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obesity as food addiction

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by MDgonnabe, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. MDgonnabe

    MDgonnabe your royal travesty
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    the washington post article on racism as a mental illness got me thinking:

    has obesity been studied as a food addiction?

    think it'll ever be classified as such in the dsm?

    or is it more an eating disorder?

    i personally think it should be a food addiction and treated as such. please discuss. :)
     
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  3. Poety

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    Hi MDGonna,

    Actually obesity is considered a food addiction - and its treated at eating disorder clinics as well as addiction units. I know of several addiction psychs that work only with food addicts :)
     
  4. MDgonnabe

    MDgonnabe your royal travesty
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    hey nic. how's it going?

    also, is obesity in the dsm as such?
     
  5. Poety

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    Hey Hon,

    Its going ok, hows your trail treating you?

    I actually have no idea if its in the DSM, but after talking to a couple of these addiction guys, they say they treat them as straight forward addictions - but also monitor a lot of the health aspects with them since they see them more than a primary does. Wish I had more info to give yoU!
     
  6. Hurricane

    Hurricane Senior Member
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    Binge Eating Disorder and some others are in the "research criteria" section of the DSM. Officially it would be Eating Disorder NOS.

    I spent a month working with a group of psychiatrists who see eating disorders as more as impulse disorders than addition, and very often associated with comorbid mood disorders. They've had success with first treating the underlying mood disoder if there is one (oftentimes undiagnosed bipolar spectrum) and then moving to something like topiramate if needed. They're also doing a trial with cymbalta that seemed to be working well (can't tell for sure - double-blind trial and all.)

    Personally speaking, as someone who has struggled with obesity but also lost a whole lot of weight, I think I have met criteria for BED at some points, and for me I'd consider it more of an impulse control problem than an addiction. Not that impulsivity and addiction are mutually exclusive by any means... Luckily, I've been able to get myself in the right frame of mind to lose a lot of weight without drugs, although it's hard. Having seen firsthand the cognitive side effects of topamax, I wonder if it's worth it. A lot of the side effects can be minimized by going up very slowly on the dose, but still. Maybe it is for some people, but not for someone in a field like medicine where you need every ounce of cognitive ability, IMO.

    Another thing - The DSM describes heterogeneous syndromes. So maybe it's an addiction for some people, and an impulse problem for others, y'know?
     
  7. Poety

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    Great post Hurricane, thanks for sharing your story too. Speaking of Cymbalta, I'm interested in knowing why this med appears to work so well with people with rage - I've heard of it from some docs, and then I actually had my hubby put on it for a while for his PTSD and resultant anger issues - it really helped.

    He doesn't have coverage so I switched him to lexapro which is working well (was put on venlafaxine but he didn't like the jitters he got from it) so we have him stabalized right now (not feeling so mad all the time etc - hes a child of a war torn country if you're wondering) but I would have loved to keep him on cymbalta which seemed to elevate the mood too - any thoughts on this? Sazi? OPD?
     

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