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Could you have an addictive mind? We are wired all to be addicted to...Sugar!

Updated on March 29, 2018

Overweight according to my charts

Inside the person in the doctors office may be internally effected. If the doctor suggests a diet and exercise they may be creating a bulimic person. Doctors should first have a detailed questionaire filled out before suggesting a diet.
Inside the person in the doctors office may be internally effected. If the doctor suggests a diet and exercise they may be creating a bulimic person. Doctors should first have a detailed questionaire filled out before suggesting a diet. | Source

Introduction.

There is a lot of literature conducted on why a person wants to be thin, but not enough is conducted on the personality traits that lead up to the need to be thin. Then when the disorder has ensued and the person has a food addiction, how can the person learn to manage this addiction discreetly. A diet is not the answer, but knowledge about the addictive qualities of sugar along with information on personality disorders should be made available to those who are struggling with weight. An overview of what methods have worked for what personality traits will also be helpful in ensuring that those who need treatment are getting the treatment suited to their needs.

Personality and addictive behavior is assumed to be related to eating disorders as a person relates food emotionally and uses food to relieve stress. Food can become an addiction for those with an eating disorder, and it is presumed that those with anorexia try to avoid food altogether. The reasons assumed why bulimia begins is because a person tried so hard to restrict food, but they become so hungry because of natural reasons that they overeat and then want to stop themselves from gaining weight so they purge. Other reasons assumed of why a person may develop an eating disorder would be a need to control their eating behaviors by restricting food or getting rid of food, the disorder becomes the person’s power.

Diagnosis
Eating disorders are not easy to spot as the person will hide their addiction. It is not unusual for eating disorder sufferers to consult a doctor for a sports injury, stomachache, sore throat, or depression without volunteering a word about food or exercise patterns. (Herzog & David B). Many people struggle within themselves believing that they are ok when at any moment their emotions may control their behavior.

The DSM-IV-TI text is helpful in allowing assessment to take place if the client meets the criteria for an eating disorder. This is good guide to determine if an individual should be further assessed. The DSM-IV-TR defines a binge as occurring in a discrete period of time, such as an hour or two, and involving eating an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat during a similar period of time and in similar circumstance (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2008). The essential features of Bulimia Nervosa are binge eating and inappropriate compensatory methods to prevent weight gain. In addition, the self-evaluation of individuals with bulimia Nervosa is excessively influenced by body shape and weight (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). The common features of Anorexia Nervosa are that the individual refuses to maintain a minimally normal body weight, is intensely afraid of gaining weight, and exhibits a significant disturbance in the perception of the shape or size of his or her body (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

Sugar is extremely addictive and should not be avoided entirely

Lifestyle changes and possibly medications may be needed to avoid binging.
Lifestyle changes and possibly medications may be needed to avoid binging.

Genetics/ Personality

One journal article titled Binge eating disorder: a symptom-level investigation of genetic and environmental influences on liability was written to emphasize the importance of genetics and heredity on Binge Eating disorder. The result of this study suggests that those who have additive genetic factors are more likely to induce vomiting. The most common factor that may lead to Bulimia was strongly influenced environmental factors. Many women developed a tendency to develop an eating disorder if they had been through a trauma or encouraged to diet. More needs to be developed as the specific triggers of eating disorders. It is important that researchers continue to investigate potential genexenvironment interactions and correlations that might be particularly relevant to individuals with high genetic risk for BED.

(Mitchell, Bulik, Aggen,, Kendler, & Mazzeo, 2010).

The Common Characteristics of People With Eating Disorders, and Emotion Regulation.

One journal article titled Emotional functioning in eating disorders: attention bias, emotion recognition and emotion regulation was very helpful as it recognizes that people with specific personality traits are more susceptible to an eating disorder. A person with an eating disorder may have high levels of anxiety, avoidant and insecure attachment, limited social networks, submissive behavior, unfavorable social comparisons.

A study was conducted called the reading the mind’s eye task and the person were evaluated using Difficulties in Emotional Regulation Scale. The reading “ mind’s eye” task consist of showing happy, neutral and angry faces and seeing how those who have healthy eating patterns compare to those who have eating disorders. The results were that those with eating disorders showed higher emotion difficulty as those that are healthy to angry and neutral faces. The ED group also reported significantly higher emotion regulation difficulties (large effect) than HCs. Anger is a highly salient and threatening emotion for individuals with Eating Disorders.( Harrison, Tchanturia, & Treasure, 2010).

