Alcoholism– History Repeats: Processed Food Addiction, a 21st Century Phenomenon.
There has been infinite accounts that have ebbed and flowed over centuries to capture the recognition of alcoholism as an illness rather than a matter of moral weakness or lack of self-control and willpower. This paper highlights similarities between alcoholism and the emerging condition of processed food addiction by providing a history on the conceptualisation and treatment of alcoholism advocated by Dr W. D. Silkworth and a vignette of a processed food addict. Dr Silkworth is well-known for his theory of alcoholism as an illness that is underpinned by the experience of a physical allergy coupled with a mental obsession, and the need for a psychic change, which subsequently formed the foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous. Through this paper, we also introduce the concept of processed food addiction to the wider medical and professional community, focusing on processed food addiction as a disease of the 21st Century that would benefit greatly by following the diagnosis and treatment approach for alcoholism as attested here. Evidently, further investigation and validation is required
The Disease of Processed Food Addiction:: Treating the Cause, Not the Symptoms…A Perspective
Trying to control what one ingests, is analogous to trying to control an alcoholics drinking which is absurd if that person suffers from the disease of alcoholism. History reiterates time and again many and varied approaches in treating the symptoms of alcoholism by trying to control ones drinking of liquor including; religious approaches, psychiatric treatments, drug substitution, harm reduction strategies, psychoanalytical practices, to name but a few (Raymond, Lovell, & Hsueh-Chih Lai, 2020). For those cases who suffered from the physical allergy and a mental obsession associated with alcoholism, the result was always nil. This is similar in today’s society for processed food addiction. For centuries society has also been trying to find the next ‘cure’ or ‘quick fix’. There is no cure for the disease of addiction –– it can only be treated (like other chronic diseases).