“Antonio Damasio’s “Looking for Spinoza” discussed that the feeling of pleasure, joy, sorrow or pain were the underlying foundation of the human mind. ” (Damasio) He mentioned us human beings trying to tame our feelings with drugs, alcohol, work outs and exercise, religious groups and etc but no studies have been successful to control and manage feelings. Above all human qualities, feelings according to Damasio are the most unfathomable of all. It’s something that no individual or person can control manage and divert.
We can study on how does our mind learned how to speak, to communicate, how to act on certain situations, to learn new things but feelings remains a puzzle no one has yet explained where emotions happened and how it happened. Feelings and emotions wander the limitations of science and neuroscience but yet it played an important role on an individual’s decision making. Antonio’s Damasio’s studies are very impressing and very thorough. He discuss in details the human mind and behavior, stressing on emotion and feelings, decision-making, recollection, communication, and imagination.
It was a good stuff and he was indeed very good when he discuss things in his books, however it didn’t answer all the questions being asked. Damasio equate the human nature’s equal to bad which I find condescending and biased. I believe that each human being is naturedly good and if given a chance to do good will do good. Although each individual is unique and each person embodies different traits and habits we all have one attributes in common we are all human being . And it is already innate of us to be humane. We are created in God’s image and being the reflection of our good Maker man in his truest sense is good.
However, man being an adventurer and curios he find ways on how to be in charge of emotions or feelings by themselves. This is where the word addiction comes out of the picture. “Addiction is a chronic disorder proposed to be precipitated by a combination of genetic, biological/pharmacological and social factors” (Mukerji). Addiction makes a person assertive to repeat the same behavior repeatedly over again regardless of the end result and consequences. A person who is addicted to a certain drug, food or substance is often called as an addict.
It is often characterized by a compulsive and forceful need and craving for more of the addicted substance or drug. It can be a food, a drink or other drugs. An addict finds relief from pain and induced sleep and pleasure by doing so. An addicted individual is sometimes also aware that what he is doing is already harmful to his health, but still can’t control himself because of the impulse that push the addicted individual to repeat the same behavior. And we can link addiction with the common problems that we have in our society today- overweight and obesity.
Fast food chains and ready to eat food were everywhere. A normal person normally has two or three meals a day with snacks in between meals. It is a normal response of a person to eat when he is hungry however when this behavior is already out of control, the individual already loss the sense of self control, there’s excessive craving and compulsive behavior it is already called as food addiction-a label that has generated considerable controversy, according to a psychiatrist from McMaster University and obesity researcher.
This situation is not only due of too much food intake by an individual but is already harmful to one’s health and state of mind. Food addiction is often psychological and physiological. Health science already consider about the truths about nicotine, caffeine, alcohol and addiction to drugs and that it opened a new window to consider food addiction. In a commentary appearing in the [Dec. 21, 2009 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) Dr. Valerie Taylor, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at McMaster and director of the Bariatric Surgery Psychiatry Program at St.
Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton], and her co-authors debated that “food addiction in certain individuals can be considered to handle obesity and weight issues. ” (Taylor) The scope of addiction is so vast that it arose a lot of arguments, ” Taylor and her co-authors write. “Despite a lack of consensus, researchers nonetheless believe that the procedure involves a compelling pattern of use, even in the face of depressing health and societal consequences. ” Food addiction is similar to other addictive behaviors like alcoholism and drug abuse, as both can cause a state pleasure and satiety.
The effects symptoms of withdrawal like mood swings, nausea, headache, loss of reality and insanity occurred after stopping the use of the certain drug or during dieting. If one’s body is already used to or accustomed to take definite amount of food that persons mind or body is already programmed to react or experience the withdrawal syndromes if the individual starts to diet or manage his food consumption. The idea of addiction counteracts the function of free will and personality. It may though give insights into why individuals with weight problems and obesity keep on struggling and craving.
Although it is already set on their mind that they want to lose weight or they wanted to stop their eating habit. But yet that individual is fighting against himself. Most food addictive individuals have the so called “food allergies” – these are foods when eaten can cause harmful effects on certain individuals. Lets cite a diabetic individual for example , who’s suppose to minimize if not remove sugar from his diet, but still keep on eating too much sweets like cakes, chocolates and ice-cream. The immediate feeling of elevation and high gives way to a sick feeling of depression and guilt.
