Speak for the cause of food addiction

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My issue, as much as any, is legitimacy for food addiction, based on my personal experience recovering from it. For so many people, that is the place to start, and perhaps even to end: address the physical, emotional, and spiritual deficits that are getting in the way of peace, happiness, and health.

But there are other things you can do, too, if you feel motivated. I wrote about one previously, and here's another; it has the virtue of being quicker and easier: Right now, the American Psychiatric Association is seeking comments on proposed changes in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, and you are invited. Go here to begin.

The current DSM is the fourth edition, and the comments regard the fifth, which is expected out in 2013. The substance-use disorders it recognizes are anorexia, bulimia, and "NOS," not otherwise specified, which sounds like a catch-all but really just widens the first two categories.

So far, the proposed addition is binge-eating disorder, which is a good addition and should be supported in the comments, in my opinion. My form of form addiction definitely includes bingeing — I would rather have a lot of any old crap than a fine but dainty repast in a five-star restaurant. I don't oppose high-quality food, not at all — I just prefer high-quantity food.

The disappointment in the APA's process so far is no mention of food addiction. It is not enough to nibble around the edges of this problem, when upwards of 10 million American adults are likely food addicts. Like me, they may show strong signs of the two accepted and the one proposed disorders, but for most of them — us — the problem is deeper and more complicated.

This is what I think, and what I've said in my comments. I have no interest in telling you what to think, but I do feel the APA would benefit by hearing from you. Please go and tell them what you think.


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