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Addiction, Eating Disorder Are Two Sides of the Same Coin: Studies


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It may be difficult to believe, but studies have suggested a relation between eating disorder and addiction to any substance. While eating disorder is a condition related to eating pattern that negatively affects health, addiction is a mental illness that makes people a compulsive user of drugs or alcohol.

According to the National Eating Disorders Foundation, nearly half of the people with this also suffer from drug addiction, which is five times greater than what is observed in general population. Binge eating may force people to try new substances, and in the act of curiosity they may end up becoming addicts.

Studies have revealed that 57 percent males with eating disorder also suffer from addiction. The co-occurrence of the two problems can be attributed to certain factors. For example, genes are responsible for 40 to 60 percent patients with eating disorder showing an inclination towards drug. Neurotransmitters also play an important role in determining the severity of the condition. Personality traits like impulsivity, social pressure, family dynamics and disturbing emotional trauma are other factors leading to co-occurring disorder.

However, according to a study published in journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, no relation has been found between eating disorders and addictions. It rather emphasizes that lack of control can lead to poor choices.

Understanding patterns for better diagnosis

The timing of substance abuse is not fixed for persons with eating disorder. They can develop the addiction before, during or after. In some cases, it may suppress appetite that can lead to eating disorder. Experts advice the same line of treatment for both the conditions. But certain behavioral patterns need to be screened before starting the recovery process. Some of the patterns are:

  • Craving for a substance (drug or food)
  • Escalation in frequency or intensity while consuming drugs or food
  • Spending more time on an addictive substance / behavior than other activities
  • Lack of control on triggers that induce craving
  • Despite negative effects, continued abuse of substance

Path to recovery

Though the two conditions exhibit striking similarities, the recovery process cannot be the same. Chronic patients tend to show resistance to therapies leading to high relapse rate. The emotional imbalance in such patients needs to be addressed carefully. There may be times when the patient diagnoses the problem on his or her own and decides about over or under-eating.

Looking at cross-addiction complexities, dual diagnosis treatment needs to be planned carefully. If you or your loved one suffering from this and is also abusing substances, finding a specialist to treat this disorder is important. There are some good dual diagnosis treatment centers that offer specialized treatment for co-occurring disorders.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Barbara_Odozi/2218626

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