Which in return will result to out of self control again and the food addict will then again do the same eating patterns to feel good. Fighting food addiction is not easy for it needs self discipline and determination to change the eating habit of an individual or an addicted person. A person with food addiction eats too much and their obsession for food is out of control. . They ate at all times of the day, whether or not they are full or hungry. They ate because they didn’t have enough determination to stop himself.
And if the food is not available, they’d go out of their way and by all means to find something that would suffice their cravings. They ate food regardless if it’s cold or frozen because they couldn’t wait long enough to heat it. Or wait for the hot food to cool down; they’d eat food so hot that they’d burn their tongue because of their impatience. . An addicted person who suffers from uncontrollable overeating is engaging in recurrent and uncontrolled eating when they feel confused or out of control, often eating food precedent the point of being contentedly full.
It is usually the normal reaction for depression, stress, or self esteem issues. Unlike people with bulimia individuals who eats a large amount of food in a short time), compulsive overeaters do not attempt to compensate for their binging and do unsuitable methods to control weight like vomiting, fasting, excessive use of laxatives and diuretics, or compulsive exercising. Food addiction is a serious health problem with many adverse to the condition of our body. Obesity, psychological disorders, diabetes, and gastric anomalies are just a few health problems that food addiction may cause.
People with addiction in food may be overweight, underweight, and some of normal weight. They are connected by their obsession with food. The obese is suffering from humiliation and shame because of their weight They may be exhausted and inactive unable to move around without restraint The underweight person may be has a Bulimia; though they eat too much, they are so afraid of becoming fat that they sometimes take laxatives, do inappropriate exercise, and even induce themselves to vomiting to prevent from gaining weight.
They may also vary with periods of anorexia (fear of becoming fat), abstaining from food to control their weight. The person who had a regular weight appearing to be normal may be obsessed with food but they always think of what they are eating or how they weigh. They count the calories of every food they eat, they eat without enjoyment, and the whole food subject is misery to them. Different from addictive habits, Eating is necessary to our survival, it is normal to eat once, twice or repeatedly every day, and to look forward to eating for pleasure.
There are characteristic that separate regular or occasional binge eating from a food addiction. Food addiction is very dangerous that instead of improving the condition of our health, it is destructive. Food addiction can threaten our physical condition; state of mind . which may lead to obesity, malnutrition, and many more. The health problems caused by obesity are known by everyone, and huge efforts are being made to educate the community on the need for a healthy diet and regular exercise. Though, whether the addictive nature of eating will be embraced by the medical profession remains more indefinable
Dealing with eating disorder according to research differs in each individual. Treatment can be taken in different methods and approaches and useful eating disorder program to follow for food addiction treatment. Food addiction comes from all walks of life and is not a respecter of race, status quos and age. Whether you are white or black, young or old, whatever your gender is food addiction comes equally. And it’s not only specific for overweight or obese individuals but to a few normal weight and underweight individuals.
If you have a problem like this, there are lots of doctors and psychological services that will be able to offer a lot of help and support in overcoming your problem with food addiction Early detection of this illness is very important. Some of the symptoms that an individual may experience to determine that one is already addicted to food are: an individual eats too much and still keeps on eating even if he is already full, always thinking about food, eats to alleviate stress, feels nervous while eating resulting to more eating, feel guilty after eating and sometime turn to eating not because they are hungry but because they are depressed.
They eat in secrets or eating differently in front of others than when alone, they have pleasure and anticipation of eating food. . They even sneak out of the house at midnight and drives six miles to buy some food, unable to fall back asleep unless they eat something. Food addiction, like any other addiction, is a loss of control. Eating disorder can be life threatening Food addicts achieve enjoyment from the quantity, amount, anticipation, abundance, and ingestion of the food they eat. Most of the time, they can be obsessed with the quantity of food they eat, with how they look and how they weigh.
There are times that a food addict is not even aware that they are already addicted to food. For them, it is just a way of life or that what they are and is not a problem at all. Most of the time is acquired from peer pressure or some family members. It is only through the concern of a family or a friend that the he will be able to admit to himself that he has a problem and that his behavior is not normal anymore. A lot of research concludes that food addiction is an illness of the body, mind and spirit and is incurable and can be treated one step at a time.
