• Why Me?
  • Treating Professionals
  • Processed Food Addiction
  • Withdrawal
  • Tolerance


Addiction is a disease of the brain which disrupts the electrical and chemical signals, in part by competing with normal chemical substances that organise brain messages and regulated brain activity. Treating the disease of Addiction (getting honest with oneself) and learning how to live a life without ingesting the addictive substance does not happen overnight.

There are no ‘quick fixes’ for an incurable disease that started long before the addict was aware, and ends at the time of death. Literature continues to highlight that AN Addiction may be genetically predisposed, and the biggest mind-boggling question for a potential addict is “why me?

There are no ‘quick fixes’ for an incurable disease that started long before the addict was aware, and ends at the time of death. Literature continues to highlight that AN Addiction may be genetically predisposed, and the biggest mind-boggling question for a potential addict is “why me?

This question has preyed upon researchers, sociologists, theorists and philosophers trying to make sense of the bewildering cluster of physical and psychological symptomology evident in the disease of Addiction.

Heretofore, Addiction has been perceived as a weakness of will – a person with an ‘addict’ label was assumed to have the same appetite for alcohol, processed foods, nicotine etc. as other people, but are lacking the willpower to stop ingesting the substance.

The past several decades of research reveals that the addict has the same willpower as everyone else, but they have a different ‘make-up’ or said another way, ‘their appetite for the substance is by some way different; and this ‘make-up’ of the addict is determined by neurobiochemical factors over which the addict has no control. Addiction is caused not by psychological, environmental, or social pressures, or by a weak personality, but by a weakness in the physical makeup of the addict. Said in another way, “ Addicts don’t abuse the substance, the substance abuses the addict ”.

Treating professionals
suffering from addiction

Dr Karren-Lee Raymond confidentially, effectively and successfully treats professionals (i.e., medical health specialists, accountants, law and associated colleagues, managerial personnel, high end information technology professionals, sales / marketing professionals, and education specialists) whose employment prospects may be in jeopardy due to addiction practices, or alternatively living with a person who is potentially addicted to a substance.

Karren-Lee expounds the unique aspects of helping professionals recover from the malady of addiction in a confidential environment outside of mainstream society.  She understands the unpredictable and exhausting nature of the professional working environment of the 21st Century – making endless spur-of-the-moment decisions daily and being responsible for certain outcomes in the given professional’s line of expertise.

Professionals (like anyone) are susceptible to turning to a substance of choice to overcome pressures such as, regretting an on the spot decision made while under such pressures.

What Karren-lee has found is unique about treating professionals in recovery is it appears to be quite challenging for this population to recover in conventional society in the early days of treatment of the disease of addiction.  Helping the individual understand the nature of the disease of addiction, Karren-Lee treats the malady, guiding the individual to permanent sobriety one day at a time.

The malady of
processed food addiction

​The newbie on the block — wrecking a silent but subtle havoc among society

There are several different ‘programs and plans of eating’ all aiming to eliminate a processed food addict’s addictive substances and yet they all have three fundamental features; getting treatment for their processed food addiction, being involved in a community which supports recovery from this malady, and developing a spiritual way of life to support, and aid consistent recovery from this progressive disease.

The primary aspect of one’s recovery if one is shown to have high symptomology of processed food addictions is to become ‘abstinent’ – abstain from all processed foods (sugar, flour, wheat, high fat).  Once the processed food addict becomes abstinent the question is “how does one ‘stay’ abstinent with ‘peace’ of mind?”

Psychological distress


Withdrawal can be defined as the development of physiological and/or cognitive symptoms in response to periods of abstinence or reduced consumption of a substance.  Withdrawal can also be indicated by ingesting a substance to prevent these symptoms arising.

Evidence from processed food addicts early in recovery share that psychological symptomology ‘hammers’ them including: depression, anxiety, restlessness, discontentment, and even panic attacks.  Additionally, they report being fidgety, bad headaches, backaches, stomach aches and pains, disruption to their menstrual cycle, loneliness and hot sweats especially the period straight after the bingeing on processed foods. 

Cutting back on bakery items makes them feel light headed, but usually ‘kicks’ in more after the first 24 hours of eliminating the processed food.  Even when trying to ‘give-up’ coffee, (and preferably they drink cuppa chinos as they like the ‘stuff’ on top) they will still feel agitated over the next 72-hour period.  

Quite often a processed food addict will take a can of a caffeinated beverage (coke) to drink when feeling restless, irritable or discontent in the work environment to help ward off the symptoms of eliminating processed foods.

Anger is a typical observational symptom when eliminating processed foods; the processed food addict shares they are scared of who they really are – and that they really are a very angry person, but when eating processed foods, it calms them down somewhat.  Thus they are afraid of who they are and what people will think when they see the REAL me – the person that has been hidden from everyone else, including themselves.

Another issue to discuss here is the negative mind (negative self-talk, the second self, the ego, the disease voice), in withdrawing from processed food abuse.  Generally the addict concludes that this can be what makes withdrawal from processed foods so challenging.  Once again, the disease of addiction is neurobiochemological not psychological.


For any addiction the ‘trick’ is to ingest (drink/use) to one’s tolerance – that is just enough to thwart off the withdrawal and yet not eat so much as to trigger the craving to binge more, vomit, lay on the coach or be comatose (another words try to be a ‘functional’ processed food addict).  When Addiction is in early stages, trying to balance this act is not so challenging, however the late stage processed food addict will feel an overwhelming desire to ingest processed foods so they don’t have to go through the torturous stages of withdrawal.  But because they have a sickened brain (neurologically impaired brain) when it comes to ingesting the processed foods (drug of choice) their judgement will be thwarted as to how much is too much.  As the disease of processed food addiction progresses and the margin of this balancing act is narrowing to a point where ingesting the processed foods to their tolerance level is just a smidgen away from bingeing.  As a result, obesity and/or more control methods are introduced with more bingeing periods – the processed food addict is not eating because they are irresponsible, stubborn, undisciplined, no will power, they continue to ingest the processed foods because they become sicker and their brains and bodies are no longer able to tolerate or cope with large amounts of processed foods.

This then leads to what is called ‘enduring’.  Eventually, a processed food addict finds that no matter hard they try they can’t ingest processed foods 24/7.  People need sleep, work, family commitments etc. hence the processed food addict must endure withdrawal symptoms.  Of course the more progressed the Addiction, the worse the withdrawal symptomology, and of course as the disease continues to progress (as it does so over a period of weeks, months, years), the more the processed food addict needs to ingest more processed foods to ‘anesthetise,’ or try to function somewhat normally.  Said simply, a processed food addict needs to increase more and more of the processed foods in order to get the ‘effect’ they are neurobiochemical craving for.

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Please note that neither Dr Karren-Lee Raymond nor anyone else at Karren-Lee Addictionology® are medical doctors or registered to provide psychological services. Dr Raymond holds degrees in psychology, counselling and a PhD in addiction studies, although she is not a registered psychologist. The services she provides are strictly that of addiction counselling and you should refer general health related matters, including prescription medicine questions, to your GP. You should seek the assistance of a registered psychologist with respect to any mental health issues you may be experiencing.’