People that already have addictive personalities, high anxiety and depression may find it harder to fight withdrawal effects as a binge causes a relapse in dopamine. Abstinence also triggers withdrawal symptoms that resemble those of drug addiction, such as anxiety, chattering teeth and tremors. The taste of sugar makes the brain release natural opioids, and the bingeing causes dopamine release. Researchers still don't understand how people can curb their sugar cravings; they do know that withdrawal symptoms and dips in dopamine levels aren't evident when meals are moderate and regularly scheduled. (Pirisi, 2003).So eating healthy is the best answer, but to keep the person who has high anxiety from turning to food, they need to learn other ways to ease their anxiety. Sometimes a doctor visit is in order, because those with depression and high levels of anxiety should be treated medically and not with food.

Factors Contributing to the Development of Eating Disorders
Social stereotypes and the media portray women thinner and thinner and smaller and smaller. Not only thinner but also younger images of perfection often leave middle aged women to feel very unsatisfied with their body and overall sexuality as a beautiful woman. When a person does not feel confident this can affect many aspects of their personality. Sometimes this dissatisfaction becomes more than a state of unhappiness; serious mental disorders including depression, anxiety, and other psychological symptomatology may also occur. Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, which affect both young women and middle-aged women, are also frequently associated with unnatural societal expectations for women's bodies (Forman & Davis, 2005). This article proposes that narrative and group therapy are effective treatments for eating disorders to help women see where their body dissatisfaction originated. both the narrative therapy approach and group treatment interventions have been supported as valuable means of treating women who are struggling with body-image challenges and eating disorders (Weber, Davis, & McPhie, 2006) This type of therapy helps because women stop internalizing the body dissatisfaction and start looking at how long and why they have been believing these negative assumptions about themselves.

Self- stigma/

Self-stigma and behavior inhibit those with an eating disorder from seeking help. Women at risk for an eating disorder may avoid seeking help because of concerns about feeling shame, self-stigma or and fear of being labeled. (Hackler, Vogel & Wade, 2010). A study was conducted that measured Self-stigma and how attitudes contribute to how those with an eating disorder will be viewed by others if they admit they have an eating disorder. Attitudes toward seeking counseling were measured using the Attitudes toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help-Short Form (ATSPPH-SF; Fischer & Farina, 1995). (Hackler, Vogel & Wade, 2010).Anticipated risks and anticipated benefits were also measured using the Disclosure Expectations Scale (DES; Vogel et al., 2005) to assess anticipated risks and anticipated benefits of talking to a counselor about a psychological problem. (Hackler, Vogel & Wade, 2010).The finding were as assumed shown that many people do not want to seek out treatment because they do not want to be seen in a negative way. Many individuals developed an eating disorder because of fear of what others would think about them, it is only foreseeable that a person with an eating disorder would fear if someone found out and be very apprehensive about discussing it with anyone. Taking the first step to seek counseling is very hard for someone with an eating disorder. This text confirms my belief that those with eating disorders should be asked about their relationship with food along with their monthly checkups so that it will be easier to disclose.


Environment

Another trend identified in the Literature Review is the reasons speculated why a person develops an eating disorder. Criticism, teasing, and bullying focused on food, weight, and shape issues specifically increase the risk of developing an eating disorder (Treasure, Claudino, & Zucker, 2010). In journal article titled Binge eating disorder: a symptom-level investigation of genetic and environmental influences on liability it is stated that Eating disorders are complex and multi-determined illnesses, which are influenced by genetic as well as environmental factors (Mitchell, Neale, Bulik, Aggen, Kendler, & Mazzeo, 2010). Environment incudes media and social situations as Social stereotypes and the media portray women thinner smaller and younger leaving women to feel very unsatisfied with their body Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, which affect both young women and middle-aged women, are also frequently associated with unnatural societal expectations for women's bodies (Mitchell, Neale, Bulik, Aggen, Kendler, & Mazzeo, 2010).

Addictive Quality of Food.

Another finding in the Literature Review is the addictive quality that food plays in those with eating disorders. It has been shown that the person with an eating disorder is addicted to the feeling that food gives them just as someone is addicted to drugs because of the release in dopamine. This feeling of euphoria is achieved through the intake of high calorie, high fat and high fructose food and it is not about hunger. In the article titled “A real sugar high” it is summarized abstinence from sugar then triggers withdrawal symptoms that resemble those of drug addiction, such as anxiety, chattering teeth and tremors. The taste of sugar makes the brain release natural opioids, and the bingeing causes dopamine release. Brain activity in those with eating disorders is dependent on glucose therefore affecting their appetite system. A person with an eating disorder such as bulimia may have a nerve system that has been trained to seek reward and value with food and also equate life goals, values and meanings to food. In the article titled “I just can’t help it” it is stated that perhaps those circuits are "deregulated," says Hudson, and the body sends too many signals linking eating and pleasure. (Matthews, M. 2009). Eating is the weakness to the person with the eating disorder, and the drastic measures used after a person indulges in what they have grown up doing, eating a large amount of food.