For an obese or overweight individual must start a new way of food consumption and a new outlook in life. They need to change their view about food and how they feel towards food. They need to adhere to the prescribed recommended diet at stick to it until they achieved their desired weight and maintain a good eating habit. Other research about food addiction done by religious groups believes that the psychological and physiological addiction to food can only be stop it you surrender it to God. One must have faith and look upon God to heal him and ask God for strength to combat the cravings.
An Individual just relying by Himself is weak and he needs God’s guidance to overcome the feeling hungriness and the so called lust of the flesh. He needs to ask God to take over and control his appetite for by himself he can’t do anything. But there is a popular saying that once an addict- always an addict. A totally changed person if again face the same situation will again have the tendency to repeat the behavior. Once you started it there’s no turning back. You can either be addicted to a drug, food, music, alcohol, shopping, fashion and etc.
And if an individual was able to turn 360 degrees from what he is accustomed to before, but yet there is still a conscious part behind his brain that is sitting in the corner waiting, waiting to come out again. Yes once an addict always be an addict but it didn’t stop there. You can always grow and learn. There is one question that you need to ask yourself. Is this harmful? Am I slowly killing myself? Destroying myself? If the answer is no then go for it if you are happy and find contentment in what you are doing then go on with it pursue it.
However if the answer is a big yes, then you better think twice. Don’t deceive yourself saying nothing is wrong with that everything is just ok. Take a pause and have a grip of yourself. Remember you only have one body to take good care of. It is also important for the family members to understand that a person trying to recover from food addiction would need an immense amount of encouragement from family and friends. They need all the support that they can get and rather than the center of mockery. And with patience and time they will learn to control their eating habits.
And will be back in shape in no time. For addicted individuals we need to remember that addiction is not an answer to whatever situation one was into right now but another big problem added to the original problem. Most addicted individuals were not successful forgetting the old ways because they just do the rehab or the dieting for their loved ones. And one will never be successful if the drive is from the outside. You must have an inner drive. You wanted to be clean not because someone wanted me to but because I wanted to.
I am doing this for myself because I wanted to feel good and look good. I am doing this not because I hear someone said it works but because I myself believe that it really works. That is when the true recovery begins. And with new learning’s and discoveries and breakthroughs in science and research we now have improve ways to treat causes of person’s misery like guilt, depression and pain. We don’t need to experiment with ourselves and be addicted. With Damasio’s books readers are now well aware of ourselves.
And we can use them to analyze ourselves and know what we really want and what we need. His book gave a message of hope, knowing the details about how the mind and brain work helped us deal efficiently with the common problems we encounter today. Some of the reasons of our failures long-ago is because we undermine what emotions can do. Knowing oneself and taking good care of ourselves is a realization now. We need to treat our health seriously and not undermine food addiction for it may lead to health problems like severe obesity or overweight and psychological disorders.
Diabetes, and gastric anomalies are also some of the few minor health problems that food addiction may cause but it may also leads to some serious and deadly disease like heart disease, hypertension and major depression and some long term sides effect are kidney and liver disease, arthritis and bone deterioration and even death. Each individual must take into consideration the kind of nutrition they provide their bodies. “Nutrition (also called nourishment or aliment) is the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary (in the form of food) to support life.
” (Wikipedia) Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet. The diet of an individual; is what it and proven dietary advice to everyone. So if you are unsure of the meal that you eat? Dietitians are health professionals who studies human nutrition and are trained to design safe family on the table everyday you can find help just around the corner. We eat to live and not live to eat. It is the truth that we need to bear in our minds. So a balance and a hearty meal is always good for the human soul. To make sure to get enough sleep, rest and exercise. Everything must be a balance and in moderate.
For too much of anything is already dangerous, each individual must have the balance combination of the right diet, fun and exercise and healthy family activities. Works Cited Mukerji, Sanjoy. Mental Health. May 13, 2010 <http://www. mentalhealthindia. net/addiction. htm Taylor, Valerie. December 21, 2009. Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). May 13, 2010 < http://www. sciencedaily. com/… /2009/12/091222105231. htm> Damasio, Antonio. February 1, 2003. Amazon. com. May 13 2010 <http://www. amazon. com/dp/0151005575 “Nutrition”. March 2009. Wikipedia: “The Free Encyclopedia”. May 13, 2010 <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Nutrition>