Eating, Substance Abuse, and Personality Disorders

Topics: Personality disorders, Drug addiction, Personality disorder Pages: 5 (1393 words) Published: September 23, 2013


Eating, Substance Abuse, and Personality Disorders
PSY 410
December 18, 2011
Eric Niler, Ph.D.

Eating, Substance Abuse, and Personality Disorders
Eating, substance abuse, and personality disorders have one thing in common. They are all impairments to an individual who prevents him or her from functioning normally within society. An individual who is suffering from either condition has biological, environmental, or early childhood as the contributor to his or her illness. This paper will contain the explanation of each disorder using the theoretical perspectives; biological, psychodynamic, behavioral, and cognitive. Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are a result of an individual who has dissatisfaction about his or her weight and will go to excessive lengths to maintain his or her appearance (Hansell & Damour, 2008). Wanting to maintain a certain weight so that one can become a model or involve themselves in an extracurricular activity in school are just a couple of influences in which can drive an eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder where individuals are afraid of gaining weight and refuse to maintain a body weight at least 85% of what is considered to be normal (Hansell & Damour, 2008). The biological component of eating disorders explains that genetics, imbalance of hormonal and neurotransmitters, and structural brain abnormalities contribute to the cause of eating disorders (Hansell & Damour, 2008). After further research, the hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalance has been explained as both the cause and result of eating disorders. For example, the hormones leptin and ghrelin are both at abnormal levels when an individual is suffering from an eating disorder but when the individual has either gained weight or maintained a healthy weight, the hormonal levels return to normal (Hansell & Damour, 2008).. The hormonal abnormalities would seem to be more of a result rather than the cause of such disorders. The psychodynamic explanation of eating disorders is influenced by the findings of Hilde Bruch. Bruch suggests that individual’s suffering from anorexia is into satisfying the needs of others by living up to the standards set by others (Hansell & Damour, 2008). Living through the eyes of another person, leaves the individual with no self-efficacy. The cognitive-behavioral approach to eating disorders have found that anorexia and bulimia are the result of negative thought processes and repetitive experiences that have led to behaviors of eating disorders (Hansell & Damour, 2008). Both anorexia and bulimia are maintained by dichotomous reasoning about food and weight (Hansell & Damour, 2008). Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a disorder where an individual becomes dependent on their drug of choice and his or her everyday functioning becomes affected by the substance use (Hansell & Damour, 2008). The drug has become the main focus for an addict. People become addicted to drugs because he or she is trying to reach that first experience of pleasure each time he or she experiments with their drug of choice. It will take more of the drug to feel the way they did when they first tried the drug. The biological component of substance abuse focuses on genetic factors as one of the main contributors to this disorder. There have been twin studies that explain alcohol addiction can be passed down through the genes (Hansell & Damour, 2008). Studies show that genetics determine that a person can become addicted to alcohol much faster than the average person; however, this theory depends on each person (Hansell & Damour, 2008). There are three categories of the behavioral theory that explains substance abuse. The three categories include operant conditioning, classical conditioning, and social learning or modeling (Hansell & Damour, 2008). Operant conditioning explains that individual use or misuse drugs because drugs are a way of...
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