In the article titled “Food addiction” the common premise is that Food can be much like a drug for those with an eating disorder. Most food addiction is the result of loss of control, impulsive and/or compulsive behavior that results from emotional and environmental conditions and a psychological dependence on food (Liu, Deneen, Kobeissy, & Gold, 2010). Eating behaviors are similar to those of other addictions since both affect the levels of dopamine (DA) in the mesolimbic dopaminergic system. (Liu, Deneen, Kobeissy, & Gold, 2010). Food craving can happen after a prolonged period of abstinence since "craving" is better defined by "increased efforts to obtain a substance of abuse or its associated cues as a result of dependence and abstinence" (Liu, Deneen, Kobeissy, & Gold, 2010).

Physiological Factors
How a person develops eating patterns when they are an adolescent such as eating large amounts of food after school to relive problems in their life such as social anxiety and peer problems. This eating becomes habitual and when people mention dieting to someone who wants to eat because this is what they are used to they may start to feel an urge to eat even more and do it secretly. Not much research has looked at the brains of people with binge-eating disorder. But theories suggest that the mind's reward centers may be involved. Perhaps those circuits are "deregulated," says Hudson, and the body sends too many signals linking eating and pleasure. (Matthews, 2009). Eating is the weakness to the person with the eating disorder, and the drastic measures used after a person indulges in what they have grown up doing, eating a large amount of food.

Studies have shown that the brain activity in those with eating disorders is dependent on glucose therefore affecting their appetite system. (Treasure, Claudino & Zucker,2010). A person with an eating disorder such as bulimia may have a nerve system that has been trained to seek reward and value with food and also equate life goals, values and meanings to food. It is hypothesized that anomalies on the dopamine system heighten food as a reward.

Food can be much like a drug for those with an eating disorder. Most food addiction is the result of loss of control, impulsive and/or compulsive behavior that results from emotional and environmental conditions and a psychological dependence on food ( Liu, Kobeissy & Gold, 2010). the food becomes a drug that heightens a person’s reward system. . Eating behaviors are similar to those of other addictions since both affect the levels of dopamine (DA) in the mesolimbic dopaminergic system ( Liu, Kobeissy & Gold, 2010).Studies also have shown that when a mother rat is given high fatty foods while pregnant the offspring will be heavier and the mother rat will over eat and binge on the junk food. Studies show that sugar has addictive qualities that cause withdrawal and cravings. Food craving can happen after a prolonged period of abstinence since "craving" is better defined by "increased efforts to obtain a substance of abuse or its associated cues as a result of dependence and abstinence.


Personality Types

One commonality that was identified in the Literature Review is that those with Eating disorders all have similar personality types. Perhaps the people pleasing attitude that most with eating disorders exude comes from being told to diet and the need fit in weight wise. Regardless of culture the highest risk of having an eating disorder is a woman who is prone to anxiety, depression and has people pleasing attitudes. It would be recommended that further studies be conducted on how the anxiety, people pleasing attitudes and depression emerged in the person with an eating disorders life. What is known is that those with eating disorders have these personality issues, what has not been researched is if these personality disorders contribute to the eating disorder, were formed with the eating disorder, or a result of the eating disorder.

One journal article titled Emotional functioning in eating disorders: attention bias, emotion recognition and emotion regulation recognizes that people with specific personality traits are more susceptible to an eating disorder. A person with an eating disorder may have high levels of anxiety, avoidant and insecure attachment, limited social networks, submissive behavior, unfavorable social comparisons. Because people pleasing behaviors are common traits, when anger is seen in others it causes more anxiety in those prone to Eating disorders. (Harrison, Sullivan & Treasure, J. 2010).

Individuals with anorexia have low emotional control, as family members report that individuals with AN do not use their emotion regulation skills and are more irritable, moody and prone to temper tantrums (Harrison, Sullivan & Treasure, J. 2010).Individuals with Bulimia are seen as having symptoms closely related those of Borderline personality disorders. Those with eating disorders show greater discomfort in seeing anger and a neutral face, showing how they want to be perceived by others. This explains why people that already have addictive personalities, high anxiety and depression may find it harder to fight withdrawal effects as a binge causes a relapse in dopamine. It is prominent enough to conclude that a person with an eating disorder has anxiety about being liked by others as they do not respond well to seeing angry faces and wants to be liked. Additionally an article titled Eating Disorders examines biological factors, state that the first risk for having an eating disorder is being female and the psychological reasons include obsessive compulsive traits, anxiety disorders, some borderline (Treasure, Claudino, & Zucker, 2010). Anxiety disorders and addictive disorders are all seen as having a linkage for anorexia and bulimia.

