Food Addiction

An addiction to food is the hardest to hide. It is literally worn around one’s body like a sign indicating that something unhealthy is going on.

Like most addictions, food addiction is usually the result of an unresolved issue, often trauma or shame. Food is turned to as a form of self-medication. A person might chose to mask the pain with eating rather than deal with the underlying root cause – the abusive parent or the childhood neglect.

With this in mind, the problem really isn’t diet or exercise. That’s just the visible tip of an emotional iceberg. To deal with food addiction one must identify what they are feeling when they are triggered to overeat. Is it anger? Shame? Lust? And what thought or event precipitated that feeling? A particular place? A certain voice?

Someone severely overweight doesn’t need a nutritionist or personal trainer. On a cognitive level, they already know what they need to do, they just can’t get there. They need a mental health professional knowledgeable on eating disorders and food addiction. If you need help, reach out. And if you know someone struggling with this addiction, keeping silent isn’t doing them any favors.

Work Addiction

One of the most well-disguised addictions in our culture is work addiction. Some men turn to work in the same way others turn to vodka or opioids – as an escape. Ultimately, all addictions are forms of self-medications, and just like alcohol and drugs, work can be a way for a man to forget about his troubles at home or avoid a failing relationship.

Conservative estimates place work addiction in America at 10% of the population; however, it is likely much higher than that.[1]  One reason that it’s difficult to pin down a number is because work addiction can be perfectly camouflaged. Who can fault a guy for working hard to provide for his family, right? It’s not easy to tell a guy that he’s doing too much of a good thing. But don’t be fooled by the noble-looking façade, work addictions destroy families.

The way to tell if work has become an addiction is if it’s being pursued at the expense of one’s relationships and personal health. If you notice that your buddy is letting his health or marriage fall apart in pursuit of his job then speak up. Be a good wingman and call him out.


[1] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-excess/201802/work-addiction-and-workaholism

 

Opioid Addiction

A guy comes back from Afghanistan who’s suffering from serious back pain. He mentions this to the doc, who prescribes hydrocodone, and for the first time in a very long time he’s totally pain free. Even his mood is better! No longer does his wife seem nagging or his kids annoying. This pill makes him feel amazing. Literally, it makes everything wonderful.

Then the prescription runs out.

The pain comes back. He’s pissed off and depressed about everything now. He needs more of those pills, so he looks into getting some through other means. He finds a seller and though they are crazy expensive, he knows it will be worth it.

These pills however, are made of fentanyl and heroin – a dangerous combination created in shady, secret labs and 50-100 times more potent than morphine[1]. In short time he depletes the family savings, loses his job, wife and kids leave, house foreclosed, and he sells the truck he’s living in for more pills.

This is the tragic, yet not uncommon story of, tens of thousands of average men per year[2]!

It doesn’t just happen to “other” people; it’s happening all around us. Recognize it. Fight it!

 


[1] https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html

 

[2] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-veterans-opioids/opioid-abuse-crisis-takes-heavy-toll-on-u-s-veterans-idUSKBN1DA1B2