Addictive Personalities and Eating Disorder Development

Addictive Personalities and Eating Disorder DevelopmentMany mental health issues result from several causes rather than one isolated problem. These issues commonly develop when external influences trigger certain problems. Due to genetic variations, some people are more prone than others to develop an eating disorder, especially in response to external stimuli. Someone with a genetic predisposition to addiction may have an addictive personality, but this alone is usually insufficient to cause an eating disorder. There is almost invariably an external factor that triggers the eating disorder, so get help that not only addresses your disorder, but also explores any underlying causes.

External Causes of Eating Disorders

There are several types of eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and eating disorder not-otherwise-specified, a term for any pattern of disordered eating that misses the criteria for the other three. Different external factors trigger these eating disorders. For instance, anorexia and bulimia are often connected to poor body image; while these disorders occur more frequently in females, they do still occur in males. Many people cite society’s preoccupation with idealized standards of beauty for anorexia/bulimia. The popular media in particular are often blamed for perpetuating a standard of beauty that is not only unrealistic, but that is also unhealthy. Filmmakers often comment on this social paradigm, which is quite common in the fashion industry; however, many young viewers are likely to miss criticism of these problems and see the emaciated models as the ideal of feminine beauty.

By contrast, binge eating disorder is often an attempt to self-medicate emotional pain using food. In this way, the act of eating becomes akin to an escape the way that drug addicts abuse drugs. Again, this type of behavior, as with other forms of substance abuse, is more likely to occur in someone with a genetic predisposition to addiction, which may be termed an addictive personality.

Treating Eating Disorders

Many healthcare professionals use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat eating disorders. CBT will help patients identify and resolve the issues that lie at the heart of the problem with food. The goal is that over time patients will understand the destructive nature of an eating disorder and the damage it causes to their health. Patients will learn healthier ways of coping with whatever drives the disorder rather than resorting to disordered eating. Treatment for eating disorders usually includes nutritional counseling. As patients learn what underlies their disorders, they also learn healthier ways of eating to safeguard their health and self esteem.

Help Finding Treatment for an Eating Disorder and Addictive Personality

Eating disorders can be treated successfully. If you or someone you know needs help for an eating disorder, please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline today.