Is there such a thing as Chocolate addiction?!
Question: I have a coworker who acts very strange and hyper when she eats chocolate, does she have a problem? Is there a rehab for people like her?
Answers: I have a coworker who acts very strange and hyper when she eats chocolate, does she have a problem? Is there a rehab for people like her?
Warning: chocolate addiction is real and can lead to anxiety and depression. People joke about being addicted to chocolate merely because they like eating it. As an ex-chocoholic, however, I know that chocolate addiction is no joking matter. After doing some research, I realized just how easy it is for people, and especially teenagers, to become addicted. I write this article as a warning, for chocolate addiction is easy to fall into, hard to break, and brings with it harmful psychological affects.
A chocoholic (not a scientific term) is defined in The International Journal of Eating Disorders as a person who has no control over the chocolate he or she consumes. As with other addictions, the chocoholic often does not even know there is a problem. If it is obvious that something is wrong, the chocoholic will blame it on societal elements instead of chocolate.
Non-addicts have a sense of control over their cravings and choose to eat chocolate for conscious reasons. To a non-addict, eating chocolate may be associated with stress relief, mood boosting, pain relieving, or even just quality snacking. "It makes me feel happy," says Palo Alto High School senior Holly Wang, a non-addict.
Addicts, unlike Wang, do not eat chocolate for happiness. When I was a chocoholic, I'd keep a bag of chocolate by my door. As I walked through the door, my hands would automatically reach for the chocolate. I was barely aware that I was eating it at all. When I was done with one piece, I automatically reached for the next. The more I ate, the more worry and depression I felt. When people asked me why I ate chocolate, I had to confess that I did not know.
This is because, for a chocolate addict, chocolate loses its positive psychological affects. Researchers at the University of Dundee, in Scotland, found that chocolate addicts "experienced negative affects following consumption of chocolate." The International Journal of Eating Disorders reports that chocolate addicts also tend to eat "more than twice as much chocolate as the non-addicts" and are "significantly more depressed."
"People who are stressed out may find short term relief from eating chocolate," psychological nutritionist Jurriaan Plesman says, "but this will aggravate depression and anxiety by a rebound reaction."
According to Plesman, it isn't hard to fall into a cycle of addiction that can lead to negative psychological effects. Because chocolate is high in sugar and fat, it creates a stress-relieving affect on the brain. According to a study conducted by researchers from UC San Francisco, stress can be linked to overeating foods like chocolate. "When you are hungry or under stress, stress hormones