ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Disorders of Eating, Hormonal Drive, Substance Abuse and Impulse Control

Updated on March 10, 2020

Eating, substance abuse, and other impulse control issues

Disorders of Eating, Substance Abuse, Sex, and Personality

To understand fully how diagnoses are made one must understand and analyze the behavior leading to the diagnosis. Diagnosing a disorder is more than reading a checklist and listening to the client speak about their problems. This paper will evaluate the biological, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of several disorders. The disorders discussed in this paper will include eating disorders, substance abuse, sex/gender/sexual disorders and will conclude with an examination of personality disorders.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are defined as an obsession about gaining weight or overeating combined with distorted body image. Included in the definition is the inability to maintain healthy body weight and monitor food intakes as well as an inconsistent self-evaluation based on self perception. The disorder may include binging, purging and food intake restrictions. The two main eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. The two disorders differ in the absence or presence of binge eating and absence of food intake (Hansell & Damour, 2005).

When eating disorders are examined using the cognitive-behavioral perspective revelations are made about how a combination of dysfunctional thinking and experiences support behaviors attributed to eating disorders. Using the cognitive-behavioral perspective eating disorders are explained as unrealistic thoughts about consumption of food as it relates to weight as well as events encouraging eating disordered behaviors (Hansell & Damour, 2005).

Anorexia and bulimia nervosa can be explained biologically by placing emphasis on the roles of hormones, genes, and neurotransmissions. When twins were studied a revelation was made about the manner in which genes impact eating disorder development. Studies are

inconclusive on whether hormones and neurotransmission differences impact the development of eating disorders or if the eating disorder causes the changes (Hansell & Damour, 2005).

Eating disorders and emotions go hand in hand. Most people use food to relieve stress, sadness, anxiety, boredom, anger, and more. For the person with anorexia avoiding food helps also avoid any unpleasant emotions. This helps keep the person’s emotions flat. When one struggles with bulimia nervosa binging causes a numbness that prevents the sufferer from feeling the emotions. Following the binge and before purging the person feels anxious and once again calm returns after the purge (Tiemeyer, 2009).

Substance Abuse

A diagnosis of substance abuse can be arrived at when the patient continues to use even though negative consequences exist. Substance abuse is a maladaptive pattern of substance use resulting to impairment as manifested by at least one of the following, within a 12-month period: as a result of the use failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home. Usage in physically hazardous situations, recurrent legal problems related to usage, and continuation of use when damaging to social and interpersonal relationships (Fauman, 2002).

Biology, cognitions, behavior. and emotions play a part in substance abuse. Biologically speaking substance abuse an explanation can be made using self medication for biochemical inadequacies as well as genetic predispositions for the disorder. Family systems also support contributions to use and misuse of substances. Behaviorally and cognitively substances are abused to reduce anxiety and stress. The emotional connections include maladaptive coping mechanisms as an avoidance of emotional situations in life (Hansell & Damour, 2005).

Sex, Gender and Sexual Disorder

Sexual disorders are characterized by difficulty expressing normal sexuality to include gender confusion, decreased arousal or desire, orgasm difficulty, painful sex, and use of non human objects. Also included are sexual acts combing suffering and humiliation as well as sex with children and non consenting adults. Biologically speaking, “temporal lobe epilepsy, brain tumors or injuries, and degenerative diseases have all been occasionally implicated in cases of paraphilias” (Hansell & Damour, 2005, p. 335). Women sexual offenders have been found to have a history of sexual abuse and physical abuse as well as mental retardation (Hansell & Damour). The explanation for cognitive-behavioral aspects of sexual disorders compares to that of phobias, fear and sexual arousal occurs as a response to inappropriate stimulus. Emotionally the person with gender identity disorder feels more secure as an adult by changing genders although most individuals with sexual disorders feel emotionally insecure throughout life (Hansell & Damour).

Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are group in the DSM-IV-TR into three clusters, Cluster A, B, and C. Cluster A is known as eccentric or odd to include schizoid, paranoid type disorders. Cluster B includes the emotional, unpredictable, dramatic aspects of personality disorders. The disorders in Cluster B are borderline, antisocial, histrionic, and narcissistic personality disorders. Cluster C is characterized by anxious personality disorders such as obsessive-compulsive, avoidant, and dependent disorders.

Biologically, cognitively, emotionally, and behaviorally all clusters can be further defined. Cognitively and behaviorally experiences in childhood impact the patterns of thought and establishment of interpersonal strategies. The way children perceive those around them also impacts how personality develops. Personality is further determined through the manner in

which the child is related to throughout development as well as observations of personalities within the home. Biologically individual appearances impact other’s perceptions as well as how personalities form due to the environment. Emotional trauma may also influence the development of personality disorders (Hansell & Damour, 2005).


Eating disorders, sexual disorders, substance abuse, and personality disorders all have a certain amount of similarities. All are influenced in development by biology, behavior, emotions and cognitions. The disorder direct influence and the level of influence on the individual determine the disorder developed. Human’s interaction with biology and environment determines their reaction and interaction with the world that surrounds them. Through careful diagnosis individuals with disorders or addictions may be treated.


Fauman, M. A. (2002). Study guide to DSM-IV-TR. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

Hansell, J., & Damour, L. (2005). Abnormal psychology (ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Port, T. . (2007). Types of Personality Disorders: Cluster A, B & C. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Tiemeyer, M. (2009). The psychology of eating disorders: stress relief and control of emotions. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)