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Why do People Lie About Their Drug Addiction or Eating Disorder, is this Compulsive Lying?

Abstract: Why do compulsive eaters and people with drug addiction lie about their disorder, for example saying that they want to eat normally and at the same time doing anything in order to continue eating compulsively?

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Why do People Lie About Their Drug Addiction or Eating Disorder, is this Compulsive Lying?

Intelligent natural language question-answering in the area of psychology and psychiatry. Ask a simple question  Local help Info


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Question(s): 
Written by: Gunborg Palme, certified psychologist and certified psychotherapist, teacher and tutor in psychotherapy.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 14 Feb 2010.

Why do people lie about their disorder, for example compulsive eaters and people with drug addiction saying that they want to eat normally and at the same time doing anything in order to continue eating compulsively? Is this compulsive lying? What is the relation between weight loss and psychology?

Answer:

Compulsive eaters and drug addicts frequently lie about their disorder.

When they say that they want to get well, they are influenced by their adult, mature self which realizes the sad consequences their eating disorder will have. At the same time, another part of their consciousness craves immediate satisfaction and the suppression of anxiety and psychic distress.

Thus, the same person can have two different personalities which struggle for control. Even while binge-eating, the adult part of her/his personality realizes that it is wrong. That gives the person even more anxiety, which causes the individual to eat even more in order to reduce the new anxiety. The secret of success in the struggle against compulsive eating is to learn to tolerate the unpleasant feelings instead of trying to smother them by continuing to eat excessively. This is a more difficult way, but in the end it gives lasting success.

A person with an eating disorder denies his abuse in the same way an alcoholic does. They are both prepared to lie not to miss out on the stimulance of the brain's center of pleasure and reward.

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