the types of mental health disorders that are associated with food addiction, and both can be detrimental to one’s health. So when a person is trying to refrain from overeating, that person is faced with many different obstacles. These individuals are often confronted with their addiction right in front of them every day, at least three times a day. When people addicted to drugs are trying to stop taking them, they are forced to stay away from drugs altogether, whether that avoidance is achieved through detox, staying away from their suppliers, or taking medication. They even have the opportunity to stay away from people, places, and things that would cause them to use their drug of choice. They are faced with many options that can help them control their behavior. Unfortunately, food addicts do not have such a luxury.
Justification Many people who are trying to cut their habit will justify that their drug use is acceptable. They will rationalize that using drugs is better than not using at all. They may even blame people around them for their use.
Loss of control This is the most common trait of addiction. You cannot just stop at one drug or food source. You just keep using uncontrollably. There is no stopping until you feel sick, black out, or have completely lost control of bodily functions.
Loss of coping skills Many addicts, whether it is to drugs or food, do not have coping skills. They will use their choice of drug as a gateway to control their emotions instead of dealing with their emotions in a healthy manner.
Lying There is no telling when an addict is telling the truth. Many will lie to the people around them and to themselves and will deny using at all. Sometimes they lie so much they convince themselves that they did not use.
Whether you are suffering from a food addiction or drug addiction, there is hope, and you can overcome it . Knowing your triggers and developing a plan to keep away from your triggers is the best way to tackle any type of addiction. Once you are able to identify the addiction and change your behavior, it becomes easier to overcome your addictive behaviors.
© Copyright 2012 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by JLipack Mental Health Counseling, PLLC, therapist in Village Of Garden City, New York
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.