Thursday, February 4, 2010
What is an addictive personality?
According to www.treatment-now.com, Addictive Personality can be described as the following:
Addictive; Addiction; Addict; Addictive Personality: These terms cause much confusion. The term ‘dependency’ is often preferred. However, some sources still use these terms. The World Health Organisation defined drug addiction as: a state of periodic or chronic intoxication, detrimental to the individual and to society, produced by repeated consumption of a drug (natural or synthetic). Its characteristics include: 1: an overpowering desire or need (compulsion) to continue taking the drug and to obtain it by any means; 2: a tendency to increase the dose; and 3: a psychic (psychological) and sometimes physical dependence on the effects of the drug. [World Health Organisation 1950] Within this definition some drugs (e.g. heroin) are physically addictive, and there is a potential for most other drugs for psychological addiction. The term “addict” is widely seen to be pejorative. Within some models, some individuals are thought to have a proclivity towards drug addiction, and are said to have an addictive personality.
Over the last couple of days I've contemplated the thought of having an "addictive personality", mostly in regards to my eating habits. In good faith to Treatment Now's definition, I'll stick to dependancy.
I've been conciously trying to think about what it is that makes me eat, other than actual hunger. Boredom? Sadness? Depression? Stress? When I start to think about it, it starts to bring up deeper questions. When I do eat to satiate myself, why don't I feel satiated? Why isn't enough actually enough? Why aren't I fulfilled? What's missing?
When I think back to my childhood, I was always an eater. I loved food. My parents did have the ideal that we were supposed to clear our plates before leaving the table, but if memory serves correct it was never a problem for me.
I think when my eating got most out of control I was in my late teens. I had my own spending money since I worked and my drug of choice was food. I would buy these massive meals from McDonald's or literally eat an entire bag of family size chips in one sitting. I could eat and eat and eat and never feel satisfied. This obviously went on for years and I'm just sort of now coming to this realization that my dependency on food has quite literally ruled my life. It's something I will be deeply contemplating more over time.
Today I have had one latte from Fauxbucks, 1 cup of coffee with half and half and an equal packet, a bowl of oatmeal and a Lean Cuisine for lunch. I'm not hungry. My body is not telling me that it needs more food. However, my brain is telling me that it wants more. I feel antsy and irritable. I want to eat. This is an awful feeling to feel so out of control of my own thought process. Body says no; Brain says yes.
The journey in weight loss I am finding is much deeper than simply shedding pounds; it's also changing the way I think.