I feel that addiction has been severely trivialised, even unduly glorified and romanticised.
There is nothing glamorous about addiction. Let me repeat that – There is absolutely nothing glamorous about addiction.
People speak of it and write about it with such flippancy these days it’s almost as though they’ve forgotten or do not know that addiction is a legitimate brain disorder, the struggles and suffering of which are very real and very painful. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is “a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterised by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences”. This means that it is often, if not always, beyond the sufferer (addict)’s control to distant and ultimately wean himself off the very substance to which he is addicted. The substance does not have to be drugs for the sufferer’s relationship with it to constitute addiction.
There are so many forms of addiction. Food addiction, which often manifests in the form of binge eating behaviour, is one.
[Food addiction] involves the same areas in the brain [and] the same neurotransmitters [as drug addiction], and many of the symptoms are identical.
Food addiction is a relatively new (and controversial) term and there are no good statistics available on how common it is.
This is very similar to several other eating disorders, including binge eating disorder, bulimia, compulsive overeating and having an “unhealthy” relationship with food.
– Authority Nutrition
People who’ve never heard of or had first-hand experience with the disorder may dismiss it as a mere cover-up for gluttony, but it is so, so much more than that. It is sometimes literally pacing back and forth as two opposing camps in your brain engage in an aggressive game of tug-of-war, each pulling you towards/away from the kitchen. It is being on the verge of tears and literally shaking your head hoping that that very act halts the game.
It is a shameful disorder and hence an immensely isolating one for the silent sufferer.
So starting today let us be more empathetic, more understanding, more open; less judgmental, less dismissive, less insolent.