Conclusion

.The more a person understands about why they have developed a disorder the more they may be inclined to make the choice to change. Having the understanding and connecting how the addiction may be related to other aspects of their life other than food will give a person an understanding about their behavior that was not available before. Hopefully in the future physicians will incorporate a questionnaire to those interested who are told to diet or gain weight related to the possibility that they may have an eating disorder. Telling a person to diet is one of the environmental causes that contribute to eating disorder so physicians should also be more educated on how they speak to those who are struggling with their weight. Doctors hopefully in the future will be able to question patients for this eating disorder s well and stop suggesting dieting or restricting of food, because this only leads to binging. Future research will hopefully address the link between personality and food addiction and be able to pinpoint more accurately ways to prevention and treat eating disorders.

It is recommended that a link between personality and the addictive qualities of sugar be studied as they work together to contribute to eating disorders. Having the understanding and connecting how the addiction may be related to other aspects of an individual’s life other than food will give a person with an eating disorder a better understanding about their struggle. Future research will hopefully address the link between personality and food addiction and be able to pinpoint more accurately ways to prevention and treat eating disorders. It is a common issue that anxiety depression and people pleasing attitudes occur around a food addiction so it would be helpful to address them together as one issue.

See if you fit the DSM-IV-TR, use by most Mental Health professionals. For Bulimia

Diagnostic Criteria for Bulimia Nervosa

  1. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:

1.) Eating, in a discrete period of time (within any 2 hour period) an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat during a similar period of time.

2.) A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode ( feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating)

B.) Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain, such as self-inducing vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas, other medications, fasting, or excessive exercise.

C.) The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behavior both occur on average at least twice a week for 3 months.

D.) Self- evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight.

E.) The disturbance does not occur exclusively during Anorexia Nervosa

Types of Bulimia

1.) Purging type who use vomiting, diuretics, or enemas.

2.) Non-purging type fasting, excessive exercise and does not induce vomiting.

References:

(Harrison, A., Sullivan, S., Tchanturia, K., & Treasure, J. 2010). Emotional functioning in eating

disorders: attentional bias, emotion recognition and emotion regulation. Psychological

Medicine, 40(11), 1887-1897. Retrieved from ProQuest Medical Library. (Document

ID: 2151440041).

Josie L Tenore. (2001). Challenges in eating disorders: Past and present. American Family

Physician, 64(3), 367-8. Retrieved from ProQuest Medical Library. (Document

ID: 77299881).

Mitchell, K., Neale, M., Bulik, C., Aggen, S., Kendler, K., & Mazzeo, S. (2010). Binge eating disorder: a symptom-level investigation of genetic and environmental influences on liability. Psychological Medicine, 40(11), 1899-1906. Retrieved from ProQuest Medical Library. (Document ID: 2151440141).

Duba, J., Kindsvatter, A., & Priddy, C. (2010). Deconstructing the Mirror's Reflection: Narrative Therapy Groups for Women Dissatisfied With Their Body. Adultspan Journal, 9(2), 103-116. Retrieved from ProQuest Psychology Journals. (Document ID: 2169470401).

Hackler, A., Vogel, D., & Wade, N.(2010). Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Help for an Eating Disorder: The Role of Stigma and Anticipated Outcomes. Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD, 88(4), 424-431. Retrieved from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 2138475361).

Treasure, J., Claudino, A., & Zucker, N.. (2010). Eating disorders. The Lancet, 375(9714), 583-93. Retrieved from ProQuest Medical Library. (Document ID: 1963413241).

Matthews, M.. (2009, April). JUST CAN'T HELP IT. Current Health 2, 35(8), 26-29. Retrived

from ProQuest Education Journals. (Document ID: 1670435201).

Liu, Y., von Deneen, K., Kobeissy, F., & Gold, M.. (2010). Food Addiction and Obesity: Evidence from Bench to Bedside[dagger]. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 42(2), 133-45. Retrieved November 29, 2010, from ProQuest Medical Library. (Document ID: 2075578951).

Angela Pirisi. (2003, January). A real sugar high? Psychology Today, 36(1), 22. Retrieved from

ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 273480551).

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